Modding 101 – Everything You Should Know About Watch Crystals

Individuality in self-expression is so important for many people, and one of the best ways to achieve this is through everyday accessories. You can showcase your interests and demonstrate your unique personality through your choice of jewelry, eyewear, and of course, watches!

Humans have been wearing watches for hundreds of years, and its aesthetic evolution has progressed hand-in-hand with improved functionality. Today, watch enthusiasts are spoiled for choice when it comes to numerous design options. Crystal coverings alone come in seemingly endless shapes, sizes, and designs.

What Is a Watch Crystal?

When buying a watch, you need to consider the structural and aesthetic advantages of the product’s crystal. A watch’s crystal covering is the transparent material that covers its face. It protects the watch’s internal components from the elements and provides a high-end, polished look. Despite its name, this covering is not made from crystal. Watch manufacturers use different types of crystalline, glass-like material. 

Here are the three main types of watch crystals:

1. Sapphire Crystal

Sapphire crystal is currently the highest standard for watches because it is the hardest, most durable material. The first synthetic sapphire watch crystal was created by Auguste Verneuil, who was a French chemist. He heated aluminum oxide powder, applied intense pressure, and heated it again. This gave birth to a material that is processed into a sheet where watch crystals can be cut.

Sapphire watch crystals look so sleek and shiny, and with just one glance, you can tell that it is incredibly high-quality. It doesn’t scratch easily, so a watch with a sapphire crystal can last a lifetime. It doesn’t need much maintenance, either—it is naturally clear and shiny, and does not smudge at all.

Of course, this material comes with a hefty price tag. But if you are a watch enthusiast or you prefer to pay a premium for objects that will last longer than your own life, sapphire crystal is undoubtedly a worthy investment.

2. Acrylic Crystal

In direct contrast to sapphire crystal, acrylic is the most affordable material for a watch cover. This type of crystal is the oldest of them all, and it can be found in many vintage watches.

Acrylic crystal is made of Plexiglass, which is a lightweight, durable sheet of plastic. Plexiglass is shatter-resistant, and it is used in many household and industrial objects such as windows and kitchen appliances. In addition, acrylic crystal is easy to polish, and scratches can be buffed out quickly!

3. Mineral Crystal

Mineral crystal contains silica, and it is manufactured using tempered glass. It’s usually coated with an anti-glare coating to boost watch readability in harsh lighting. This means you will have no trouble reading your watch face even as you stand under direct sunlight. It’s a popular choice for watch glass since its low manufacturing costs produce a scratch-resistant material.

Due to its durability, any scratches can be easily polished or buffed away. However, small shards can chip off instead of shattering if enough force is applied to mineral crystals. This means a big enough impact can completely crack your watch.


Watches have always been considered a functional as well as an aesthetic accessory. Enthusiasts consider their unique watches to be an investment that reflects their personality and complements their lifestyle. If you want to create your own unique accessory, there are many available watch mod parts for you to buy!

SeikoMods carries the largest collection of Seiko mod parts in the United Kingdom. In the last few years, we have established a place for watch enthusiasts to get everything they need to create their dream mod. Check out our store for thousands of mod parts today!

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