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Hello,

First of all, great forum - 'Watch Concepts & Designs'! I'm learning so much from all the contributions. For the past few months, I have been assembling some watches from parts that I acquire online. However, for my next step, I want to attempt to prototype case. I am considering a pilot or marine style. I know it is not a very adventurous design, but it is simple and I figure a good place to start. One thing I started thinking about was the bezel, which brings me to my question.

Are there any benefits to having a fixed bezel (machined into the case) to removable (snap-on top-ring bezel)? From my limited knowledge, and I could be totally wrong, but I would guess that a fixed bezel might be less expensive, since it can be machined into the case, where as a removable bezel would have to be stamped out of steel. Perhaps a benefit of a removable bezel is that if it becomes scratched or damaged, it could be replaced without having to replace the case.

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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Mod. Russian, China Mech.
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The practical benefit of a removable bezel is in a 'top loader' case where the movement/dial/hands are installed through the front of the case due to the dial being too wide to fit through the back. The bezel secures the crystal to the case. This is the original purpose of a bezel. Technically speaking, a bezel machined into the case is not really a bezel at all. ;-)

If you don't need the bezel to be removable to access the movement, then another possible use is where you want detailed markings for time measurement which might be more easily achieved on a separate component e.g. the tachymeter bezels found on Omega Speedmaster and Rolex Daytona.

Then there are rotating bezels, but that is a whole other matter.
 
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If you have "fixed" bezel or no bezel, you will need to think how to install the crystal securely, what force will keep it inside. this might require some peculiar shape of the crystal edge or a special tool to install and remove the crystal, or using glue.
The "removable" bezel is simpler to produce without access to advanced machinery and easier for watch maintenance. But I think in most cases it's not stamped out but turned. Also, I believe it's easier to achieve water resistance with this type of bezel within custom projects.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much Chascomm and dspt!!! I appreciate the information and insight. Sounds like the removable bezel is the way to go.
 
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