Watch jewels are critical parts that a mechanically timepiece. In fact, significant watch collectors inspect how many jewels a motion has before making a purchase. However, there are some who just don’t pay fist to this detail. Either way, clock jewels space indispensable, especially for mechanical movements. However what purpose do they yes, really serve? execute these parts necessarily change the value of a timepiece? review on to uncover out.

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What room watch jewels?

Watch jewels, jewel bearings, or simply jewels have the right to be found within a watch’s movement. They’re explained as tiny synthetic ruby or sapphire pieces set into the feet of the movement.

We all recognize mechanical watches perform not need batteries to function. Instead, they use a spring-wound system to run. The duty of the clock jewels is to help this process. A movement is a complicated assemblage the various small parts such as gears and springs. These parts assist the movement move, rotate, and, in ~ the end of the process, assist the hands of the clock tick. Most of the high-end, self-winding, and hand-wound city hall in the market, then and also now, have bearings made out of jewels. Thus, the jewel bearings. Since these bearings are made of priceless stones, your smoothness aids in maintaining friction from acquiring in the method of power production that a movement. Every bearing provides the gears revolve smoothly.

Back in the day, clock jewels room made the actual priceless gems such together a ruby. Prior to that, manufacturers work the aid of quartz, glass, or garnet in the process. So, yes, historically watch jewels are, indeed, made of precious stones! However, as time and modern technology allowed, a couple of innovations managed to reduced down a lot of of costs for activity manufacturers. A lot of manufactures recently adopted the use of fabricated rubies and sapphires, lab-created not only for a more convenient and cost-efficient source but likewise for an ext ethical reasons as well.

These jewels — man-made or not — provide the same function. They every act together bearings to do the watch move an ext efficiently and also keep it from wearing down easily. Jewels permit metal materials to rotate openly for a much more accurate and also durable movement. In short, the jewels help make the movement last longer than it had ever been before.

What room the types of clock jewels?

You’d think that jewels are one-type-fits-all. However, they deserve to be more facility than that. Bearings have 4 different types that deserve to be discovered in contemporary movements: cap, hole, pallet, and roller jewels.

Hole Jewels


Pierced jewels, likewise popularly known as hole jewels, can conveniently be spotted due to the hole right in it. This hole is inserted strategically to allow mounting ideal on the wheel’s axle or pivots, whether cylindrical or conical. Most of the time, feet jewels have actually a contempt rounded top side, when its bottom part is flat. If paired through a cap jewel (or capstones), they make up a collection referred to together a pivot bearing. Together, they do the axle spin. ~ above the various other hand, when inserted on the balance staff, they make an anti-shock part, organized in location by springs because that optimal shock absorption.

Cap Jewels


Cap jewels, also known as end stones or capstones, work just as the others do. However, they need a 2nd or external jewel that sits at the pointer of the gear shaft. This results in a few functional effects. Firstly, it guarantee lubrication because that fast-moving components like the balance wheel. This is done by forming a small oil reservoir between the two jewels. This form of bearing also keeps the shoulders of the arbour native rubbing against the jewels. This is made possible through the conical shape of the shaft as result of the jewel’s formation. If the shoulders that the arbour rubbed versus the jewels, it can greatly influence the accuracy of the watch. Moreover, capstones likewise keep the arbour from relocating unnecessarily up and down during rotation.

Pallet Jewels


As its surname suggests, the pallet jewels have actually a pretty simple function. They can be explained as rectangle-shaped jewels. Pallet jewels can likewise be found at the finish of every of the eight of a pallet fork.

Roller Jewels


Now, to attach the to escape wheel and also the pallets in a watch’s movement, a roller wheel comes into the scene. That serves as a conjunction point between the two. Roller jewels usually have actually a caved upper side when its reduced side is flat. They room usually found inside the pallet fork that a movement.

How numerous jewels carry out watches have?

There’s no specific answer for this. However, most watch movements have 17 jewels. At the point, a clock can currently be considered totally jewelled. Yet as a dominance of thumb, the more complications a movement has, the an ext jewels it have to have. A motion with 17 jewels has actually the following consumption in various areas of a movement:

One impulse jewel is discovered in the balance wheel, right where the escapement level access time the assembly.Two hole jewel and also two lid jewels — a total of 2 pairs — role as pivot bearings for the staff pivot, offering it a full of 4 jewels.One hole jewel and one cap jewel kind as a pivot bearing on the centre wheel, a full of 2 jewels.Two pallet jewels deserve to be uncovered on the escape level pallet.One hole jewel and also one cap jewel function as a pivot bearing in ~ the escape level because that a full of two jewels.A hole jewel and one cap jewel likewise work as a pivot bearing on the escape wheel because that a full of two jewels.One feet jewel and one cap jewel at the third wheel work collectively as a pivot bearing, offering it a complete of two jewels.At the fourth wheel, one hole jewel and also one cap jewel form as a pivot bearing, a full of two jewels.

Other clock movements have actually 21 jewels, and they don’t differ lot from the settings of a 17-jewel movement. Having actually 21 jewels just usually way that it has more cap jewels or capstones to store the jewels indigenous moving and for a more efficient function. Extra capstones can usually be checked out on high-quality timepieces.

Do an ext watch jewels mean much better movement?

There are two political parties to this. Before anything else, we must keep in mind that watch jewels aren’t just accessories. In spite of what they’re called, jewels serve actual functions, just as any component of a watch does. One must remember their previously mentioned function, and also that is to minimise the friction in between the mechanical parts of a watch. This, in turn, protects the movement’s components and helps it critical longer, maintaining it from gaining worn out easily.

And together you know, much more complications mean much more parts. Therefore, it just makes sense that that has an ext jewels. By complex watches, we average watches such as a perpetual calendar watch, a tourbillon, or a chronograph. There are other features that do a watch complicated such as dual time or GMT, or even power make reservation indicators, and also moon phases. Surname an extra feature on a watch and it will fall into the category. We’ve watched a most watches that have actually multiple symptom in them such together a perpetual calendar through a moon step included. These nothing just function as usual v 17 or so jewels. The more facility a clock gets, the more jewels it requires for more lubrication and less friction once moving.

Complicated watches nothing only autumn on deluxe or high-end watch brands such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, or Omega. A many them can likewise be discovered in mid-tier and also even entry-level watches. Therefore, the number of jewels doesn’t necessarily suggest that its activity is a lot better than the others. If anything, the variety of watch jewels in a motion only mirrors how complex or inherently engineered a mechanical activity is. In part cases, an ext jewels likewise mean thinner movements, therefore, thinner watches. So, if you ask us, the answer is no.

The Watch v 242 Jewels

Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260 motion / picture from Vacheron Constantin

Not to mention, jewels in a clock doesn’t always go by two digits. So, it wouldn’t be basic to keep track that its jewels every solitary time. In fact, the world most complex watch has 242 jewels in the movement. That the Ref. 57260 from Vacheron Constantin, v a chuck 57 complications. Having 2,800 components, it just makes feeling that its jewels likewise exceed in number.

To tell friend how complex this watch is, this is a fast rundown the its functions. It has actually 6 functions for time, 7 perpetual calendar functions, 8 Hebrew calendar functions, 9 astronomical calendar functions, a lunar calendar, a religious calendar, 4 chronograph features with 3 pillar wheels because that each, 7 alarms, and also 8 Westminster carillon highlight function. It likewise has a power reserve indicator, a power reserve indicator because that the to mark train, a crown position indicator to easily verify the setting it is on, dual-barrel winding, a time setup that allows two positions and directions function, and also a an enig mechanism come wind the to mark train. In ~ $5 million, the sure seems aptly priced.

Do jewels determine a watch’s value?

And now, to the most vital questions: perform jewels actually determine a watch’s value? The quickest price is no and it rests on miscellaneous factors. Amongst those incorporate the fact that the jewels in a watch room actually fabricated gems. They’re not organic rubies or sapphires the would cost a lot more especially if offered for good jewellery like a necklace, bracelet, or also to crust a timepiece. So, no, much more jewels don’t average your clock is an ext expensive, however they surely aid in make the movement more reliable.

Do quartz movements have actually jewels?

While quartz movements likewise have relocating parts similar to mechanically watches, it’s precious noting that not all quartz motions use clock jewels.

Examples that Jewels in Watches

To additional give friend an idea around watch jewels, let’s take a closer look at motions from assorted manufacturers — from ETA come Miyota.

ETA Calibre 2824-2

Photo native ETA

The ETA Calibre 2824-2 proves come be among the most famous movements in the industry. It entered production in 1982 and also remains in the market since. The calibre is mostly based upon the original Eterna calibre 1427 with the suffix “-2” indicating the generation the the movement. This chronometer movement has actually 17, 21, or 25 jewels. Branded activities such as the Glycine Calibre GL224 are based on this movement and have 25 jewels. Meanwhile, the Frederique continuous Calibre FC-303 — likewise based on the ETA Calibre 2824-2 — has actually 26 jewels. ~ above the various other hand, the Ball watch Calibre 2050 has actually a whopping 49 jewels!

Miyota Calibre 9015

Photo native Miyota

As a workhorse movement, the Calibre 9015 from Miyota has actually proven chin a an effective movement. V 24 jewels, this automatic movement came directly from Japan, introduced in 2009. A lot of microbrands such as Zelos Helmsman and also Marc & Sons usage this movement since it’s simple to obtain and also features a an excellent hacking function.

Rolex Calibre 4130

Photo indigenous Rolex

Released in 2000, the Rolex Calibre 4130 has actually 201 total parts. Through that, it has 44 jewels come ensure the smooth function. This movement powers the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona that offered to work-related with a janice chronograph movement. Amongst its functions encompass a chronograph, as well as a tachymetric bezel. It’s likewise a certified chronometer through COSC.

Final Thoughts

Watch jewels deserve to be a facility topic in itself. Most of their value rests top top the functions and aide they carry out the movement. However, it have the right to be basic to grasp just how jewels are essential to some collectors. They certainly insure that a timepiece functions perfectly smooth and even preservation its lifespan as necessary. While much more jewels don’t necessarily indicate a watch’s value, they surely save a complicated movement in perfect shape. And the an ext stable your activity is, the much more accurate it can be. Us can’t blame specific collectors for keeping an eye out on how countless jewels a details timepiece has. Yet it have to be maintained in mind the these are not yes, really rubies and also sapphires on her movement. They room synthetic, therefore be careful when approaching the jewel territory. Nothing be fooled by the fact that details timepieces have an ext jewels than the other.

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At the finish of the day, what you need to look for in a watch should constantly be accuracy and also function. If her timepiece is extremely accurate (COSC-certified even), climate you’d fully ignore the number of jewels the has. Moreover, if it gives you v the right features for her needs, then the number of jewels shouldn’t also matter.

Want to learn much more about high-quality watches? inspect out our overview on COSC and also chronometer certification!