A watch glass is a circular concave piece of glass used in chemistry as a surface to evaporate a liquid, to hold solids while being weighed, or as a cover for a beaker. The latter use is generally applied to prevent dust or other particles entering the beaker; the watch glass does not completely seal the beaker, and so gas exchanges still occur. It is also used for heating small amount of substances. When used as an evaporation surface, a watch glass allows closer observation of precipitates or crystallisation, and can be placed on a surface of contrasting colour to improve the visibility overall.
Watch glasses are also sometimes used to cover a glass of whisky, to concentrate the aromas in the glass, and to prevent spills when the whisky is swirled.
Watch glasses are so named because they are similar to the glass used for the front of old-fashioned pocket watches. In reference to this, large watch glasses are occasionally known as clock glasses.