Why is the crystal so important?
Diving watches have relatively thick watch crystals. Sometimes domed crystals are used to enhance the pressure-resistance of the watch and to improve the watch face legibility under water. The typical materials used for crystals are acrylic glass, hardened glass and synthetic sapphire which all have their pros and cons. Acrylic glass is very resistant to breakage; it can easily be scratched, but small scratches can be buffed out with polishing compounds. Hardened glass is more scratch-resistant than acrylic glass and less brittle than sapphire. Sapphire is very scratch-resistant but less shatterproof than the other options. Anti-reflective coatings are generally applied on sapphire crystals to enhance the legibility of the watch.
We use synthetic sapphire crystals for all of S&B watches. We coat the inside of the crystal with an anti-reflective coating. We do not coat the outside of the crystal as this can wear/scratch over time.
Watch crystals can also be applied as display backs to view the watch movement, but these are a rare feature on diving watches. We do offer them on some models, but do not recommend on diver used watches as it is a point that can be compromised due to pressure and lack of glass thickness.
The crystal pictured is from our Atlantis series watch. If you will notice this crystal is 2.75mm thick. To compare to a Rolex submariner, we are approx 1mm thicker. So why does it matter?
The thicker the crystal allows for greater depth, mind you the rest had better be up to standard as well. If you look at the Deep sea watches that utilize a 5mm crystal that goes to 3900 meters! If you have a great structure and proper crystal the depth is there.
An inferior crystal is a typical cost cutting angle with some manufacturers. Here at S&B we build it to take what you can give it. We use the best crystal we can buy. If you want a watch that will stand the test of time use the best.