Jun 02 2011

What do the jewels do in a watch movement?

Category: Watches & Jewelry


Watch JewelsMost mechanical watch movements are created using gears and other metal components that allow it to move and keep accurate time. With so many tightly packed moving pieces, there is bound to be friction. This is where watch jewels come into play. Watch jewels (also called jewel bearings) are added to specific areas of the watch movement to prevent wear and reduce friction. They are essentially gemstones, artificially created in a lab, that give most modern watches the ability to keep precise time. Watchmakers utilize these types of jewels because they are very small, hard, and durable and allow the watch movement to operate without lubrication. The most popular jewels used in today’s watch movements include: sapphires, rubies, and sometimes diamonds. The number of watch jewels needed for a specific movement will vary, but in many cases, the more jewels that are used, the better and more precise the watch movement. A “fully jeweled” watch movement will typically hold at least 17 jewels.

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One Response to “What do the jewels do in a watch movement?”

  1. Sharon Bender says:

    Hello, I have a vintage Hilton watch face in poor condition & with no glass cover. It does state on the face “63 Jewels”. Does this mean it could be rarer & how old might it be? It also has a number on the back 614.7. Does this help date it?
    Thanks for your help,

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