- General Description
- Pros & Cons
- Artisanal Method
- Semi-artisanal Method
- Industrial Method
- High-Tech Method
Crown is used to set the time of the watch, sometimes to adjust some other displays, and to wind the movement for mechanical watches.
On wristwatches it is usually located at 3 o’clock and on pocket watches usually at 12 o’clock. It is fixed on the winding stem and therefore has different notches. The closest to the case is the neutral or winding position for mechanical watches. The following positions are sometimes the adjustment of the date or a moon phase for example. The last position is the time setting position.
To improve the watertightness it can be aimed at the box. Also, to improve its handling it can be notched or knurled. Larger crowns have sometimes existed on some wristwatches. These large crowns were made for aviation where pilots used to fly with gloves.
Before the invention of the crown by Jean-Adrien Philippe around 1845, the winding of a movement was done with a key and the setting of the time was generally done by directly operating the hands by hand.
On traditional pocket watches the crown is placed at 12 o’clock. On the pocket watches known as savonnette the crown is placed at 3 o’clock. Until the end of the 19th century a pusher was placed next to the crown and had to be pressed at the same time as it was handled to set the time.
On the first wristwatches, the position of the crown at three o’clock was quickly favored. A position where the crown is easy to manipulate when the watch is worn on the left wrist. Some watches also quickly appeared with crowns at 9 o’clock for people who wear their watch on the right wrist.
Advantages: The crown has since its invention the advantage of being able to handle the inner mechanisms of the watch safely and with ease.
Disadvantages: A crown can be a weak point for the waterproofness of the case. This can be improved by a screwed crown.
A large number of standard crowns exist on the market. So for a handcrafted production a watchmaker can either take an existing standard crown or make his own crown in a unique piece. A trained watchmaker can do this work himself without using an external craftsman.
For semi-industrial or semi-artisanal production the quantities are often too large to make a custom crown and often too small to amortize a custom production line. Often watchmakers use standard crowns already existing on the market for this intermediate production quantity.
In the case of industrial production, we take advantage of the large quantity produced to make a custom production line. This way, the crown can be made to fit the desired design and sometimes have the brand’s logo on it. On these large quantities it is easier to amortize the manufacturing costs on the unit cost of a crown.