The watch is one of the oldest examples of personal technology that is still in use today. Unlike a cell phone, in which technology may be outdated in a few years, the wristwatch maintains many of the same components as the models that Louis Cartier popularized beginning in 1904.
A watchband can be made of metal, similar in appearance to a bracelet, or with two straps of leather or fabric, fastened by a clasp.
The case primarily provides a stable and clean place for the inner workings, but also allows for a stylish appearance. The back plate gives access to the movement and battery.
This crystal covers the dial. It is generally made of acrylic glass, mineral glass or synthetic sapphire, for extra scratch-resistance.
The dial contains the hands or digital output used to display the time. The dial can have many features, including the date, moon phase or additional time zones.
In a mechanical watch, the movement uses springs, wheels and gears to maintain the time. Digital and quartz watches use electrical circuits to display digits or power the gears that move the hands.
For analog watches, turning the crown will set the time and, if necessary, wind the mainspring. A digital watch uses push buttons to set the time and activate additional functions.