To prevent wear, watch manufacturers incorporated diamonds within their watches’ working parts. With modern manufacturing techniques and the ability to produce very accurately designed parts and greases that have improved and become more effective, this method has generally been discarded.

There are real diamonds in many watches; however, the quality of the diamond stones used on watch faces varies considerably and depends on the target market and the watch’s price. While some manufacturers focus on high colors and clarity, others are less demanding.

The quality of the diamonds used on watch faces depends largely on the final price of the watch. High-end watches produced by manufacturers like Rolex and Bulova use high-value stones that are nearly flawless.

Watches Do Have Real Diamonds

When an ethical company states that it seats diamonds in its watches – you can be assured that real diamonds have been used.

High-end watches generally have real diamonds on the watch faces, which are cut to extremely tight tolerances to ensure they fit securely into the face without impeding the movement of the watch hands.

The cutting and fitting of these diamonds make them very expensive.

In addition, high-end brands only use stones with high colors and clarity; consequently, the stones in a Piaget, Rolex, or Chanel watch fill four criteria.

  1. They are real diamonds.
  2. They are as close to flawless diamonds as is economically required.
  3. They are cut extremely carefully.
  4. They are very expensive.

On lower end watch models, the diamonds used do not need to meet the exacting standards required by the very high-end devices.

This level of diamonds does not cost much, and with the high volumes needed by the watch manufacturers at this level, costs are low.

A  watch purchased at a large store may appear to have diamonds on the face; however, the customers must check with the store to ensure that they are not a “diamond stimulant”  such as cubic zirconia.

There is a requirement that ethical stores indicate whether the diamond is natural, lab produced, or a “diamond simulant.”

If the label indicates a value next to the initials “CTW – carat total weight.” it means the store is advertising them as real diamonds. An example would be e I2-I3, G-L, 0.15 CTW, where the following applies.

  1. I2-I3 are the lowest clarity grade.
  2. G-L is a good to moderately bad color grade.
  3. CTW is “carat total weight.”

While the price of a watch with diamonds will be substantially higher than that of a diamond simulant, consider that lower-end watches will use very small diamonds, which are 0.01 to 0.05 of a Carat, and therefore, they don’t cost much.

1 carat of diamonds at this level costs under $2,000 for an individual retail customer, and therefore a wholesale customer will pay much less. This means that the individual diamonds cost between $15.00 –$50.00  per single high quality diamond, depending sized between 0.01–0.05ct.

How Do You Know If There Are Diamonds In Your Watch?

If you are unsure whether the sparkling stones in your watch are diamonds or not, there are several simple diamond testing methods you can use to check them.

Use A Magnifying Glass To Test The Watch

The first test to check whether the diamonds in a watch are real is to examine them under a magnifying glass.

This test will look for flaws (imperfections) within the “diamonds.” And if there are none, it is a warning sign that the stones are not real

Most real diamonds have imperfections (called inclusions), and where there are none, it is a sign that the diamond is an incredibly expensive flawless piece (unlikely in a watch) because it is a lab-controlled stone.

Test The Watch With An Ultra Violet Light

Use a blacklight (Ultra Violet Light) for this test (Available on Amazon below)

Turn off the other light sources (you may need to close the curtains for this test)  and hold the watch next to the black light.

Under ultraviolet light, most diamonds will reveal a blue fluorescence.

This means you will see a shade of blue, which means the diamond is real. If the color is a shade of green, yellow, or gray, then it indicates that the diamonds in your watch are not real.

Use A Loupe

To examine the diamonds for class and clarity, jewelers use a small magnification device called a Loupe to examine the diamonds up close.

A loupe is a small tube with a lens frame slightly more conical than a magnifying glass. (Available on Amazon below)

Real diamonds have very tiny imperfections called inclusions.

The next check is to look for small flecks of minerals or slight color changes, which, if present, indicate the diamonds are real.

If there are small flaws, it is generally a sign that the diamonds are real. Lab-grown diamonds are normally flawless.

While many expensive diamonds are flawless, these will only be included in the most expensive watches.

Use A Diamond Tester

If you are prepared to purchase one and are willing to remove the watch’s crystal, a diamond tester (Available on Amazon below) will test the stone’s conductivity to determine whether it’s a real diamond.

The testers are not foolproof, but they’ll give you a good idea about whether your watch has real diamonds or not.

Do The Xray Test

X-rays can identify diamonds. While you do not want to pay for a full x-ray at your hospital

If you are traveling through an airport and after you go through the X-ray machine, ask the operator if they saw a diamond in the watch outline.

Step past it, then — ask the security guard if they saw a diamond on your watch. If the diamonds are not visible (demarcated) on the security officer’s screen, it is a good sign that there are real diamonds in your watch.


Watch manufacturers who advertise that their products use real diamonds are the real deal, and the consumer can rest assured that natural diamonds have been used. The only variable is the quality and price of the diamonds which have been used.


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