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Watch Boot Camp: Analog Watches

December 20, 2016

          Alright, listen up you lazy recruits! You think watches are just that and nothing more? Well you're dead wrong! Even the most basic watch has over 100 parts, both moving and non-moving. At the end of this entry, there are links you could go to for a more in-depth study into the various workings of a timepiece. We'll only cover the basics here so pay full attention or give me 20 squats in 15 seconds!

          As the title suggests, we'll only be going through analog watches. We'll cover digital watches and other types some other time.

1. Case -  The hub of everything. This is where all the magic of horology is contained. If ever this is breached, the chances of your timepiece dying increase dramatically. There are two subparts on this piece: the crystal (or lens) and the caseback. The crystal is the glass you see on the face of your watch. It's the first line of defense against the elements. The case back is as it sounds. It's that little piece of metal or plastic at the back of the case. It also holds the so-called "code" of the watch (i.e. KW1234-1992 and the like) and sometimes has the signature of a celebrity (depends on the brand though.)


Left to right:  case, glass, and case back

2. Dial - Otherwise known as the face of the watch. This is where you see those hands tell you the time. Additional dials are reserved for more complex variations of timepieces. Also part of the dial are the hands. These little buggers are what enables us human beings to be able to tell time.

3. Crown - that button-like thing at the side of the watch. You basically use this to adjust the time of the watch. Most of the time. More complex watches have more buttons near the crown for additional functions.

4. Straps or Bracelet - The thing that hold the whole piece onto your wrist. It comes in many variants with leather, rubber, and nylon textile for straps and mainly plastic and steel for bracelets. There are also ceramic straps but those are quite uncommon.


Left to right (from top left): stainless steel, leather, rubber, plastic, and nylon

5. Movement - of the watch. There are three known movements: Quartz which runs by battery, automatic which runs by a rotor, and a manual which runs by a wind up mechanism. Additional details are included in links below. 


Front and back of a quartz movement 

        Alright recruits! Did you get all that down?! You better all be prepared 'coz there a quiz later! Now drop and give me 25 push-ups!

Further reading:



Written By: John Michael Bushman

About the Author: Geek. Gamer. Watch Enthusiast. He's also a self-proclaimed conspiracy theorist (though he was quite depressed when the world didn't end back in 2012). If he isn't at home playing video games or watching anime, he's sitting in his office reading about horology,  quantum physics, and possibly fan-fiction involving his favorite characters.