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best sapphire crystal watches

5 Affordable Watches with Durable Sapphire Crystals

Sapphire crystal watches are the ultimate solution for having a watch with a pristine look and scratch-resistant. Find your perfect match here!
May 13, 2024

Looking for the best sapphire watches can be tricky as you might want to know what differentiates one from another. In fact, the use of sapphire glass on watches has already been a good thing to protect the watch and improve legibility. While sapphire crystal is starting to be common in watches, it’s important to know that sapphire crystal watches would cost you higher than those without.

However, as the watchmaking industry evolves, there are a number of brands that bring the best sapphire crystal watches at affordable price ranges. Mention the name like Seiko, Steinhart, and Hamilton. You can still find a hidden gem protected by sapphire crystal in these brands. 

Therefore, watches equipped with sapphire crystal dials and watch faces have gained immense popularity among horology enthusiasts and connoisseurs. In this article, we delve deep into the allure of sapphire crystal watches and why they are the pinnacle of elegance and functionality in the watchmaking industry.

Why Sapphire Crystal Watches?

Sapphire crystal, derived from the mineral corundum, has a long and illustrious history. Originally cherished as a gemstone, sapphire has been revered for centuries for its captivating blue hue. However, it was not until the 20th century that watchmakers began utilizing this remarkable material in the creation of watch crystals.

One of the most compelling features of sapphire crystal watches is their remarkable durability. Unlike traditional watch crystals made of mineral glass or acrylic, sapphire crystal is highly resistant to scratches and impacts. This durability ensures that your timepiece retains its pristine appearance for years.

In addition to its formidable strength, sapphire crystal possesses exceptional optical clarity. The crystal’s transparency allows for a clear and unobstructed view of the watch face and its intricate mechanisms. This clarity not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of the timepiece but also makes it easier to read the time, date, and any additional complications or features.

To top it off, the sapphire crystal extends beyond its use in watch faces. It is also employed in watch casebacks, providing a window into the intricate movements of automatic and mechanical watches

Further, sapphire crystal is also frequently used in the creation of watch bezels and even crowns. Its robustness ensures that these critical components of the watch remain functional and visually appealing throughout the years.

So, are sapphire watches good? Yes. Watchmakers have taken advantage of sapphire’s optical properties to create unique and visually striking timepieces. Further, its ability to retain a splendid look as long as on the first day is also the reason why sapphire crystal watches are good. 

Read also: Hesalite vs. Sapphire: Comparing Crystal of Omega Moonwatch

5 Best Sapphire Crystal Watches for Pristine Appearance

If you’re a discerning watch enthusiast who values both the enduring beauty and impeccable craftsmanship of timepieces, you’re in the right place. Below are our top picks of sapphire crystal watches for men and women that you should own. 

Aristo Flieger 41 Titanium 5H68Ti – Sapphire

Movement ETA 2824-2/SW 200, élaboré
Dimensions 41mm in diameter, 47.5mm lug to lug, 10.5mm thick
Water resistance 50m

The first best sapphire crystal watch we would like to introduce is the Aristo Flieger 41 Titanium 5H68Ti – Sapphire. Presented in a bold and rugged design, the watch flaunts optimal legibility. It has large bold markers and watch hands, allowing one to tell the time easily. 

To further enhance the legibility, the dial is protected by the sapphire crystal for better clarity under different lighting conditions. Aristo also ensures the wearer gets the finest comfort by using grade 5 titanium for the case. The result is optimal durability and lightweight.

You can grab all these features at a reasonable price at only $490.00 USD. So, how does that sound? This watch could be your first and perfect choice for an affordable sapphire crystal watch. 

Price: $490.00 USD

Read also: Things to Know About Watch Crystals and Many More

Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-Interpretation Black – Bracelet Ref. SBDC147

Movement Caliber 6R35
Dimensions 38mm in diameter, 46.2mm lug to lug, 12.9mm thick
Water resistance 200m

If you’re looking for some affordable timepieces to start your collection, Seiko is a perfect place to begin. Let us present the Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-Interpretation Black. You can have this appealing timepiece with premium materials at only $590.00 USD.

The watch flaunts a charming retro look with a black color in the background. Seiko enhances the applied markers and multifaceted hands with their exclusive LumiBrite luminescent paint in a creamy white shade, imparting an extra touch of vintage warmth. 

Completing the ensemble, the watch’s dial is shielded by a dome-shaped sapphire crystal, highly resistant to scratches, and equipped with an anti-reflective coating for added protection.

Price: $590.00 USD

Read also: The Seiko Alpinist – A True Pioneer Mountaineering 

Mido Ocean Star 200C Blue – Rubber Ref. M042.430.17.041.00

Movement Automatic Mido Caliber 80 (base ETA C07.621)
Dimensions 42.5mm in diameter, 48.5mm lug to lug, 12mm thick
Water resistance 200m

Sapphire crystal watches are about clarity, durability, and a pristine look. The Mido Ocean Star 200C Blue has ticked all those checkboxes, allowing the watch to radiate an exciting design with its oceanic blue dial. 

The ocean-inspired blue dial adds a delightful texture, evoking the unique sensation of ocean waves. These characteristics define and pay homage to dive watches from the 1960s while incorporating contemporary craftsmanship.

On top of this appealing design is a sapphire crystal with double-sided anti-reflection treatment. That way, the wearer can always tell the time from different angles despite the lighting conditions.

Price: $998.00 USD

Read also: Mido Watches History: Exploring the Timeless Legacy

Steinhart Nav B – Monopusher Bronze 42 Black

Movement SW510Top manual winding
Dimensions 42mm in diameter, 49.8mm lug to lug, 14mm thick
Water resistance 50m


The next one might look more appealing as a sapphire crystal watch for men that comes with a bold look and a big size. The Steinhart Nav B – Monopusher Bronze 42 Black is designed as a pilot watch, meaning that legibility is the primary factor. Particularly noteworthy is the design of the dial. 

It comes with a chronograph function with the subdials placed at the 3 and 9 o’clock position while a date window is neatly placed at 6 o’clock. Protecting all these dial elements is the double-mirrored sapphire crystal for better clarity and protection from scratches.

Price: $1,190.00 USD

Read also: Watch 101: A Special Highlight for the Watch Mainspring

Squale Super-Squale Black Explorer – Bracelet – Gnomon Exclusive

Movement SELLITA SW 200-1
Dimensions 38mm in diameter, 45mm lugs to lugs, 12mm thick
Water resistance 200m


Known as one of the best dive watch producers, Squale never fails to mesmerize its fans. The Super-Squale Black Explorer is among the best equipped with a sapphire crystal. This vintage reissue watch encapsulates reliability with a robust look. It comes with crucial features needed for professional diving including legibility.

Flaunting a retro charm, the sober matte black dial keeps its surface clean and neat. Squale has successfully incorporated their distinctive watch hands into this model, enhancing them with SuperLuminova, which is also applied to the hour markers.

On top of the dial is a sapphire crystal that provides protection against damage. It’s also equipped with an anti-reflective coating on the inside, resulting in better clarity from every angle.

Price: $990.00 USD

Read also: A Month on the Wrist: Squale Super-Squale Marine Explorer

Final Thought

The exceptional scratch resistance, optical clarity, and enduring beauty make the best sapphire crystal watches the epitome of horological excellence. This material appears as a revolutionary breakthrough in the watchmaking industry, allowing brands to further satisfy their customers. Besides, who could really avoid bumps in daily life, right?

However, it’s still important to note that having sapphire crystal protecting your watch doesn’t make it totally impervious to damage. Always be mindful of your surroundings when wearing a watch and store it in a safe place.

Read also: Watch Collecting: How to Store Watches When Not In Use

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Sapphire Crystal Watches

These common questions about sapphire crystal watches might help you better understand this material.

Do sapphire crystal watches scratch?

While sapphire crystal is highly resistant to scratches and is one of the hardest materials used in watchmaking, it is not completely scratch-proof. Sapphire ranks just below diamonds on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, which means it is exceptionally hard and durable.

However, it’s essential to note that no material is entirely impervious to scratches, especially when subjected to extreme conditions or abrasive materials. Although sapphire crystal is very resistant to most common sources of scratching, it can still be scratched by harder substances like diamonds or specific ceramic materials.

Does sapphire glass consist of genuine sapphire?

No, sapphire glass, also known as sapphire crystal, is not made from genuine sapphire gemstones. It is produced from synthetic sapphire, which is grown in a lab using the mineral corundum, the same material that natural sapphires are made of. 

This synthetic sapphire is then cut and polished to create the transparent watch crystals used in timepieces.

What is the advantage of using sapphire crystal in watches?

The primary advantage of using sapphire crystal in watches is its exceptional scratch resistance and durability, ensuring that the watch face maintains a pristine appearance even after years of use.

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