Posted on by Shelleah Pedersen

Choosing a watch based on its appearance and movement are common practices. However, an important feature which is commonly overlooked is its glass type.

When it comes to your watch’s longevity, the type of glass it features is crucial. Additionally, depending on usage, glass type can play a major role in durability and performance.

There are three glass types used when manufacturing watches: sapphire crystal, mineral and acrylic. It's important to know their differences and to be able to decipher between the three when shopping for a new watch. 


Considered the middle-man in watch glass, mineral glass is known for its durability and cost-efficiency. Visually identical to sapphire crystal glass, mineral glass is significantly less expensive and, to an extent, is resistant to scratches and shattering. While they are not immune to impact, they can protect your dial on a daily basis and when things get a bit rowdy at happy hour.

If you need a comparison, look at your home's windows. They are typically made with mineral glass and unless you are able to sing a high note and break a window or two, your watch should be able to handle whatever is thrown at it...literally!

Sapphire Crystal

The elite of watch glass is undoubtedly sapphire crystal. All brand name and luxurious watches feature sapphire crystal glass, as it’s favored for its appearance and durability.

Of the three glass types, it's the most scratch and shatter resistant. While there are two types of sapphire crystal - synthetic and genuine - synthetic sapphire crystal glass is more commonly used. In terms of material hardness and durability, sapphire crystal comes in second, behind diamond.

An easy way to determine if your watch has sapphire crystal glass is to use a stainless-steel knife and scratch the surface of your watch. If it does not scratch, then congratulations! Your watch has sapphire crystal glass. And, well, if it does scratch… don’t go pointing any fingers at us!


Known for being the economical watch glass, acrylic glass is not actually glass - it’s plastic! Typically, acrylic plastic is used for low-budget watches.

Despite being flexible and lightweight but tough, its prone to scratching and may not withstand the test of time as a watch with sapphire crystal or mineral glass would. Many times, children’s watches and watches used for extreme sports or diving feature acrylic plastic as it is less likely to break on impact.

Which type of glass do you prefer for your watch(es)? If you prefer sapphire then you are in luck because each Cristian Cole watch features the finest sapphire coated glass in order to ensure longevity and quality.