The 3 Most Popular Watch Bezel Types

Watch Bezel


by Adrian Herscovici  

Interval meters, dive and GMT: The most popular types of watch bezels

One watch component that is referenced regularly is the bezel – a rim attached to the case and surrounding the dial that usually serves the purpose of holding the watch crystal in place.

Audemars Piguet Royal OakAt its simplest, the bezel is an unadorned ring, usually made from the same material as the watch case. Other bezels are decorated with inset gems or ornamental stones. Some even achieve iconic status because of their unmistakable shape and brilliant design – just look at the Royal Oak and others designed by the inimitable Gerald Genta.

Given the conspicuous position of the bezel on the front side of the watch, it also provides a convenient area to assign other useful tasks.

Interval Meters

A bezel is a great place to put markings for a chronograph interval meter. The most common of these is a tachymeter, which is typically used to calculate speed over a distance. The Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chronograph employs a tachymeter on the bezel. Other variations of interval meters include telemetric (to measure the speed of sound) and pulsimetric (to measure a pulse). A more thorough explanation of all three is here.

A rarer bezel in this category is the aviation-themed “slide rule” or “calculator rule.” Ferragamo features one on these on the Ferragamo F-80 Pilot. The bezel works in conjunction with the flange and interior markings for use as a pilot’s tool to calculate various operations including speed and fuel consumption. Learn about how to use one here.

Dive Watch Bezels

The most recognizable bezel of all is the dive bezel. The look is so popular that some brands incorporate it into watches as a non-functional design element. A dive bezel has a 60-minute scale, usually with large markers at the five-minute increments and smaller markers at the one-minute increments (at least between 15 and zero). The zero position is usually marked by an arrow and a luminous dot. The Fortis B-42 Marinemaster Chronograph employs a dive bezel of this description.

Originally designed to monitor elapsed time underwater, dive bezels can also be used in more practical scenarios like monitoring how much time is left in a parking meter or when to flip a steak on the barbecue. When used in scuba diving, the countdown measurement is a matter of life and death since divers use it to track how much oxygen remains in their tank*. A genuine dive bezel is unidirectional, i.e., it rotates in one direction only (counterclockwise) so if it moves, it will signify less air in the tank, meaning the worst case scenario is the diver surfaces with leftover oxygen. If it were to move in the opposite direction, the diver might think he or she has more time than oxygen remaining in the tank.

*Note: Most divers now rely on a dive computer rather than a dive bezel.

GMT and World Time Bezels

Another familiar bezel is the bidirectional GMT, usually with 24-hour markings. The bezel can be used in a few ways: one, to track a second time zone in conjunction with a dedicated GMT hand; to establish whether it is daytime or nighttime in that corresponding time zone; or to follow a third time zone altogether. A GMT watch is a favorite among pilots who regularly travel between time zones. For a detailed explanation visit this web page.

A variation of the GMT bezel is the world-time bezel, which displays the names of world cities. To use it, set the local time on the watch and turn the bezel to match the current city name with the local time using the 24-hour track – the times in all of the other cities now appear concurrently on the 24-hour track. The Fortis B-47 World Timer GMT has a world-time bezel (the watch also displays a second time zone by way of a rotating middle disk).

Other types of bezels will surely emerge as watch design evolves. The new RM 60-01 by Richard Mille, for example, has a rotating bezel with a compass. But whether you prefer the simplicity of a watch with nothing more than a traditional unadorned bezel, or something bejeweled in colorful stones, or a purpose-built dive bezel, the abundant options are part of what makes watch collecting so enjoyable.

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group, watchmaker and wholesale watch distributor, is the exclusive U.S. agent for exquisitely designed and crafted European luxury and fashion watch brands, distributing and servicing some of the best affordable luxury and Swiss watches and trendy fashion watches. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair, staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

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Participants Declare First Watch Fair on Facebook an Unqualified Success


by John Sealander

Gevril Group on FacebookFrom September 6-9, 2011, the world’s first International Watch Fair on Facebook took place on the top social network’s website. Participants agreed that this new virtual trade show was an unqualified success. Like any good trade show, the 4-Day International Watch Fair on Facebook provided a forum for buyers, sellers and media representatives to see and evaluate the latest developments in the watch industry.

Hundreds of Industry Leaders Attend

Boris Pjanic's Favorite WatchwinderHundreds of industry leaders attended the Watch Fair. Major luxury and fashion brands like Gevril, Edox, Fortis, Valentino, Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Police, Offshore Limited and others showed off their latest timepiece collections.

Race car driver Josh Hurley paid a visit to show off his favorite Volkswagen Design Fortis Spaceleader watch.

Major collector Boris Pjanic showcased items from his collection, including his favorite watchwinder (shown to the right).

Something for Everybody

Artauro WatchThere was something for everybody at the 4-Day International Watch Fair. Erika Lovisotto Vismara from Valentino used the event to conduct an impromptu survey. Many people commented that the Watch Fair introduced them to some exciting new brands for the very first time. Fred Bekher from Bekher Design showed off a new prototype. Recently relaunched Ingersoll Watches showed off some exciting new mechanical designs.

Newcomer, Artauro, from Spain, introduced a watch with a face made of natural bull horn (shown to the right).

The 4-day event was covered in three languages by Europa Star, the world’s leading online authority for international watch industry news and information.

Great Way for a Brand to Gain Exposure

According to event organizer, Larry Brauner, Social Media Director for the Gevril Group, an online event like this is no substitute for Baselworld, but it could very easily be the next best thing. The fair was completely free to all participants and provided a great way for any watch brand to gain international exposure with a special discussion area where participants could introduce themselves and ask questions. Since the event was held on Facebook, it was easy to upload high quality photos and add links back to company websites.

With the successful conclusion of the first International Watch Fair on Facebook, plans are already underway for an even bigger watch fair next year. According to Larry Brauner, he is using feedback from this year’s participants to design an even better user experience for future online watch fairs. In a tough economy, a virtual trade show like the 4-Day International Watch Fair on Facebook could be one of the most effective ways to reach customers and buyers yet.

Some Timepieces from the Fair

 

 

About Gevril Group

Gevril GroupGevril Group, watchmaker and wholesale watch distributor, is the exclusive U.S. agent for exquisitely designed and crafted European luxury and fashion watch brands, distributing and servicing some of the best affordable luxury and Swiss watches and trendy fashion watches. Gevril Group also operates a full-service watch repair, staffed by master Swiss watchmakers. Contact Gevril Group by email or by calling 845-425-9882.

Join the conversation! Follow Gevril Group on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Please subscribe to the Gevril Group newsletter and blog.