You know what?
There is nothing more annoying than the glass of your watch getting scratched or breaking.
Sapphire is a strong element with high tensile strength.
As such, its use in watches has over the years grown incredibly.
Due to the uniqueness and durability of this material, watches that come with sapphire crystal dials are considerably expensive compared to those that feature standard glass.
Watch dials made using sapphire possess unique scratch-resistant properties.
Therefore, the face of the watch remains unblemished and has minimal chances of shattering.
Cheap sapphire crystal watches – Quick comparison
Related watch collections
Advantages of a sapphire watch crystal
Sapphire crystal glass stands out as being the best material for watch dials.
This is because there are tons of advantages and benefits that are associated with this crystal.
For starters, sapphire crystal glass is highly transparent to all light wavelengths.
These crystals boast of increased readability thereby making it fun and exciting to use watches whose dials are made using this glass.
Secondly, the hardness and strength of sapphire crystals are twice those of standard glass.
Sapphire crystal dials exhibit unique and classy resistance to scratching and denting.
Therefore, when you invest in a watch that has this glass, you can be guaranteed that its face will remain untainted throughout the watch’s life.
With a 2000 Mega Pascal compressive strength, sapphire crystal is not only hard but equally strong in comparison to other crystals used in watch dials.
The other great advantage of sapphire crystal dials is that it has a high melting point of 2053 degrees Celsius.
As such, it can withstand high temperatures that other crystals like mineral or acrylic can’t.
Consequently, this guarantees that you can use watches with sapphire crystal dials in environments with high heat such as industrial settings.
Review of the most affordable sapphire crystal watches
Citizen Watches Men’s BM7100-59E
Citizen is a renowned brand for its Eco-drive and solar-powered watches.
In line with this, this BM7100-59E is a classy dress style watch that features a unique black-textured dial, date window, and well-lumed hands & indices.
Featuring a solid construction that is complemented by a genuinely hard sapphire crystal window, the watch stands out from other timepieces in its league.
Citizen has designed this timepiece for the modern man.
The fine minute train that runs around the edge enhances the appearance of the timepiece.
There is also a jubilee style bracelet that adds an exclusive and classy touch of elegance to the model.
- Features Japanese Quartz Movement for consistent performance
- 330 feet of water resistance
- Compact design and size
- Stainless steel case and bracelet that are resistant to corrosion and rust
- Sapphire glass dial that brings about uniqueness
- Fueled by light hence cheap to maintain
- Does not rhyme well with casual wear
Citizen Women’s ‘Eco-Drive L’ EM0424-53A
The EM0424-53A is a chic classic looking dual-tone Citizen ladies watch with an Eco-Drive system.
The unique style of the titanium band in this model guarantees that it will remain in fashion at all times.
The Japanese quartz movement in the timepiece provides for high accuracy and thus you can be sure that you will never read the wrong time.
Packed with features
This Citizen ladies watch model boasts of a minimalist dial that lacks any numerals.
The hour markers have a golden accent while the sleek date box enhances the perfect blend between practicality and class.
With 100-meter water resistance, you can be guaranteed that this high-end dress watch can withstand large amounts of water when showering or walking in the rain.
- Durable and strong construction
- Extremely high time accuracy
- Decorative dial
- Impressive 100 meters water resistance
- Ideal for daily wear
- It is a ladies’ only watch; cannot be used interchangeably between different genders
Seiko Men’s SGG731
Boasting of a perfect combination of a simplistic design and an efficient Japanese quartz movement, this Seiko Men’s watch brings the best accuracy on your wrist.
Seiko models rival Citizen timepieces in terms of performance, uniqueness, and exclusiveness.
The greyish dial complements the white hour and minute markers thereby making the timepiece easily readable.
The SGG731 timepiece by Seiko is designed superiorly such that it is easy to read the time with just a single glance at the dial.
The day and date displays are positioned at 3 o’clock and are readily visible.
The model has a water resistance of 330 feet thereby ensuring that you never need to worry about showering with the watch.
- Decorative lightweight watch
- Looks great and handsome on all wrists
- The greyish dial enhances the uniqueness of the model
- Unique day/date window
- Impressive water resistance
- The day/date feature can be quite tricky to set
Seiko SXA115P1 Ladies Watch
This automatic dress watch meets every lady’s needs and preferences when it comes to simplicity and elegance.
This outstanding timepiece features a Sapphire crystal window that not only enhances the attractiveness of the model but also its durability.
The analog display in the timepiece is easy to read even in darkness.
This Seiko model does not have any numbers on its dials.
Instead, the hour and minute markers are bold indices with the hour markers featuring a gold-tone finish.
The day /date window is positioned at 3 o’clock while the white dial is reflective for easy reading.
The stainless-steel bracelet in the timepiece is decorated with a fluid gold-tone finish that brings about a feminine look.
- Chic and attractive design
- Water resistance of up to 100 meters
- White dial with gold-tone hands
- Scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal window
- Solid and durable construction
- Designed exclusively as a lady’s only watch
Tissot Men’s T0064071603300
If you are the kind of men who prefer leather straps to steel bracelets, then this TISSOT Men’s Analogue timepiece is the ultimate Sapphire crystal model for you.
Featuring a simplistic analog display, the model is a classic watch that you can wear to any event; whether formal or casual.
The brown shade of the leather straps complements the décor of the stylish stainless-steel casing.
For purposes of fluidity and accuracy, the watch comes with a highly functional quartz movement.
The 40mm diameter is massive and rests comfortably on any man’s wrist.
The white dial in the model is complemented by bold seconds, minute, and hour hands that feature a black shade.
The hour markers in the watch are bold Romans that are easy to read in all light conditions.
There is a TISSOT 1853 logo beneath the 12-hour mark.
- Comfortable leather straps
- Easily readable white analog display
- Comes with a date window
- 100-meter water resistance
- Massively large for a masculine look
- Lacks a day function
Tissot Silver Dial Ladies Watch T1092103303100
A simple glance at this model, and you will instantly know that it is a lady’s watch.
The decorative gold-tone finish on the casing and bracelet brings about a rich-feminine look.
The timepiece is specially designed for chic women who like making strong fashion statements with their watches.
The 30 millimeters diameter case is comfortable and fits on all women’s wrist sizes.
Stainless steel construction
Tissot is popular for making classy and exclusive timepieces that are pacesetters in their respective categories.
In line with this, this silver dial and analog display women’s timepiece features a solid gold-tone stainless steel casing and bracelet.
The watch has a decorative and eye appealing silver dial that is complemented by gold-tone hour markers and hands.
- Solid stainless steel construction
- Attractive and decorative dial
- Comfortable bracelet with a classy pattern
- Easily readable analog display
- Scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal window
- Lacks a day/date window
Bering Time Women’s Slim Watch 13426-000
This BERING Women’s watch boasts of a uniquely scratch-resistant Sapphire crystal.
As such, the model is a perfect choice for women who work in busy environments where their wrist accessories are susceptible to scratching.
The most fascinating thing about this timepiece is that the model has a curved sapphire crystal window that sets it apart from other timepieces on the market.
Classic watch collection
This exciting and classy watch is inspired by professional Danish designs.
Featuring a quartz movement, this 26mm diameter watch has a 9mm thickness that makes the watch a comfortable accessory for all women.
The steel bracelet in the model is made using silver IP-plated 316L medical grade stainless steel.
There is a mid-sized BERING logo below the 12-hour mark.
The hands in the water feature a solid black shade while the hour markers have a silver shade.
- Exciting and rich design
- Features an accurate quartz movement
- Superior stainless-steel construction
- Lightweight and medium-sized casing
- 30 meters of water resistance
- Lacks a day/date window
Other types of watch crystals
In addition to Sapphire crystals, there are other types of crystals used for making watch dials.
These types include:
For a long time, plastic crystals were the most common material for watch dials.
Plastic is a relatively soft material and is quite cheap.
Due to its increased softness and flexibility, plastic shatters easily and is highly susceptible to getting scratched.
Therefore, the durability of plastic is quite limited thereby affecting its choice as an ideal material for watch dials.
The only advantage of plastic is that it is easy to polish and buff away the scratches on the surface of the dial.
The visibility of plastic is quite good but its overall quality is not the best.
Plastic is surprisingly resistant to external impacts due to its enhanced flexibility.
It is also effortless to manipulate thereby allowing watchmakers to design and create domed dials using plastic.
This in turn creates a nice distortion that looks attractive and appealing when looked at from an angle.
Mineral glass is a common dial material in mid-range watches.
This type of crystal is expensive than acrylic or plastic crystals.
Additionally, mineral glass is significantly harder than plastic and has better scratch-resistant properties.
In present times, mineral glass is tempered using heat by subjecting it to high temperatures.
This treatment gives the surface of the glass better scratch resistance.
The only downside about mineral glass is that once it becomes scratched, chipped or dented, it cannot be repaired or polished again.
Mineral glass is developed from silica and is almost identical to regular glass.
It is hard to tell this crystal apart from ordinary glass.
Mineral glass is common in fashion watch brands as well as imitations of high-end watches.
Unlike plastic, you need to be extra careful when it comes to mineral glass.
This is because it breaks easily due to impacts and falls.
The sapphire scratch resistance test
One of the reasons why sapphire crystals are increasingly popular is because of their unique hardness.
This hardness translates to resistance to scratching and breaking.
The best way to test the scratch resistance properties is by using a diamond rod to scratch the surface of the crystal.
Using a diamond rod, you should gently scratch the surface of the sapphire you are testing for scratch resistance.
After rubbing the rod consistently on the sapphire, you should check for scratches.
If it is a genuine sapphire crystal, then you should not see any scratches.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you tell if a crystal is made of sapphire?
The easiest and best way to tell if your sapphire is crystal is by comparing it with a sapphire crystal that you know is genuine.
All you need to do is tap the genuine sapphire crystal and then tap the sapphire that you are testing.
Note all the differences you will observe.
It is advisable to note that thickness does not affect the test.
Additionally, if you note any scratches on the surface of the crystal, then you should know that it is not a sapphire crystal.
Can sapphire glass scratch?
However, sapphire can only be scratched by diamonds.
The unique hardness of this glass guarantees that it cannot be scratched by ordinary objects.
The high mineral hardness of sapphire ensures that the glass is resistant to scratching than any other glass used in watches.
How much does it cost to replace sapphire crystal?
When a sapphire crystal window scratches or cracks (which is quite rare and almost impossible), the cost of replacing the window starts from around $120 or more depending on the professional doing the replacement.
Fine watch manufacturers charge not less than $150 for these replacements.
Can sapphire crystal crack?
Despite being genuinely hard and strong, sapphire crystal can crack when subjected to extreme pressure and impacts using diamond or other excessively hard materials.
However, this material is quite hard to scratch and crack.
The likelihood of it cracking is next to zero.
Why is sapphire used in watches?
The main reason why sapphire is used in watches is that it is scratch-proof.
As such, it makes the watch extremely durable and resistant to wear and tear.
Sapphire crystal is not vulnerable to scrapes and knocks.
How do you get scratches out of a sapphire crystal watch?
Removing scratches out of a sapphire window is an easy DIY task.
The first thing you need to do is cover up the watch’s bezel using tape to prevent it from damage.
You should then rub a considerable amount of preferred polish over the crystal consistently in a circular motion.
You can use a soft polish rag to apply the polish gently.
You can also use toothpaste but its efficiency is limited to faint scratches only.
Is hardlex better than sapphire?
It is quite hard to point out which is better between these two materials.
This is because each material has its advantages and disadvantages.
Sapphire has a better scratch resistance than hardlex.
However, sapphire tends to shatter due to extremely hard impacts while hardlex cracks first before shattering.
Overall, sapphire is better than hardlex.
When did Rolex start using sapphire crystal?
Rolex started using sapphire crystal in 1970 in the Rolex ref.5100 introduced in the same year.
Since then, sapphire has become widely used in Rolex watch models as well as in other brands.
Does the iPhone use sapphire glass?
Apple has harnessed the hardness and strength of sapphire glass and uses the material in most of its phones including the iPhone 6, 6S & 7 as well as other models.
However, the sapphire glass used in the iPhones is a small screen.
What are some luxury sapphire watches?
There are several luxury watch brands and models that use sapphire crystal glass.
These brands are such as Hublot, Aventi A-10, Bugatti Chiron Tourbillon, Richard Mille RM 56-02, and Bell & Ross BR-X2 Skeleton timepiece.
Sapphire Crystal is undoubtedly a strong and genuinely hard material with impeccable properties and functionalities.
Its scratch-resistant properties make it a favorite material for use in high-end luxury watches.
However, as much as this material is uniquely hard, you should take the best care of it so that it lasts a lifetime.
Another great, moderately priced brand is Invicta. I didn’t cover Invicta above as there are several Invicta articles here at Wicked Cool Watches.