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The crystal on a watch is the transparent cover that provides protection for the watch face. Most watches are constructed with one of three materials used for the crystal. These materials are plexiglass, mineral glass, and synthetic sapphire. Each material has distinct advantages and disadvantages. Some manufacturers, such as Seiko, have even created hybrid watch crystals that combine mineral glass and synthetic sapphire. In addition to the material used to create a watch crystal, manufacturers may improve the crystal using an anti-reflective or anti-glare coating on one or both sides of the crystal.
Plexiglass watch crystals are the least expensive to manufacture. Of the three primary crystal materials, plexiglass is the least likely to shatter but is also the easiest to scratch. Plexiglass crystals are most commonly found on low cost watches.
Mineral glass watch crystals are generally made from ordinary window glass. Frequently, mineral glass is hardened to improve scratch resistance. This crystal material is a great compromise between cost and durability. Mineral crystal is less likely to shatter but does not provide the same scratch resistance of synthetic sapphire. Mineral glass crystals are generally found on mid-market watches.
Sapphire, both synthetic and natural, is one of the hardest substances on the planet. Sapphire is rated 9 out of 10 on the Mohs scale (diamond is rated 10 on the Mohs scale). The only notable downside to sapphire, outside of cost, is the brittle nature of the material. Due to the high degree of hardness, sapphire watch crystals are more likely to shatter than those made of another material. Synthetic sapphire watch crystals are most common with high-end watches.
When shopping for a new watch, pay attention to the material used for the watch crystal. In the opinion of this author, don’t hesitate to buy a watch with a hardened mineral crystal as it generally provides excellent protection at a modest cost. Of course, when money is no object, synthetic sapphire offers the best solution.
|25721BA.0.1000BA.01||Royal Oak Offshore, automatic-chrongraph, hours, minutes, date, small second at 12 o'clock. Antimagnetic. 18 ct gold. 100 m waterproof|
|707||Cosmonaute. Mechanical Chronograph. Steel case. Black dial. Silver subdials. Leather strap, tang-type buckle.|
|856||Quartz Chronograph with distress transmitter. Titanium case. Yellow dial. Professional bracelet in titanium||usd 2800|
|3750||Da Vinci Chronograph in steel. Black mat croco strap.||usd 7750|
|169622||Oyster Perpetual Date, Yachtmaster Rolesium/Steel/Platinum, 3 sizes available small, medium, big. the one on the picture is medium size||usd 6300 mid size|
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