I have had the luxury of discussing timepieces with beginners to aficionado’s, so as you can imagine I have heard many reasons why people are buy timepieces. Some people buy luxury watches for the look some for the history. In this blog I will cover the what is a bezel and many different bezels for those interested in the knowledge.
A bezel is ring with a projecting lip or flange that holds the watch crystal, its purpose is to hold the crystal so it may protect the dial of the watch. Some luxury brands such as Rolex and Breitling, use the bezel for additional purposes.
Sport watches usually have a rotating bezel which is either unidirectional or bidirectional. The unidirectional rotates in one direction (counterclockwise) and is commonly used for diving watches. On diving watches the bezel is a gauge for underwater pressure and air time left in the divers tank. Most diving watches are unidirectional because in the event a diver accidentally hits his/her watch on something, such as coral, they will only lose air minutes and not gain minutes. When many feet deep into the ocean, it is better to think you have less air than it is to be under the false notion that you have more. You dont want to wind up sleeping with the fishes (and Luca Brasi). The bezel is numbered 0-60 with an arrow marker at the 0.
How To Use The Divers Bezel:
1. Turn the arrow to the current position of the minute hand.
2. The numbers on the bezel are used to indicate the time elapsed from the point of the arrow. So as the minute hand moves you simply use the position of the arrow to figure how many minutes have gone by.
3. Position the arrow on the bezel.
Some popular luxury diver watches:
Rolex Submariner, Rolex Sea-Dweller, Breitling Superocean, Breitling Avenger Seawolf, Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, Omega Seamaster, Panerai Radiomir, IWC Aquatimer, and TAG Heuer Aquaracer.
GMT watches such as the Rolex GMT (I am a big fan of the Pepsi dial) is a bezel that allows the wearer to tell time in two, and in some cases more, timezones simultaneously. Many pilots use this to track where they are relative to their previous and current timezone. Rolex made the first GMT watch in the 1950′s for the old airline giant Pan American Airways to help their pilots per PanAm’s request. GMT watches have a second, minute, hour, and GMT hand on the dial. The GMT hand rotates around once every 24 hours which allows the wearer to determine if it is AM or PM.
How To Use The GMT Bezel:
1. Turn the bezel to match the GMT hand at your current time. The GMT hand represents your home time.
2. When the timezone is crossed set your hour hand to the new locations current time. The minute hand will remain the same because only the hour changes between the timezones.
Some popular luxury GMT watches:
Rolex GMT, Rolex GMT II, Breitling Colt GMT, Breitling Bentley GMT, Blancpain Trilogy GMT, IWC Portuguese, and Chopard Mille Miglia.
Tachymeter bezels are used to track speed (how long did it take to go from point A to point B, and how fast were you going) by using distance. They are used a lot for racing. the tachymeter projects units per hour so it can be used for MPH or Kilometers per hour. The tachymeter scale is normally printed to start at round 7.2 seconds to 60 seconds, so it can only measure speeds greater than 60 MPH.
How To Use The Tachymeter Bezel:
1. At the starting mile indicator start the chronograph.
2. When the next mile is reached then stop the chronograph.
3. The number corresponding to where the chronograph hand has stopped is the speed in which you, or your object, was traveling.
Some popular luxury Tachymeter watches:
Rolex Daytona, Breitling Chronomat, Omega Speedmaster, IWC Big Ingenieur Chronograph, TAG Heuer Monaco, and TAG Heuer Carrera.
What is your favorite function of a bezel?