Do You Need More Than One Crown in a Watch?
Watch crowns come in many shapes and sizes (and colors!), but their purpose remains largely the same - provide an access point to adjust the time. For most watches, a single crown smoothly handles time setting, winding, date changing, and other necessities. But occasionally, you'll come across watches with extra crowns added.
On a standard watch, the solo crown allows you to set the time, wind the movement, adjust the date, and control any other complications like the GMT function. The crown operates like a command center, toggling between functions with each defined position. Pulling the crown out to the 1st position sets the date, 2nd position controls time-setting, and pushed in seals it water-tight. This single crown arrangement is very common on most watches from sports models to dress pieces.
Is there a benefit to these multi-crown timepieces or are they just for show? Let's weigh the pros and cons.
Form and Function
So why do some watches, particularly dive watches and chronographs, opt for extra crowns? There are a few functional reasons:
On chronographs, pushers flank the crown to start, stop, and reset the stopwatch function. This divides controls between timekeeping and the chrono. Accessing the stopwatch pushers on the fly becomes easy, without interfering with the main crown's positioning.
For divers, a secondary crown dedicated to rotating the elapsed time bezel allows quicker access when timing dives. This separates the bezel control from the time/date settings, ideal when wearing diving gloves. The primary crown usually handles winding and setting while the second crown controls the rotating bezel.
In some cases, dual or triple crowns are added mostly for decorative flair or novelty. An avant-garde watchmaker may add an extraneous crown just for aesthetic distinction. These non-functional crowns serve no mechanical purpose beyond visual appeal, although its debatable whether it does add to a watch’s attractiveness.
Pros and Cons
What are the upsides to having an additional crown? For certain watches like dive or chrono pieces, the extra controls enable smoother operation and prevent accidentally shifting the main crown. Separated functions also carry a sense of higher value and complication. And stylistically, some buyers enjoy the distinctive look of multiple crown stems breaking up the case flank.
On the other hand, more openings in the case raise concerns of potential water resistance issues down the line. Each gasket seal around extra crowns presents a possible failure point. Servicing costs also increase with additional crown components. And for casual wearers, a second crown can seem fiddly and unnecessary, with the added bulk detracting from comfort.
Examples of Watches with 2 Crowns
Longines Legend Diver
Source: Monochrome Watches
A modern interpretation of a 1960s classic diver's watch, the Longines Legend Diver boasts a robust 42mm case available in stainless steel or bronze. Its box-shaped sapphire crystal is equipped with multiple layers of anti-reflective coating for crystal-clear readability. The watch's case back is secured with a screw-down mechanism, adorned with an embossed diver emblem. Its dark dial is adorned with polished rhodium-plated hands and Super-LumiNova®, ensuring optimal visibility even in low-light conditions. The second crown adds to the vintage appeal of the watch. It enhances the symmetry of the design and gives the watch a unique character that sets it apart from other dive watches. The crowns are also screw-down, which helps to maintain the water resistance of the watch.
Baltic Aquascaphe Dual-Crown
The Baltic Aquascaphe Dual-Crown is a contemporary super-compressor-style dive watch, a refined evolution of its vintage-inspired predecessor. It features a 39mm case with a 47mm lug-to-lug measurement and a slim 12mm thickness and 200m of water resistance. The watch is driven by a 4Hz automatic caliber with hand winding, hacking seconds, and a 42-hour power reserve. The second crown contributes to the watch’s super-compressor style - characterized by two crowns, one for setting the time and the other for rotating the inner bezel. The crowns are positioned at 2 and 4 o’clock, giving the watch a balanced look. The second crown also allows for easier manipulation of the bezel without having to operate the bezel itself, which can be a challenge when wearing gloves.
Modding with a Double Crown Case
This case release is one of our most unique offerings to date, and will be a way to truly test the limits of the modfam’s creativity! The NMK946 case bundle features a sleek case with brushed and polished surfaces. On the right is the usual crown at 3.45, with a second crown for bezel operation evenly spaced above it at 2.15. A top hat crystal adds a vintage flair to the look, and also adding a distortion effect when viewing the watch at an angle. Inside you’ll see the black insert with white lumed markers – featuring minute markers on the first 20 minutes and numerals every 10 minutes.
Aside from the novel double-crown design, the case actually looks very utilitarian so you can choose any black or silver dial you like for a diver mod using this bundle. Finish it off with a rubber or a NATO strap and you have yourself a quirky little daily watch.
Ultimately, whether extra crowns are useful comes down to the type of watch. Purpose-built dive and chronograph watches gain functionality from secondary controls to operate specialized features. The separated crowns and pushers suit the needs of these watches. A quality timepiece equipped with a single, reliable crown will serve most buyers exceptionally well. But for hardcore divers or chrono users, the added utility may be worth the extra complexity.
As always, we love hearing from you! Let us know your thoughts on single crown versus multi-crown watches in the comments. And don’t forget to explore namokiMODS for all your watch modification needs - with hundreds of customization options, we’ll set you up with the perfect one-of-a-kind timepiece.