What Are Watch Jewels?

Many famous watch brands will point out that their watch movements are made with a number of “jewels,” anywhere from 17 to 27 (or even more). That sounds impressive, but have you ever wondered why they are there in the first place? Any why you can’t usually see them like you can gemstones that decorate the exterior of the watch?

The short answer is that they are a functional part of the watch movement, rather than a decoration. To delve into a bit more detail, read the following article. To find the best place for watch repair in San Diego, look no further than Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers.

Where Are All These Jewels?

As mentioned before, these jewels aren’t a decoration, so they can’t be seen on the dial of the watch. They are embedded into the mechanism itself. Some high-end watches have a transparent dial or case back so that the mechanism can be observed. In these kinds of watches, the movement’s jewels can be seen. In most cases, the bearings are made of gemstones, but it is quite common that other parts of the watch mechanism are crafted from gems as well.

Why Are They There?

In any mechanism, metal parts interact with each other to create friction. Depending on the material, over time this friction causes wear and eventually, breakage. In order to prevent this from happening, or at least to prolong the durability of the parts, watchmakers needed to design the meeting points of these parts out of something harder than the metal they are made of. Since certain gemstones are very hard, they were selected for the task. Their relative hardness also means that they are more resistant to heat and other external factors, adding to the accuracy of the watches themselves.

Close-up of inner watch jewels.
Inner movement, gears, and jewels of fine watch.

Which Gems Are Used?

The Mohs scale of mineral hardness indicates the relative hardness of various minerals/gemstones. Only gemstones with the hardness of 9+ on the scale are acceptable for use in watch mechanisms since they are harder and more durable than the metal parts. The gemstones that fit that bill are diamond and corundum (ruby and sapphire). Initially, in the early 18th century, natural gemstones were used. Nowadays, though, synthetic gemstones are commonly used, chiefly synthetic sapphire or rubies, and they are mass-produced specifically for the watch industry.

Why Does the Number of Jewels Vary?

Different types of watches require a different number of jewels. Typically, the simplest jeweled watch requires 17 jewels. As more complicated functions and parts are added, more jewels are needed, up to 27. In the early days, it was relatively complicated to shape the gemstones and fit them into the small and intricate watch mechanisms, so as few jewels as necessary were used to prolong the life of the movement.

And as the watches got more complicated, they required more gemstones to cushion the additional moving parts. This gave rise to the commonly held belief that more jewels meant a better watch. In response, some watch companies started adding jewels where no jewels were needed, just to increase the jewel count, and watch movements set with as many as 100 jewels were created.

Apart from high-end watches, many other sensitive measuring devices require jeweled bearings, as their resistance to heat, corrosion, and low friction is invaluable for the accuracy of measurement. Such devices include galvanometers, compasses, and gyroscopes.

San Diego Watch Repair

In our modern society, a jeweled watch can be a status symbol rather than a necessary tool. The right watch can speak louder than words about the style and status of the wearer. And even though jeweled watches are much more durable, they aren’t impervious to breakdowns. Fine automatic watches should be serviced every 3 to 5 years to avoid unnecessary wear and loss of accuracy.

If you are looking for watch repair in the San Diego area, look no further than Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers. The Master Watchmaker of Leo Hamel’s repair shop has over 35 years of experience repairing fine watches. You can be sure that your bejeweled timepiece is in safe hands.

How Long is a Rolex Made to Last?

To say that Rolex watches are not exactly cheap is an understatement. If you do decide to invest in a luxury timepiece, you probably want to know how long it will last.

While they’re definitely made to last, they still need some attention to stay in perfect shape over the years. If you already own one and need to have it serviced or want to know where to repair Rolex watches in San Diego, we have your answer!

With assistance from the knowledgeable in-house watchmakers at Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers, your Rolex watch is certain to last a lifetime. Visit us today!

How Long Will a Rolex Last?

When you think of Rolex, you think of superior quality and impressive durability. While such a reputation is surely a good thing for a brand, it sets the bar high and inevitably begs the question: do Rolex watches live up to their name?

One thing is certain, Rolex has been consistent in producing top-quality timepieces that keep their luster over long time periods. What’s more, the brand continues to perfect and improve their watches year after year, making sure they still look as pristine in half a century as they do immediately after production.

If you own or want to invest in a Rolex, you probably want to know how long it should last. Thanks to the master craftsmanship and exquisite attention to detail that Rolex is known for, it’s safe to say that your timepiece is likely to stay in good shape for generations with proper care and maintenance.

This is evident in the fact that vintage Rolex watches are a watch collector’s favorite. Vintage models like the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner that are still in perfect working condition are quite common. Their appearance may show signs of aging, but with proper service from experienced watchmakers, they’ll look as good as new.

Rolex displayed in Rolex box with card.

Does Rolex Have A Lifetime Warranty?

While we’ve established that Rolex watches are highly durable, they don’t come with a lifetime warranty. Instead, all watches are covered by an international warranty for a period of 5 years after purchase. The warranty excludes:

  • Wear-and-tear (straps and non-metal bracelets)
  • Cases of theft and loss
  • Damage caused by misuse
  • Adding or substituting components with non-original parts
  • Repair or service done by a third-party

Some people may be disappointed with the duration of the Rolex warranty. However, it demonstrates just how confident the brand is in the quality of its products. In many cases, a Rolex timepiece can last a lifetime, especially if it’s serviced regularly. Rolex recommends service every 10 years, but every 5 to 7 years is good for ensuring optimal performance.

Where to Repair Rolex Watches in San Diego?

Rolex watches are undeniably high-quality and durable, but should still be regularly checked. Regular service and maintenance are a must if you want to make sure your watch is always in perfect condition. In the unlikely but not impossible scenario of your Rolex breaking down, you should have seasoned professionals who can fix the issue efficiently and expertly at your beck and call.

Fortunately, you won’t have to search for the finest experts in your area for too long. Simply visit Leo Hamel Fine Jewelers on your way to Downtown San Diego. Our factory-trained technicians can repair your watch with unmatched skill and expertise. What’s more, they can tell you everything you may want to know about Rolex timepieces, whether you want to know how to spot a counterfeit Rolex or need advice for cleaning your watch. Stop by our store today!