All The Watch Details You Never Noticed, and Why They're There

There's a universe of stories on your wrist.


It's worth looking closely at watches: you might discover gobsmackingly minute mechanics or handy features and functions hiding in plain sight. Because watches were developed over centuries for a range of purposes, many also have vestiges of traits that offer fascinating links to the past — but it's possible to go though life never knowing the reasons behind what's on your wrist.

That would be a shame, though, because these details can deepen your watch-wearing experience and appreciation, and sometimes even prove useful. Why do some watches have a seconds hand that ticks and others have one that sweeps? What does that odd little fifth pocket in your bluejeans have to do with watches? Did you ever notice that some chronograph watches only count up to 45 minutes? Did you ever wonder why?

These questions, mysteries and more are the focus of our series Further Details, which examines overlooked product elements of all kinds. Here we've collected all such content related to watches, so you can dig in to the stories that show how timepieces are so much more than mere time-tellers or fashion accessories.

How to Spot a Mechanical Watch from Across a Room


It's all in the seconds hand.


Does Your Chronograph Watch Have This Mysterious Feature?


And what on earth is a 45-minute counter used for?


A Word to the Wise Before Posting Your Watch Pictures Online

hide watch serial number
Hunter D. Kelley

Keeping your watch's serial number private is probably a good idea. Here's why.


Why Your Watch's Seconds Hand Is More Important Than You Thought

men of a us troop carrier group, 1st allied airborne army, synchronize their watches during a briefing preceeding the droping of paratroopers and gliders troops east of the rhine river
Photo 12Getty Images

The ability to stop the seconds hand of a watch has a critical purpose.


Get More from Your Watch When Traveling with This Special Kind of Bezel

ollech wajs watch
Zen Love

The 12-hour bezel provides a stupidly simple way to track a second time zone without shelling out for a dedicated travel watch.


Why Does the Popular NATO Watch Strap Have This Mysterious Feature?

fd nato gear patrol lead full
Hunter D. Kelley

We took a deeper look at NATO straps to find out exactly why these fun and affordable watch accessories are designed the way they are.


Think You Know What That Small Pocket on Your Jeans Is For? You’re Probably Wrong

further details
Henry Phillips

The jeans you’re wearing right now have a curious feature you might have wondered about.


Why Does Your Rolex Dive Watch Have a Hole in Its Side? We Found Out

fd helium escape valve gear patrol lead full
Zen Love

Like a screen door on a submarine, you wouldn’t think a hole in the side of your dive watch would be a good idea.


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