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Watch Bezel Functions

Watch Bezel Functions You Should Know About

Bezels play one of the most important roles on a watch. While there are watches that have a regular bezel to just add on to the looks of the watch. But there are some watches that come with a functional bezel. Some of these bezels have markings on them and some are even bi-directional, which means they can be turned in either direction. No matter which bezel you have on your watch, we are here to tell you what exactly they are for and why are they important.

Watch Bezels on Different Watches

There are different types of bezels available on different types of watches. This solely depends on what the watch was actually made for. Functional bezels are usually seen on Divers watches, GMT models and Chronographs. But how do these work? Let’s find out.

GMT Watches

GMT models or wristwatches that are designed to show multiple timezones also take advantage of the bezel. Some of the popular GMT models include Rolex GMT Master II and Tudor Black Bay GMT. Not all GMT watches come with a rotating bezel but the watches mentioned here do come with a bi-directional rotatble bezel.

GMT watches have both a regular hour hand and an additional 24-hour hand. The latter allows you to track a second-time zone. And in order to read the time on these watches, the rotating 24-hour bezel plays a crucial role. You can rotate the bezel notch by notch to bring it to your desired time zone. Amir from the WatchMaestro team has better explained the workings of a GMT bezel in the video below.

The Diver’s Watch

Most diver’s watches, especially those from renowned luxury watch brands, come with a bi-directional bezel. These bezels allow divers to monitor the amount of oxygen left in their tanks. The bezel rotates notch by notch, accompanied by distinctive clicks. The engraved 60-minute markings allow divers to monitor their time underwater. Right before they jump into the water, they can align the bezel’s zero marker with the minute hand, allowing them to track their dive duration accurately.


Chronographs are sports watches that were initially designed for race car drivers. The tachymetric scale inscribed on the bezel of these watches allows the wearer to track the average speed of their car over a given distance based on elapsed time. The scale runs in descending order from 500 or 400 to 60, allowing instant speed calculations. Some of the popular watches to have this feature are the Rolex Daytona and the Omega Speedmaster.

This is a very important tool for professional drivers and racing enthusiasts. Today with the advancements in technology, we have better devices to track these things. However, tachymeter scales on watches were introduced in the early 1900s when this was an actual game changer. In today’s day and age, this is just an additional thing to have on a chronograph watch that adds on to the aesthetics of it while also remaining close to its roots.

Honorable Mention: Innovative Fluted Bezel on Sky-Dweller

Back in 2012, Rolex designed the Sky-Dweller, which is to date one of the most complicated timepieces designed by the Swiss watch manufacturer. The watch features an annual calendar and a GMT function. To set these functions, the watch only had a crown which was not enough to manage the various settings. Hence, they introduced something called the Ring Command System. This system uses both the bezel and the crown together to bring the watch into a particular setting allowing the user to set different functions of the watch.

By turning the bezel counterclockwise, you can choose functions like date, month, local time, or reference time. It simplifies adjustments, making it easier to use and setup.

Devesh Arora Author WatchMaestro
Written By

Devesh Arora

Devesh Arora is a watch enthusiast and Website Manager at WatchMaestro. He is passionate about watches and loves sharing his knowledge through blog posts here. Every day, he learns more about these timepieces and enjoys simplifying the complexities of watchmaking for his readers. Devesh's goal is to make the world of watches more accessible and enjoyable for everyone.

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