A guide to anti-reflective coating on watch glass

The world of horology is filled with intricate details and complex processes that contribute to the creation of a perfect timepiece. One such detail that often goes unnoticed, yet plays a significant role in enhancing the functionality and aesthetics of a watch, is the anti-reflective coating on the watch glass. This guide will delve into the intricacies of anti-reflective coatings, their importance, and how they are applied.

Understanding Anti-reflective Coatings

Anti-reflective coatings, often abbreviated as AR coatings, are microscopically thin layers applied to the surface of watch glass. Their primary function is to minimize glare and reflections, thereby improving the legibility of the watch under different lighting conditions. By reducing the amount of reflected light, AR coatings allow more light to pass through the watch glass, making it easier to read the time.

AR coatings are not exclusive to the world of horology. They are widely used in various optical applications, including eyeglasses, camera lenses, and binoculars, among others. In the context of watches, however, they serve a dual purpose. Apart from improving legibility, they also enhance the aesthetic appeal of the watch by providing a clear, unobstructed view of the dial and the intricate details it houses.

The Science Behind Anti-reflective Coatings

AR coatings work on the principle of destructive interference. They are designed to have a specific thickness that is equal to one-quarter of the wavelength of light. When light hits the coated surface, it splits into two beams: one is reflected off the surface, and the other passes through the coating and is reflected off the glass. These two beams then recombine, and if they are out of phase, they cancel each other out, thereby reducing reflections.

It's important to note that AR coatings are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Different coatings are designed to minimize reflections for different wavelengths of light. For example, a coating designed to reduce reflections in the visible spectrum will not be effective for ultraviolet or infrared light. Therefore, the choice of AR coating depends on the specific requirements of the watch and the conditions under which it will be used.

The Application Process of Anti-reflective Coatings

The application of AR coatings is a meticulous process that requires precision and expertise. It involves several steps, each of which contributes to the effectiveness of the coating.

The first step is the preparation of the watch glass. This involves cleaning the glass to remove any dust, dirt, or oils that may interfere with the adhesion of the coating. The glass is then placed in a vacuum chamber, where it is heated to a specific temperature.

Deposition of the Coating

The next step is the deposition of the coating. This is typically done using a process called physical vapor deposition (PVD). In PVD, the coating material is vaporized and then condensed onto the surface of the watch glass. The thickness of the coating is carefully controlled to ensure it is equal to one-quarter of the wavelength of light.

Once the coating has been deposited, the watch glass is allowed to cool before it is removed from the vacuum chamber. It is then inspected for any defects or inconsistencies in the coating. If any are found, the glass may need to be recoated.

Sealing the Coating

The final step in the application process is sealing the coating. This involves applying a protective layer over the AR coating to protect it from scratches and other forms of damage. The sealing layer also enhances the durability of the coating, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of daily wear.

After the sealing layer has been applied, the watch glass is once again inspected to ensure the coating has been applied correctly. The glass is then ready to be installed in the watch.

The Benefits of Anti-reflective Coatings

AR coatings offer several benefits that enhance the functionality and aesthetics of a watch. The most obvious benefit is improved legibility. By reducing glare and reflections, AR coatings make it easier to read the time, especially in bright lighting conditions or under direct sunlight.

A guide to anti-reflective coating on watch glass


Another benefit of AR coatings is their ability to enhance the visual appeal of a watch. A well-applied AR coating gives the watch glass a virtually invisible appearance, allowing the dial and its details to take center stage. This can make a significant difference in the overall look and feel of the watch, especially for models with intricate dials or skeletonized movements.

Increased Durability

AR coatings also contribute to the durability of the watch glass. The sealing layer applied over the AR coating provides a measure of protection against scratches and other forms of damage. This can extend the lifespan of the watch glass and keep it looking its best for longer.

It's important to note, however, that while AR coatings can enhance the durability of the watch glass, they are not a substitute for proper care and maintenance. Regular cleaning and careful handling are still necessary to keep the watch glass in good condition.


Anti-reflective coatings are a small detail that can make a big difference in the functionality and aesthetics of a watch. By reducing glare and reflections, they improve legibility and allow the beauty of the dial to shine through. The application process requires precision and expertise, but the results are well worth the effort.

A guide to anti-reflective coating on watch glass


Whether you're a watch enthusiast or a casual wearer, understanding the role of AR coatings can help you appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into every timepiece. So the next time you glance at your watch to check the time, take a moment to appreciate the clear, unobstructed view provided by the anti-reflective coating on the glass.

Now that you've gained insight into the significance of anti-reflective coatings and how they enhance the clarity and beauty of a watch, it's time to experience this marvel firsthand. Söner Watches invites you to Discover our watch collections, where each timepiece boasts a unique square design complemented by the finest anti-reflective coatings. Embrace the exclusivity and join the ranks of those who choose to stand out with a Söner on their wrist. Your journey towards distinct style and impeccable craftsmanship starts here.