Watch bezels serve a practical and aesthetic purpose, but they can also impact the value and style of a timepiece. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the history and types of bezels, as well as the factors to consider when purchasing a watch with a bezel.
What is a Watch Bezel?
A watch bezel is the rim that encircles the watch face and sits on top of the case. It serves a practical purpose by protecting the crystal (the transparent cover that protects the watch face) and helping to keep the case water-resistant. However, the bezel also plays an important role in the appearance and style of a watch.
The History of the Watch Bezel
The first watch bezels were made of metal and were used to hold the crystal in place. However, as watches became more sophisticated, the bezel started to serve additional purposes. For example, some bezels were designed to rotate, allowing the wearer to track elapsed time or make calculations.
Types of Watch Bezels
There are several different types of watch bezels, each with its own unique features and functions. Here are some of the most common:
- Fixed bezel: A fixed bezel is a non-rotating bezel that is attached to the case. It serves a purely decorative purpose and does not have any additional functions.
- Rotating bezel: A rotating bezel is a bezel that can be turned either clockwise or counterclockwise. This type of bezel is often used to track elapsed time or make calculations.
- Diver's bezel: A diver's bezel is a rotating bezel that is specifically designed for use in the water. It is often used by divers to track the amount of time they have been underwater.
- Tachymeter bezel: A tachymeter bezel is a rotating bezel that is used to measure speed. It is often found on chronograph watches, which are watches with a stopwatch function.
- Diamond bezel: A diamond bezel is a bezel that is encrusted with diamonds or other precious stones. This type of bezel is purely decorative and adds a touch of luxury to the watch.
pOrtahl's Signature Bezel
First featured on pOrtahl's hero timepiece, Peacemaker, is our signature bezel. The bezel indicates the seconds and minutes, aiding the wearer in reading the time despite the watch's minimalistic design. Something you might not have figured out yet is the reason for the numbers shown on the dial. You may ask 'Why are these numbers shown on pOrtahl's Peacemaker bezel?'. The answer: they are the prime numbers. This is one of the few quirky mathematical references we've incorporated into pOrtahl's design. You will not find this bezel on any watch by any other watch brand. Our bezel was designed in-house in The Netherlands by pOrtahl.
Materials Used for Watch Bezels
Watch bezels can be made from a wide range of materials, including metal, plastic, ceramic, and even wood. The most common materials used in watch bezels are stainless steel, gold, and titanium.
Stainless steel is a durable and affordable option that is resistant to rust and corrosion. Gold is a luxurious and classic choice, but it is also more expensive and prone to scratches. Titanium is a lightweight and hypoallergenic option that is resistant to corrosion, but it is also more expensive.
The bezel on pOrtahl's first watch, Peacemaker, is made from ceramic. This material makes the bezel extremely scratch resistant.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing a Watch with a Bezel
There are several factors to consider when purchasing a watch with a bezel, including the type of bezel, the material it is made from, and the overall style of the watch. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Functionality: If you are looking for a watch with a specific function, such as a diver's bezel or a tachymeter bezel, make sure to choose a watch with the appropriate type of bezel.
- Material: The material of the bezel can impact the durability and appearance of the watch. Consider the type of activities you will be participating in and choose a material that is appropriate for those conditions. For example, if you will be wearing the watch while swimming or diving, you may want to choose a bezel made from a corrosion-resistant material like stainless steel or titanium.
- Style: The bezel can also contribute to the overall style and aesthetic of the watch. If you want a watch that is more formal or traditional, you may want to choose a bezel made from gold or another precious metal. If you prefer a sportier look, you may want to opt for a bezel made from stainless steel or titanium.
- Cost: The cost of the watch is also an important factor to consider. Gold bezels are generally more expensive than stainless steel or titanium bezels, so keep your budget in mind when making your decision.
How to Care for Your Watch Bezel
Proper care and maintenance are important to ensure that your watch bezel stays in good condition. Here are some tips for caring for your watch bezel:
- Avoid exposing your watch to harsh chemicals, such as bleach or detergents.
- These chemicals can damage the bezel and affect its appearance.
- Keep your watch away from extreme temperatures, as this can also cause damage to the bezel.
- If your watch has a rotating bezel, be careful when turning it to avoid putting too much pressure on the mechanism.
- If your watch has a diamond bezel, make sure to handle it with care to avoid damaging the stones.
- Clean your watch regularly to remove dirt and grime that can build up on and around the bezel. Use a soft, dry cloth to gently wipe down the bezel and the rest of the watch.
Watch bezels serve a practical and aesthetic purpose, and they can also impact the value and style of a timepiece. From fixed bezels to diver's bezels and diamond bezels, there are many different types to choose from. When purchasing a watch with a bezel, consider the functionality, material, style, and cost. Proper care and maintenance can help ensure that your watch bezel stays in good condition for years to come.