The dome crystal is the window to your timepiece. It takes some of the hardest hits mainly because it is subjected to the most roughest use. It also has to face the brunt of everyday wear and tear. Read on further to know the main types of watch dome crystal.
- Plastic or Acrylic :- Plastic or Acrylic used to be the norm for watch dome crystal. This is mainly because it was quite soft and pretty inexpensive. Plastic is one of the best materials to be considered for watch dome crystal because it is soft, flexile and very less likely to shatter or suffer from scratches. One benefit of considering plastic is that even if it sustain scratches, the scratches can easily be buffed or polished away by using a polishing machine.
- Mineral Glass :- Next we come to mineral glass which is one of the most common dome crystal for mid-range watches. In comparison to plastic dome crystals, mineral glass crystals are a little more expensive. But their price is justified because in comparison to plastic dome crystals, they are a lot more scratch resistant. Mineral glass dome crystal is made of glass or actually ‘tempered glass’. This actually means that the surface of the glass is ‘heat-tempered’ which provides the surface of the glass with a lot more scratch resistance making it very less likely to ‘splinter’. One of the biggest disadvantages of mineral dome crystal is that if it gets chipped or scratched, then it needs to be replaced altogether because neither can it be polished, nor can it be repaired.
- Sapphire :- Sapphire dome crystal is the best material to consider for the watch because it is a very hard and transparent material. It provides the same hardness as natural sapphire gemstones but without the coloring agents. Sapphire dome crystals are pretty expensive because the tools required to polish and cut sapphire dome crystal is quite costly. Sapphire is one of the best materials to be considered for watches because sapphire is widely believed to be one of the most hardest substances on the face of the earth. Sapphire dome crystals are highly scratch resistant which means that they are very difficult or nearly impossible to scratch.
What makes sapphire dome crystal the best option for watches?
When you take all the different factors into consideration and look at the bigger picture, then you will see that sapphire dome crystals are actually one of the best materials to be considered for watches. Read on further to know some of the most important benefits of sapphire dome crystals.
- AR coatings :- Sapphire dome crystals are a lot more reflective than mineral dome crystals and this is mainly because of the higher index of refraction of sapphire dome crystals. When one or more layers of AR coating are applied ,then the reflection of sapphire dome crystals can be limited to a much lower level. It happens in many occasions that the lines and marks on the surface of sapphire dome crystal are mistaken for actual scratches when they are actually the scratched AR coating. One of the biggest disadvantages of sapphire dome crystals is that if they are scratched, then they can’t be polished and will have to be replaced.
- Waterproof gasket :- Mineral and sapphire dome crystals are very hard which means that they have no flex. This means that when the crystal is inserted into a watch case, a gasket is required for the purpose of ensuring a completely waterproof seal. The gaskets can either made or nylon or they can be either flat I-shaped or L-shaped. The dome crystal is pressed into the case by using a crystal press tool. Over the course of time, it can be observed that the crystal gaskets can become very brittle and bleak, so it is a good idea to consider changing the crystal gaskets every once in a while which can ensure the smooth waterproof performance of the watch.
The Bottom Line
If you anticipate very extensive and somewhat rough usage of the watch then you need to go for sapphire dome crystal. If you don’t anticipate to be that tough on the watch then you can go for regular mineral crystal.