This doesn't seem to mean much... or does it?
December 15, 2014 12:20 PM   Subscribe

Asking for someone else: What does "wall-to-wall crystal" mean in the description of a watch? This is for translations purposes.

It appears that a watch crystal is just the transparent covering of a watch face. So, wall-to-wall crystal just appears to mean there are no holes in this covering? Or is there a more specialized meaning that I am missing? Thanks for your help.
posted by anonymous to Writing & Language (8 answers total)
To a lay person like myself, it means there aren't any additional bands (decorative, functional, etc) on the watch face. eg the rotating dials for chronograph on sports watch types.

The "edge" of the watch face is the crystal, with whatever minimal material is needed to hold the face in place (probably recessed)
posted by k5.user at 12:32 PM on December 15, 2014

I believe it means that the crystal extends all the way to the edges of the watch face, and is not surrounded by a frame or bezel. There may be a frame visible under the crystal, but if you run a finger across the face from one edge to the other, you will touch only crystal.
posted by mbrubeck at 12:33 PM on December 15, 2014

If your friend has a picture of the watch we could answer more accurately.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:37 PM on December 15, 2014

If you Google the phrase you'll see that it's one used pretty commonly in describing watches. The common denominator being that almost the entirety of the face of the watch is crystal. See e.g. this one. If you look at that black "frame" around the watch face closely, you'll see that it is in fact just a continuation of the crystal which is sealed directly to a raised black ring around the dial. So any translation that captured the idea of being "edge-to-edge" crystal would, I think, convey the general idea.
posted by yoink at 12:46 PM on December 15, 2014

For the watch behind the 'some' link in your first comment, peacheater, the idea that "wall-to-wall crystal" means "all the way to the edges of the watch face, and is not surrounded by a frame or bezel" doesn't make much sense, because the "rose gold" border extends quite a ways out onto the face of the watch proper.

I'm wondering whether we're dealing with a retranslation effect here, since back before quartz-locked oscillators made laughing stocks of the accuracies of all purely mechanical watches, the finest watches were often described as having 'all-jewel movements' because jewel bearings are essentially frictionless and very durable -- but jewels are crystals, and it seems to me that 'all-jewel' could fairly easily be translated into something that would end up being translated back into English as "wall-to-wall crystal."

I could guess that the original translated term was kept after the transition to quartz because what it actually referred to wasn't widely appreciated in the first place, and had come to be a standard feature that all good watches were expected to have.
posted by jamjam at 1:25 PM on December 15, 2014

doesn't make much sense, because the "rose gold" border extends quite a ways out onto the face of the watch proper.

Yes, but that border is under the glass face (aka the crystal) of the watch. As mbrubeck said, if your eyes were closed and you ran your finger the face of that watch, you wouldn't be able to feel where that rose gold border started. Contrast it with this one that has a border around the crystal instead of under it.
posted by brainmouse at 1:31 PM on December 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

What language do you need this in? Chances are the exact term already exists, rather than looking for a descriptive one.
posted by Dragonness at 2:31 PM on December 15, 2014

This is marketing thing that became popular with all sorts of products when the first iPhone came out -- wall to wall glass flush with a thin metal band surrounding it -- no raised bezel.
posted by JackFlash at 9:17 PM on December 15, 2014

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