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Rotating watch bezels are more than just a novelty item found on a watch. While you might see these on dive timepieces, other models utilize these functional bezels similarly. Perhaps you’ve seen your dad’s watch have one growing up or have seen it in movies; either way, the rotating bezel goes way back and has a history of being an essential tool in the world of horology.
You might be aware that divers use these to tell time while underwater since bringing other devices and tools might be impractical. While it looks like it is something that should be lost to time, the rotating bezel still proves to be useful, as analog objects can even be more reliable than digital sometimes.
The History of the Rotating Watch Bezel
Around the 1650s, watch technology had evolved significantly, which meant that different variants started to surface. The dive watch needed to tell deep-sea divers how much time they had left underwater. This requirement meant something had to indicate this one hour of oxygen they had without disrupting the settings. Rotating bezels had already been a part of the horological engineering culture since the 1930s, and engineers felt it was the best choice for the then-modern watches. Rolex had the bezel on their Zero-graph, which then bled into the rest of the dive watch and pilot timepiece lines.
Eventually, this technology became part of ISO 6425, the international standard for a watch to be dive-capable. The technology also found use by Longines for their pilot watches, as the GMT function was beneficial for pilots crossing timezones. Longines had their bezel internally placed and rotated by an extra knob beside the crown. They then ventured into the dive watch world in the 1960s and developed another internally rotating watch bezel.
Seiko had their own versions of the rotating bezel, and what set them apart is their mod capabilities that eventually became prominent in recent years. Their whole line of dive watches combines form with functionality, developed by decades of research and testing from the century-old company.
Seiko SKX007 Rotating Bezels
Undoubtedly the most iconic Seiko timepiece considering Seiko mod parts capability and customizability, the SKX features a unidirectional bezel. Bezels are now made to rotate in only one direction, as this can be dangerous when the watch is bumped underwater and it loses its accuracy of time. When moved, the bezel can tell the diver that he has too much or too little time left in his tank, making for dangerous and inefficient work.
Seiko’s unidirectional bezels have bold markings and even a luminous feature at the 12 o’clock position to be omnipresent even in dark conditions. This watch has undoubtedly gone toe-to-toe with the giants, as it features an automatic movement along with 200 meters of underwater capabilities. It is also one of the timepieces that have redefined the ISO certification for diving wrist pieces thanks to its technologies.
The best part? When you get tired of the stock part, you can find another one that suits what you need online at SeikoMods bezel inserts collection for SKX007 mod parts. The unparalleled customization features of the SKX line are incredible, and there is no other watch with a cult following as big as this one.
Bezels are a fantastic watch technology that doesn’t just feel good to use but also has practical applications. As a standard in a diver’s toolkit, dive timepieces are essential and must always have the right certification before heading up from a plunge.
SeikoMods can help you personalize your Seiko timepiece with a premium selection of Seiko mod parts. With our products, you can be sure to have a one-of-a-kind piece, no matter if you got it brand new or pre-owned. Take a glance at our catalog for a Seiko watch made by you, for you!