The face of a watch can be crafted from a variety of materials and this will affect the quality and durability of your watch. Since this is the part that will be exposed to the most bumps and knocks, it’s important to know what is on offer out there so you can make an informed choice. We present the three most popular watch faces most commonly used – namely sapphire crystals, mineral crystals and Plexiglas (know more commonly as plastic) or acrylic. Depending on the use and function of the watch, different crystals are used, which will influence the value of your watch.
Plastic or acrylic watch designs are the most common, mostly because they are the least expensive. They are quite flexible and soft, making them the most likely to become easily scratched.
Mineral crystal is seen mostly on mid-range watches and this makes them more expensive than watches fitted with plastic or acrylic shields. They are more scratch-resistant but when mineral crystal is scratched or chipped, it can’t be repaired and needs to be replaced.
Sapphire crystal is the gold standard – it is renowned for its mix of luxury smoothness and hardwearing scratch resistance, making it a popular choice for our classic Swiss-made watches. Sapphire crystal is one of the strongest natural elements on earth and combined with our latest technology it gives you an extremely durable and long-lasting watch that will endure tough and severe conditions. It is a synthetically produced material second only to diamond in its hardness, making it extremely durable. It is typically grown in cylindrical sticks called boules. Although sapphire crystal watches are more expensive, it gives your watch much needed longevity and value.
(Diamond tester being used to check the authenticity and hardness of the Sapphire Crystal on Renzo Watches)
Many watches boast strength and durability but if you’re wearing a dress watch, then it makes the most sense to ensure that the shield is made of sapphire crystal as these are virtually scratch resistant. When we launched on Kickstarter, we did a live video where we demonstrated just how scratch proof our sapphire crystal is by drawing a knife over the face of the sapphire glass several times and the result was that it didn’t even leave a scratch.