Types of Watch Jewels and Their Functions in a Watch

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If you are a watch enthusiast, you probably know about the value of watch jewels. In case you are a beginner, the terminology may bother you a bit. But this is an aspect of watches that you must know about before you visit the best online watch store. Educating yourself about the watch jewels will help you in many ways.

Watch jewels can be found in both mechanical and quartz timepieces depending on their movement and prices. Luxury watches with mechanical movements, such as the best Seiko watches have more gems than quartz timepieces.

Watch jewels and their functions

Watch jewels are synthetically made pieces that are used to embellish timepieces. They aren’t real gems, but they do add value because engineering these pieces is a costly process. The major function of these jewels is to lessen the friction between different watch gears. The secondary purpose of the gems is to offer premium look to timepieces.

Since these synthetic jewels reduce friction, the more gems a watch has, the better it will perform. That’s why watches with jewels are normally expensive and you have to pay extra for the added gems.

Forms of jewels in a watch

There are a number of gems that can be used in timepieces. However, we have divided them into four types to make things easier for beginners.

  1. Holed gems

These are actually synthetic ruby gems that are produced with specific size holes. In short, these are dount like gems with a hole in the middle. Such gems are manufactured according to the gear sizes and then gears’ pivots are placed inside the openings.

  1. Pallet gems

These watch gems have pallet fork lever shape and work in pairs. Normally, you’ll see them attached to the escape wheel of your watch as a pair. Such a pallet pair transfers the impulses or pressure to the balance inside the watch.

  1. Cap gems

These are disk shape flat gems that work with hands joined with the holed gems. Usually, cap gems are positioned alongside the pivots that are attached to holed gems to prevent sideways movement. Mainly, these gems cap the pivots and have shock resistance qualities to protect the gear in case you drop the watch.

  1. Impulse gems

These gems also have holes, but they are shaped like the letter ‘D” and support pallet gems. They help the pallet jewels to transfer impulses to ensure smooth timekeeping performance.

Types of gems in a watch

Back in the day, watchmakers used real gems in timepieces to improve their performance. However, this is not possible today due to their higher prices in the market. Instead, watchmakers are using artificial gems and the most commonly used synthetic gems are emerald, sapphire and ruby. Here’s a short introduction to these synthetic jewels and for what purpose they are put inside timepieces. 

  1. Ruby

When it comes to watch gems, ruby takes the crown proudly. They gave the strength and offer rich colour which prettifies the timepieces.

  1. Sapphire

Although Ruby is a much-appreciated gem, sapphire has its own uniqueness. It is equally important to ruby, but most brands now prefer to use red stones.

  1. Emerald

Emerald is another precious gem that is often used in luxury timepieces. However, it doesn’t perform well as compared to the other two gems: ruby and sapphire. This is why you would only see it on a luxury brand watch, as emerald has become a symbol of status.


We hope this short article has satisfied your needs of knowledge about watch gems. There are various types and forms of watch jewels and each has its own distinctive purpose. So, the next time you go into a retail store or visit an online watch shop, don’t forget to notice its jewels.