Watches room intriguing devices and have always been objects that fascination because of their too much portability but highly innovative but tiny mechanical parts. What is even more interesting is the truth that all this sophistication is fitted right into such a small enclosure. You may have noticed that it is composed on part watches that they save on computer jewels. Ever wondered what this means? Why perform watches have actually jewels?

Watchmakers use jewels or precious stones within of mechanical watches to reduce friction between the surfaces of moving metal parts. The wheel train bearings and also the escapement in a watch can get worn quickly, particularly without lubrication, for this reason the jewels aid keep them running smoothly and also accurately. 

Jewels are provided inside city hall to alleviate friction.

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Also, it’s worth noting that while the watch community generally talks describes jewels when talking about mechanical watches, however as we’ve explained in a separate overview – many quartz watches also use jewels.

Let’s take it a closer look at the jewels consisted of within a watch and also discuss whether part are much better than others.


Why Watches have actually Jewels

Close up see of an automatic watch v jewels

The matter is actually less complicated than friend think. Stones or jewels are supplied in watches to prevent or reduce friction between the surface of moving metal parts within a watch.

When metal rubs versus metal in the absence of lubrication, the relocating parts like pivots and bearings in a watch can acquire worn quickly, which deserve to lead to the watch breaking down. Return in the beforehand days that watchmaking genuine semi-precious stones prefer rubies emeralds and also sapphires to be used, today some man-made stones have actually been emerged for this purpose.

Where are Jewels Used inside Watches?

Usually, most watches save on computer jewels in their pivot points and also in the gear train. You can also see jewels in the anti-shock mechanism.

Since jewels space expensive, unscrupulous manufacturers sometimes add jewels to watches in areas where they space not required and also unnecessarily increasing the price that the watch.

This would bring about the misconception the the watch is innovative and high-quality although the is simply a an easy and cheap watch with its price inflated as result of the additional jewels. In fact, these extra jewels have the right to actually work-related to the hinderance of the moving parts.

That said, the distinction in the variety of jewels native one clock to another depends ~ above the level that complication in the relocating parts. Extr jewels can particularly be i found it in Automatic watches.

So, the answer to the inquiry of why do watches have jewels is just to minimize the wear and tear of moving parts to provide a longer life to the watch and to create longer periods between servicing.

Jewels Are used For Accuracy

47 jewel watch movement. Picture Credit: mountain Pix

Another point that is worth noting is the of the accuracy that watches. We all favor to have precise watch. Few of the most an exact Swiss-made watches can have remarkable accuracy and also you don’t need to correct them because that months or also years. One of the contributing components to the accuracy of a watch is the number and also quality the jewels provided in it.

The explanation because that this is fairly simple. The best constraint in the work of a clock is friction. If much more friction build up in between the moving parts of a watch, then really minute slowing down takes place. Back this dragging is practically imperceptible, end a period of time, it build up right into a couple of seconds or even minutes that difference.

Friction in between moving parts have the right to be greatly lessened by including jeweled bearings to an essential parts, thereby increasing the accuracy that the timepiece.

This brings united state to the 2nd question – space sapphires Rubies emeralds better? Let’s consider this exciting question and also see if we can discover a an easy answer come it.

Are the Jewels in a clock Valuable?

CFB A2000 Caliber watch Movement: 33 Jewels (Image:

Traditionally, mechanical watches frequently used organic gems to support the watch materials in reducing and also preventing friction. Over time, the friction resulted in without the jewels could offset the time by a couple of seconds or minutes, affect precision timekeeping. In irradiate of this, the concept of jewel bearing was first introduced in 1704. At the time, watchmakers frequently used natural gems prefer diamond, sapphire, and also ruby. In act so, the cost of the watch likewise increased.

Sourcing and also processing of gems to fit into tiny watch components is no straightforward feat. Moreover, organic ruby, the most preferred gem, has actually impurities do them an overwhelming to procedure as jewel bearing. An unified with the truth that these gems are quite rare to get hands-on, led the way for the creation of synthetic gems together a perfect instead of for organic gems in watches. Now, all modern-day watches and watch brands mostly use man-made gems to increase the performance of the city hall without rise their cost.

The artificial jewels in themselves space not as an useful as the gems in her jewelry or accessories. These fabricated gems, developed in a controlled environment, work as efficiently as herbal gems without adding extra cost or value. But, regardless of being “man-made”, these synthetic gems have the exact same properties and also chemical materials as herbal gems. Many commonly, brands now use fabricated ruby, offered their hardness and also resistance. Part watches additionally use artificial sapphire or diamond together well.

How many Jewels are in a great Watch?

17 Jewel clock Movement- CC BY-SA 3.0. Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas

Typically, most mechanical city hall come with a 17 jewel configuration. V the advent of brand-new technologies, automatically self-winding watches hold either 21 or 25 jewels in them. Automatic movements have more components and also moving parts contrasted to traditional mechanical movements, warranting the usage of more jewels. Besides, automatic watches are generally much more prone come wear and also tear. So maintaining this in mind, watch manufacturers use much more jewels in an automatic watch over a mechanically watch.

For instance, the Bulova 21-jewel watch through sapphire bearings, emerged in the 60s, stands the true check of time. There is no needing any type of service or repair, this timepiece features precisely and also accurately also today. This jewels come v a natural ability for lubricant retention, do it feasible to retain the accuracy that time for plenty of years there is no service.

On the various other hand, we have brands prefer the Rolex and also Vacheron Constantin, utilizing a mechanically movement and equipped with complications choose a perpetual calendar, chronograph, or/and tourbillon functions. These functions require a greater number of jewel bearing come ensure the smooth to work of the included components without further friction build-up. To this extent, the most complicated watch ever before made through Vacheron Constantin with 57 complications come equipped through over 200 jewels.

While there is no definite answer come how numerous jewels make a clock perfect or good, it largely depends top top the movement type and the number of complications in them.

What walk “17 jewels” in reality Mean?

Watches the come with 17 jewels organize the name “fully jeweled watch“. This is because mechanical watches use 17 jewels come compliment every the materials consisting of the balance wheel, main wheel, employee pivot, pivot bearing, escape lever, escape lever pallet, fourth wheel, third wheel, and also escape wheel.

Whereas, watches through automatic motion or the town hall with many complications often tend to usage a greater number that jewels. Watch brands add more jewels based on the need of the watch functions. However, indigenous the beginning of jewel bearings together watch components, mechanical watches have actually used 17 jewels, setting the bar for a “fully jeweled watch” on performance and accuracy.

Do an ext Jewels make it a far better Quality Watch?


In brief – no, much more jewels do not have to mean far better watch quality.

A simple mechanical watch comes v 17 jewels. A higher number of complications or one automatic activity in a watch requires an ext jewels. You may have seen some brands focusing on the jewel number to boost the price or worth of the watch. To this extent, part brands sector a greater number that jewels just to boost the expense of the watch.

However, it is way to remember that much more jewels execute not make the watch role any much better than the actual number of jewels required. Though, some mechanical watches might use 21-27 jewels come reduce any type of positional errors within the watch. Similarly, watches with an automatic movement have multiple moving parts, request a higher number the jewels.

Sometimes, much more jewels than actually required can cause a detrimental result over the lengthy term together well. If girlfriend are trying to find a watch with not plenty of complications however with much more jewels 보다 required, please be mindful that brands carry out this to rise the price there is no in reality actually having the value as lock deem it to be.

What type of Jewels Are supplied in Watchmaking?

Sapphire is a typical jewel provided inside watches.

Precious stones prefer diamond, sapphire, ruby, and also garnet were offered in the moving parts of city hall ever due to the fact that the creation of jewel bearings in 1704.

Sapphires crystals are likewise used in watch faces due to the fact that their hardness renders them one of the most scratch-resistant species of clock glass material available.

Over the years, man-made sapphire to be developed and also today, synthetic Sapphire synthetic or real Rubies are used. Emeralds are only offered for decorating watches, because that instance, the Piccadilly Princess imperial Emerald environment-friendly watch which is priced at about a million dollars.

Are Sapphires, Rubies or Emeralds Better?

We cannot really say even if it is a sapphire or ruby is better for developing a jewel bearing in a watch. Whether sapphires or rubies are offered the smoothness the movement specifically depends ~ above the level the sophistication and also design of the inner parts the a particular watch.

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Generally speaking, ruby is the many preferred stone used in a watch, as deserve to be seen in many of the watches the are easily accessible in the market today. So, the inquiry of rubies, emeralds, or sapphires gift the much better choice because that watches yes, really boils down to the function for i m sorry they space to it is in used.

Sapphire might be better in location of ruby because that a certain watch design. However, it would certainly be incorrect to say that any details jewel is much better than the various other out of these three. We hope the these 2 questions have actually been reply adequately and that girlfriend have enjoyed reading this article. Speaking of jewels, several readers have asked: room watches thought about jewelry? – discover out here.