Bezel functionality is critical to many watches. Whether a bezel has twenty-four hours noted in order to see at a glance a time zone or if it records the length of a dive; there is important functionality in this part of a watch. Rolex bezels are used to calculate time elapsed, speed and more. Naturally, there are also variations in design for purely aesthetic reasons.
Since bezels are often part of the tool functionality of a specific watch, it might be interesting to think about how often they are actually used as intended. Let’s face reality, most people who own a Submariner don’t dive. Most people who own a GMT aren’t pilots. Most people who own an Explorer II don’t need the bezel to tell them if it’s day or evening above the surface.
So what does a bezel tell us if we don’t use that functionality?
I like to think a bezel reminds us that what makes time important is how we use it. A watch will tick off the seconds and the minutes and the hours for us. The bezels always indicate something more than just the passage of time. They indicate how time is used. Whether or not I need to keep on top of the length of a dive or know what time it is in Amsterdam; it’s a good thing for me to think about how I use my time.
After all, just like a rotating bezel, life is always in motion. It’s always moving and the seconds are ticking away regardless of how I use them. I enjoy a reminder that how I fill my time and how I value it decides what my life will be.
So, what do you think of bezels? I would love to hear your thoughts.