A wristwatch is fragile and consists of thousands of parts that work in sync to show ‘time’. Time is the most valuable commodity that anyone can have. Hence, to protect these fragile parts from dust, moisture, and any foreign particles that may hamper the accuracy or function of the watch, a protective layer of the watch glass is used. Watch glasses are concave glass protectors whose primary objective is to protect the watch dial from damage.
The material used to make these Watch glasses or watch crystals are responsible for the integrity of the watch. Being on the wrist, watches face a higher probability of getting damaged. Hence, protecting their internal parts becomes one of the most essential parts of the watch glass, other than giving it a complete look. So, let us continue to understand the type of Crystals on Watches
Types of crystals in watches
Watch glasses of different materials ranging from general use acrylic to scratch-resistant hardened glasses are used to protect the watches. The materials come with their own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here is a list of commonly used types of Crystals on Watches –
Acrylic Crystal or Acrylic Glass
Acrylic crystal is made from a finer & saturated form of plastic (polymethyl methacrylate) and is also known as ‘Hesalite’, ‘Perspex’, and ‘Plexiglass’. The retail cost of acrylic crystal glass is inexpensive, and hence it has become a go-to choice for all low-end mass-production watches.
As it resembles plastic properties, they tend to be more flexible and can easily be replaced or buffed out. Moreover, its flexible nature also helps the watchmakers to be more creative with the style and try elegant shapes such as the doomed effect which gives a certain level of distortion to the dial.
Pros & Cons
|Flexible Nature||Low resistance to scratches|
|Sustainable or Impact Resistant||Resembles inexpensive stature|
|Affordable||Needs care and maintenance to keep it scratch-free|
|Easy to buff out or Replace||Very common in low-end watches|
Mineral Crystal Glass or Mineral Glass
Mineral crystal glass is made of a material that can be found on the window panes of your house. Furthermore, mineral crystal glasses or ‘Hardlex’ is one of the classic choices as it is very accessible for watchmakers.
It is made from silica, which also tends to make it another go-to choice for watches that fall under the low-mid segment watches. Mineral crystal glasses are becoming the top choice for fashion timepieces as it gives a sleek stature to the watches as compared to acrylic crystal glasses.
Pros & Cons
|Scratch and Impact-Resistant to some extent||Considerably-less scratch-resistant than Sapphire Crystal|
|Less Reflective||Cannot be buffed-out|
|Easily Maintained and Replaceable||In case of damage, replacement is the only option|
|Pocket Friendly||Not Impact Resistant|
Sapphire Glass or Sapphire Crystal
Sapphire crystal watch glasses are the best quality watch glasses that only luxury brands opt for. It is the hardest crystal and hence it makes the watch glasses substantially more scratch-resistant than the other options.
However, most of the sapphire crystal watch glasses found in the market are made from synthetic materials and do not resemble any qualities to the natural Sapphire. To compensate, most watch manufacturers add an anti-scratch coating to improve the durability of the sapphire crystal. To sum up, the Sapphire glass is not technically ‘glass’ but a rather saturated form of Aluminum oxide made in the laboratories.
It is important to note that our AUDRIC Strider also comes with the Sapphire Crystal which brings out every detail and provides a lavish feel to you as you take it for the stride.
Pros & Cons
|Crystal Clear Visibility||Can be easily shattered|
|Provides a Luxury Stature||Expensive to replace|
|Scratch-Resistant||In case of damage, can only be replaced|
|Anti-reflective coating||Need more care and maintenance|
So which one is the best?
Each type of crystal in watches glass differs in one way or the other, and that eventually reflects on its pricing. However, the best option you can go for is undoubtedly summed up as Sapphire crystal watch glass because of its durability and quality. On the contrary, if you are one of those who don’t want to bother themselves with maintaining the watch all the time. Then, you can go for mineral crystal watch glass, which could be termed as the perfect mix of the partial qualities of acrylic and sapphire crystal watch glass.
Although sapphire glass is the best you can get out of all the materials, it is substantially more expensive than mineral glass and it comes down to how much you value protecting the time that’s on your wrist.
To provide you with the best experience possible, AUDRIC Watches introduces Sapphire Crystal both on the front and back in our upcoming AUDRIC Strider with our HexaDori Anti-Scratch Coating.