Guide to Watch Crystals
Introduction to Watch Crystals
Watch crystals are a timepiece’s first line of defense. They are the clear piece of glass that lets the viewer see the time while preventing moisture, humidity, and grease from entering the case. There are three types of crystals available, each offering its own level of protection and resistance. Learn what watch crystals are right for you with this informative guide.
The most luxurious watches use sapphire crystal. Sapphire is the hardest natural material after diamonds, ensuring that it can survive almost anything thrown at it. The material has a gorgeous mirrored sheen that accentuates the dial. It is highly scratch and crack resistant, keeping high-end timepieces looking brand new long after production. Note that this glass is colorless and artificially manufactured. While sapphire crystal is strong, it is still capable of shattering and doesn’t do well with extreme water conditions.
Sometimes called “Hardlex”, mineral crystal is chemically treated glass. It is very strong and durable, but less so than its sapphire peer. This glass is prone to scratches, although they can be buffed out by yourself or a professional. Mineral crystal is found most often in mid-range pieces, as it represents a compromise between expensive but hardy sapphire and weak but inexpensive acrylic. Some brands treat mineral crystal with anti-glare (also called “anti-reflective” or AR) coating.
Acrylic crystal is made of plastic, with all of the pluses and minuses that entails. It is inexpensive, making it widely used in more affordable timepieces. This material is soft but flexible; it is easy to scratch but hard to break due to its flexibility. Due to its pliable nature, watchmakers can make all sorts of shapes with this material. A domed effect is sometimes created, which distorts the dial when viewed from certain angles.
Explore Watches at Hing Wa Lee Jewelers
Find these crystals and a wide assortment of watches at Hing Wa Lee Jewelers, California’s finest source for luxury watches. Our vast selection showcases over a dozen of today’s most desired brands, carefully curated to meet our strict standards. Both our San Gabriel and Walnut showrooms are staffed by the most experienced experts in the industry. Only they can guide you through our luxurious options. Email us at Info@HWLJewelers.com to learn more.