What Is a Base Metal Bezel?

Eric Kilby/CC-BY-SA 2.0

A base metal bezel is the part of a watch made from non-precious metals that holds the protective covering known as the crystal in place. Common base metals include copper, zinc, brass and other relatively inexpensive metals.

A bezel either screws or snaps onto the watch case. Some bezels add aesthetic value to a watch such as diamond set bezels, while other types are more functional in nature. Diving bezels for example allow a diver to track his dive time visually. Since base metals are often prone to corrosion, plating base metal bezels with gold, silver, nickel or another resistant metal is a common practice.