You might have seen the phrase '17 jewels', or '7 jewels', or any number followed by "jewels".
So what exactly does this mean and what are these so-called "jewels"?
Jewels are the small red or clear circles that are sometimes visible the faces of various watch movements. In watch movement design and engineering, the axels and pins of numerous rotating cogs, wheels, and levers are set into holes and indentations referred to as pivots. These pivots are normally lightly oiled for the parts to run smoothly, but in addition to oil, small Rubies and Sapphires are sometimes utilized. Since it's so hard, the surface of a ruby serves as a sort of natural lubricant and essentially becomes a bearing. Original watchmakers used mined precious rubies, but nowadays the actual crystals used in watch movements are mainly synthetic.
The jewel count refers to the number of pivots with inset rubies - or "jewels"! When you see 7 or 17 jewels, the particular movement you're looking at features that number of jewel-inset pivots.
There are many different factors to consider that speak towards determining quality, and although not always the case, higher jewel counts are typically indicative of premium craftsmanship.
Curious how many jewels some of our movements have? You can find the jewel count of the movements under the "Product Details" tab for The Silver Line or BLACK collections, and under the "Specs" tab for The Select Line.
So now when people ask you what "17 jewels" means, you know what to tell them.