Basically, a watch bezel is just the outer rim of the glass dial to protect it from scratches and to keep it in place, but long gone are the days when a wrist watch was only used to keep track of time. This is the era where multifunctional bezel watches are created, giving control over things that otherwise would have required different machines.
The world’s first modern diving watch was made by the Blancpain’s iconic Fifty Fathoms in 1953. A book named ‘Fifty Fathoms, The Dive and Watch History 1953-2013’ has been written on the stories of 24 adventures that helped in the exploration of the oceans of the world, which could be done with the help of their diving watches.
There was a period when time was calculated with the position of the Sun and the Moon. And there is this period now, where a watch is worn not just to see time, but to measure speed, pulse, fuel consumption, and time from all over the world simultaneously on your wrist, and nothing seems impossible. Another feather added to technology, scientists have created these mechanisms for the ease of use, summing it all up in a tiny wrist watch! It reduces the need to carry more equipment and the cost of machinery.
Some of the most popular types of bezel watches that are the inventions of excellent minds are given below.
Different Types and Functions of a Watch Bezel
Decorative Bezel Watches
✦ Decorative bezels can be anything from diamond-studded to beautiful metallic designs. These bezels do not serve any purpose other than its original, of protecting the screen of the watch. With different sizes and shapes, they set apart each watch from the other.
Chronograph Interval Meter Bezel Watches
There are four of its types, namely tachymeter, telemeter, pulsimeter, and aviation based ‘slide rule’ or ‘calculator rule.’
✦ A tachymeter is used to calculate speed over a distance.
✦ A telemeter is used to measure the speed of sound.
✦ A pulsimeter is used to measure the pulse.
✦ A ‘slide rule’ or ‘calculator rule’ is used by a pilot to measure the speed and consumption of fuel of the aircraft.
Dive Watch Bezels
✦ These watches were designed to give the accurate timing of the oxygen left in a scuba diver’s tank, as it’s a matter of life and death. In this way, when the bezel moved in the counterclockwise direction (these bezels were made unidirectional, so as to not confuse the divers), the divers would know that the oxygen is depleting and it’s time for them to surface the water.
✦ It can also be used for daily work purposes that would require timing. The watch bezel has a 60-minute scale comprising long markers at every 5-minute intervals, short ones at a 1-minute interval, and an inverted triangle with a luminous spot is placed at the ‘0’ marking.
GMT and World Time Bezels
✦ These watches can show you the time of different zones.
✦ The watch bezel has a 24-hour scale, and its rotation is bidirectional.
✦ There are ways to set the bezel, which can show you the day and night times, and is most commonly used by pilots who keep traveling through different time zones. If you set your bezel to the current time of your location, it will give you the corresponding time of all the cities of the world in the 24-hour track. There are also watches with rotating bezel and a compass.