What Makes a Premium Watch Premium?

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You may be tempted to assume a premium watch is a premium solely because of its normally very expensive price tag.  In reality, that simply isn’t true.  A premium watch is considered such because of the quality and care with which it has been designed, along with the grade of the materials used to assemble it.  Certainly, expensive watches can be considered premium, however many median priced watches are deserving of the title “premium watch” as well.  If you’re curious what defines a timepiece as “premium,” read on. 


Aside from being eye catching and fashionable, a watch needs to be made with exceptional materials.  The durability of a watch will be determined by the materials from which its components are made.  The bezel, dial, watch case, and strap should all be made from materials that are timeless, high-end, and appealing.  Some of the most popular materials for premium watches are as follows:

  • Watch case:  The watch case is the portion of the watch in which the timepiece inner parts and dial sit.  Popular watch case materials are precious metals, and also stainless steel.  Stainless steel is a popular premium watch choice because of its durability and beauty.
  • Bezel:  The bezel is the outer rim of the watch face.  This is sometimes encrusted with diamonds or other precious stones.  The bezel can also be made from the same material as the watch case.
  • Dial:  The dial can be made of many materials including mother of pearl.  The dial refers to the hands (hours, minutes, etc.) of the watch.  The dial type can be two or three hands; a third hand is usually for measuring seconds.
  • Movement:  The movement of a watch refers to the watch’s motor; the portion of the watch that makes the watch operate.  In a premium watch, the movement will almost always be made from quartz.
  • Crystal:  The crystal refers to the cover of the face of the watch.  Premium watches contain watch crystals made from sapphire crystal glass, as opposed to plastic or mineral glass.  
  • Strap:  The strap of a watch is the portion of the watch that wraps the timepiece around one’s wrist.  Although straps may be interchangeable, the best watches will offer bands from leather, stainless steel, or another precious metal.


As important as materials are for the actual pieces of a premium watch is the method by which it has been constructed.  A premium watch is a hand-crafted watch that has been hand-finished.  As such, assembly line construction is almost out of the question.  This indeed raises the price of a premium watch, as it can take an exceptionally longer amount of time for a watch to be hand-finished than it takes for a watch to be cranked out on a conveyor belt by a machine.

It is only by hand-finishing watches that watchmakers are able to finely tune the precision of each timepiece and guaranty its flawlessness.  


The durability of a watch is also a factor when separating a premium watch from the rest of the available timepieces on the market.  A great premium watch will have been tested to withstand water up to a certain amount of meters.  Additionally, the strap will be heavy and durable enough to endure daily activities as well as outdoor activities without shredding, snapping, or ripping.  The material of the watch case and the crystal should be made with a material hard enough to protect it against scratching and/or breaking.  

A higher price point does not always indicate higher quality.  Knowing what make a premium watch premium can help you determine the quality of a watch and make an informed decision about purchasing a premium watch without going over budget. 

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