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I've decided crown guards - except on a tool watch - are more about fashion than protecting your timepiece. They help give visual interest to designs.
I've never had an issue bashing a crown.
What's your view?
 

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I have read that damage to crowns and stems is the biggest killer of watches that go into the water.

I think that crown protectors serve a good function, but their presence on most watches is probably akin to spoilers on most cars. They look good, but aren't really necessary.

In the case of crown protectors, though, I would say that anything that serves to protect the watch from damage is a good thing, so even if a watch is not very likely to have the crown damaged by everyday use, it certainly doesn't hurt to have them there and might even save the day, if say your hands slip while you're changing a tire.
 

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If you are talking about a guard like some Panari watches have, I say, ugh. Those are some nice looking watches, but with that guard, they just look tacky.
 

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I concur with both of you. They indeed look ridiculous on some watches. However, they certainly serve an important function.
 

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I would say there are now two types of crown guards. The newer type, as evidenced in Panerai, JLC, and yes, BALL watches, do add a meaningful benefit to the watch.

These new crown guards incorporate added shock resistance or added water resistance. The Balls and Panerais are tested for shock resistance at the crown position, which is the most vulnerable spot on a watch. The JLC compression key system is an important innovation that drastically improves the watertightness of the crowns, tubes, & gaskets.

Regards,
Jeremy

(Note: Surely there are more watches with this type of technology, but these 3 are the first that popped into my head.)
 

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Crown protectors dont add any more protection to the watch generally. My Ball Fireman dont have one. :001_tongue:

I guess in most watches they are more fashion then function. Now the locking crown guards are a different case altogether. They definitely help distribute shock to the larger part of the casing.
 

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A well made watch generally doesn't need them. I've found that they make changing the time hard on some models and almost impossible on others without fingernails. The HUGE ones like on Panerai and those Russian Subs are definitely more for style these days than anything else. That probably served a purpose way back when before high tolerance machine work.

That said, I like the macho look they can give tool watches.
 

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The original post was 'other than tool watches", and to that I agree- they serve no useful purpose on a dress watch.

But, on a 'tool' watch, they go a long way to preventing bending and/or breaking of the crown, shaft, and tube, where indeed the watch is most venerable to water (and dust) ingress.

On my old Tag Heuer, I have case dents that I have no idea how I got them, and if any of those impacts struck the crown directly, it wouldn't have been pretty... (for the record, that crown was replaced twice)
 

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So, IWC thinks the crown needs protecting, even if it's by recessing the crown.
 
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