Hands are components that point to an indication on a dial.
They are mainly composed of one or two pieces. The additional piece sometimes present in the center is the barrel. It is a central piece on which the needle is riveted.
The hands can be of different shapes and colors. The metals used can also be different, like steel or sometimes gold for example.
In the history of watchmaking they have regularly been made of blued steel. That is, perfectly clean steel that is then brought to a temperature of 300 degrees Celsius in a homogeneous way and cooled in the open air. This leaves a dark blue surface oxidation.
Little known, but their shape is not always due to chance and this is particularly the case for the second hands, being more sensitive than the minute or hour hands. Indeed, the second hands are, in a quality watch, always equipped with a counterweight.
In split-seconds chronographs, these counterweights are often different, which makes it possible to see which hand has stopped first and which second.
The hands are often equipped with luminescent materials. The first used was radium, then tritium and nowadays superluminova.
The first material used was radioactive. This was mainly a problem for the people who painted these needles. Tritium was still somewhat radioactive but less so than radium. Superluminova, used since the end of the 20th century, is no longer a problem.
In some rare cases we can find setted hands.