There are several factors that go into a watch’s durability. Some of them are: what the case and band is made of, what type of crystal it has, how the watch-back connects to the case, and whether or not it has gaskets and how many there are.
A watch’s case and band can be made out of several different types of materials. Some of the most common are base metals, stainless steel, a rubber-like material, titanium, and ceramic. Base metal watches have a tendency to have the back of the band erode a little after wearing them for a while, which is caused by the PH balance in your skin reacting to the metal that is used to create a base metal band. Stainless steel bands do not have this problem. They tend to be heaver and last a lot longer than a base metal band. They can withstand more abuse as well. Some watches are made with stainless steel cases encased in a rubber like material, like g-shocks. They tend to be lighter weight and still maintain a good amount of durability. It can help to protect the watch’s movement against damage that could be caused by hitting the watch against something. In addition, they do not scratch as easily as a base metal or stainless steel watch. Watches that are made out of titanium are very light but still have as much durability as a stainless steel watch. They are far harder to scratch than stainless steel and last longer as well.
Two of the most common watch crystals are mineral crystal and sapphire crystal. Mineral crystal is impact resistant, which means it is very unlikely to shatter when dropped. It is also resistant to scratches. It is possible to scratch but once again it is very difficult to do so. Sapphire crystals are significantly stronger than mineral crystal. It would take a diamond to scratch it and is nearly impossible to shatter it under normal conditions.
Two of the most common ways that case backs get attached to the watch are a pop off and screw-down. Pop off case backs are held on by a lip of metal popping into place on the case back, which is pretty good for water resistance. Screw-down case backs are screwed into the back of the watch, which is very good for water resistance.
Gaskets are rubber O-rings that are in the back of the watch case that are either put in the case back or on the case itself. They are coated in watch silicone so that when the case back is attached to the case it makes an airtight seal that keeps water from getting inside the watch. There is a small gasket on the stem and crown that have the same effect.
These guidelines should help you determine the overall durability of any watch you come across.
If you need help with fixing your watch, trust a professional.
Times Ticking has been in operation for more than 30 years, since 1982. We have performed watch repair for customers both locally and internationally. If it Ticks! We KNOW it! Our team of watch repair technicians have a combined experience in watchmaking of over 120 years.