Glossary: Most important watch terms to know

When you’re thinking about buying a new watch, make sure you know all the watch terms. It’s more important than just being able to keep up with the salesperson — if you understand the vocabulary, you’ll have an easier time expressing what you’re looking for in an investment timepiece.


Watch terms

  • Dial – the face of the watch 
  • Case – the outer layer of a timepiece, which holds all the component of the watch. Cases can be made of plastic, ceramic or, for truly valuable watches, precious metal.
  • Crown – the knob on the side of the case used to set the watch
  • Bezel – ring made of metal or ceramic that surrounds the watch dial. Bezels can be decorative or functional, as some can measure speed or distance.
  • Crystal – a clear cover made of glass, plastic or sapphire that protects the dial. Crystals made of sapphire are more expensive and more durable.
  • Date Window – a clear window cut through the dial that displays the date. Some date windows, called cyclops windows, are magnified to make the number easier to see.
  • Bracelet – a metal strap that wraps around the wrist and can be adjusted by adding and removing links. A leather watch strap is called a band.
  • Lugs – part of the watch case that the bracelet or strap attaches to.

Why it matters

If you’re planning to buy or sell a watch, make sure you know the names of its components to get the best deal possible. Certain characteristics, like a sapphire crystal or platinum case, have a huge impact on the value of your watch.

It’s also important to know watch terms to know what makes your luxury timepiece special. Watches are made of dozens of tiny pieces that come together like clockwork. The harmony and precision of each component is what makes luxury watches last a lifetime. Many Swiss watch houses pride themselves on creating every individual piece of the watch for extreme control.

Selling a watch?

Check out Capetown Capital Lenders for the best buy-back prices on watches in the business. If you’re not ready to part with your watch yet Capetown Capital Lenders also provides asset-based loans on fine jewelry.

Start the process online by getting a free, no-obligation quote on your jewelry. Simply fill out one of our sell or loan forms today and receive a quote in 24 hours or less. Or, visit our Atlanta location, by appointment only.