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What Are The Jewels In A Watch For?

by Grace

A watch is one of the most important accessories for any person. A watch not only serves as a fashion statement and keeps us timely informed, but it also allows us to monitor our own biological rhythms.

To ensure a high level of accuracy and reliability in such timepieces, watchmakers have adopted jewels for specific uses within the movement, or “engine”, of the watch.

What Are Jewels?

Jewels are small, synthetic sapphires that have been cut into the shape of either a round or square cylinder. Jewel bearings are made from these sapphires. These jewel bearings are then placed in different parts of the watch where they will reduce wear and friction between metal parts.

What Is The Purpose Of Using Jewels In Watches?

According to The Watch Exchange London, the purpose of using jewels in watches is twofold: accuracy and durability. Jewels are used to reduce friction between moving parts inside the engine—typically gear-train pivots—and bear against surfaces that need to remain stationary inside the engine, such as bridges and plates.

This reduces wear on these parts over time while simultaneously providing improved accuracy due to less friction when running at higher speeds or when exposed to shocks, vibrations, or other environmental stresses which can cause inaccuracy or damage to the mechanism over time. 

Thanks to this reduction in friction between moving parts and an increase in the overall accuracy of the movement, watches equipped with jewels can provide years of reliable operation without the need for repair or maintenance.

Furthermore, thanks to their low coefficient of static friction (the amount of force required for mechanical motion), jewel bearings can help make certain components more efficient by allowing them to run faster and smoother than traditional materials such as brass or steel could provide on their own.

How Many Jewels Are Used In Watches?

The number of jewels used in watches varies greatly depending on their quality grade level as well as their design complexity; however, it is generally standard that mechanical watches contain at least 17 jewels while higher-end models may include up to 24 or even more jewels depending on the specific design being used by a given brand/model combination.

Many quartz movements use far fewer jewels but still benefit from jewel-bearing technology since it helps maintain consistent operation despite varied environmental conditions and shocks which can result from everyday activities like walking up stairs or jogging.

How Many Jewels are Typically Found in a Mechanical Watch Movement?

The number of jewels found in a mechanical watch movement can range from 15 to 31, depending on the complexity and function of the watch. Generally, higher end watches will have more jewels than lower end models. The purpose of the jewels is to reduce friction between all the moving parts in order to improve accuracy and longevity of the timepiece.

Each jewel has an important role for its respective wheel or bearing by acting as a pivot point that reduces wear and tear caused by rubbing parts. Therefore, having more jewels tends to increase the accuracy and durability of your watch over time. In some cases, jeweled bearings may be filled with oil-filled capillaries which help maintain lubrication for enhanced precision performance.


In conclusion, jewelry plays an important role in watches because it reduces wear on key components while improving their overall accuracy and efficiency at higher speeds or under duress environments like shock resistance; more expensive models typically contain more jewels whilst cheaper models will only have around 17 jewels situated throughout their internal mechanisms for lubrication purposes alone.

However, no matter what type of watch you own it is still beneficial to maintain them regularly with good care so they continue running accurately over time!

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