Watch Crystals: Flat or Domed like the CFDAC004W

November 11th, 2010 | 2 Comments

Watch aficionados have many different preferences when it comes to purchasing their latest timepiece. Some love stainless steel bands, while others prefer leather. Some love a minimalistic watch face, while others like the look of a busy dial.

One important feature to take into consideration when looking for a watch is the crystal, or the protective covering over the watch face. Watch crystals can be either flat or domed, and watch lovers have different preferences and opinions about which is better.

Here’s a breakdown of the pros and cons of each style of crystal.

Domed Crystals


  • Magnification. If you have trouble reading your watch, especially in low light, a domed crystal will magnify the dial, thus making it easier to read.

    The Orient CFH01001B is one watch that has this feature. Read a customer review of the model here.

  • Resistance. Because of their convex shape, domed crystals resist pressure more easily. This is an especially beneficial feature for diver watches that are exposed to helium before a saturation dive. A flat crystal exposed to the pressure of diving is likely to break.

    The Orient CFDAC004W is dubbed “The Tank” for a reason. The CFDAC004W has a domed crystal that can handle pressure without cracking.


  • Distortion. Some domed crystals can cause distortion when viewing your watch from extreme angles. The level of distortion will depend on how domed the crystal is.
  • Bulkiness. A domed crystal will translate into a bigger case thickness, which might not be ideal for people who have smaller wrists or want their watch to have a more lightweight feel. Also, some think that because a domed crystal juts out from your wrist more, it’s more likely to get scratched.

Flat Crystals


  • Affordability. A flat crystal costs less to make. If you’re trying to decide between two models that have similar features but differ in their crystal, the model with the flat crystal is most likely going to be the more budget-friendly choice.
  • Invisibility. Some watches with flat crystals have a unique effect that many watch lovers find attractive. If a watch has a special anti-reflective coating and a flat crystal, it creates the illusion that there is no crystal at all.


  • Reflection. While domed crystals can usually be anti-reflective, a flat crystal can sometimes be hard to see in certain light conditions because of reflection.
  • Fragility. A flat crystal is more fragile, so it’s more likely to shatter if it suffers a blow of any kind. While a domed crystal works like an arch, spreading a force out over a bigger area, a flat crystal doesn’t do this.

Keep in mind that these pros and cons can be dependent on factors other than the mere shape of the crystal. Thickness of the crystal also plays a role, as does the material the crystal is made out of.

A good anti-reflective coating on a flat crystal, for example, might prevent a reflection of the sun. Even though some think a domed crystal is more likely to get scratched, one made of sapphire will resist most scratches.

Your preference will probably depend on what you plan on doing with your watch. For example, you may want the resistance of a domed crystal if you plan on going diving with your watch. If you want an everyday office watch, you might opt for a flat crystal to avoid distortion.

Maybe your preference depends purely on aesthetics. Some people like the look of a domed crystal, like that of the CFDAC004W, while others prefer the appearance of a flat crystal, like that of the CUT05006W. Sure, the sun is going to cause a reflection on a flat crystal, but some people think it looks beautiful

So tell us, do you prefer flat or domed crystals and why?

  1. 2 Comments | Tell us what you think!

  2. By Isaac Landreth on Nov 15, 2010

    you have great watches and they are A++++ in quality! My brother has one and I have been envoius since he got it! Worth the money for the quality you get

  3. By Mark Lee M on Jul 6, 2011

    Isn’t the Orient model CFDAC004W called the tank because it takes style queues from the Cartier Tank??

2 comments | Tell us what you think!