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GLOSSARY!

Glossary A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z (Features)
A
Annual calendar A watch displaying the day, date, month, and 24 hours that adjusts automatically for short and long months. An annual calendar requires only a single manual correction per year from the end of February to the 1st of March. Aperture (or dial window) A small opening in a dial plate through which various information is displayed: date, hours, day of the week. Applique Numerals or symbols stuck or riveted to a dial. Analog This is a watch that you can tell the time using hour and minute hands. Analog – Digital This is a watch that has both mechanical hands and a digital display in numbers. Aperture Where the date is displayed within the dial of the watch Assembling and finishing The process of assembling and testing all parts of a watch. Atmosphere (Atm) measure of the water resistance of a watch. Unit of pressure used in watch making to indicate the level of water resistance. Automatic Watch An automatic watch contains a self-winding, mechanical watch movement that is wound by the movement of the wearer. A heavy pivoted rotor turning back and forth transmits its energy to the spring by means of an appropriate mechanism. Automatic Movement An automatic watch has a mechanical movement and does not need to be regularly wound. Its power comes from the movement of your wrist as you wear it. Most automatic watches have a power reserve of up to 36 hours. Go To Top

B
Back the part that rests on the wearer’s arm and can be either pressed or screwed onto the case Battery Reserve Indicator Some Quartz watches have this function. The watch will indicate when the battery is nearing the end of its life. This can often be seen by observing the movement of the hands which will jump 2-4 seconds depending upon the make and model. Bezel The Bezel is the ring around the dial of the watch. Often it serves as other functions (as is the case with a Bi-directional Rotating Bezel). It is often made of Stainless Steel or Gold (or Gold Plated). The part of the case that holds the crystal in place Bracelet Linked metal strap on a watch. You can change the length by removing links. Brushed Steel Stainless Steel with a Matt ‘brushed’ effect finish. Buckle The buckle joins the strap together and is often made of the same material as the case of the watch. Balance A wheel-like device which, by rotating back and forth, regulates the gear train movement as uniform as possible. Balance-cock A separate bridge holding the balance and regulator assemblies. Barrel Thick wheel featuring a toothed disc on one face and containing the mainspring of a watch movement. Bolt, or slide An operating part, on repeater watches, made of the same metal as the case and shifted along the caseband with the fingernail. The repeating-slide winds the spring of the striking mechanism. Bottom plate A metal plate bearing the bridges and various parts of the movement. Bridge (or bar, or cock) A metal movement part that is attached to a bottom plate and holds at least one bearing of a rotating part. Go To Top

C
Calibre In simple terms, it means “diameter”. In watchmaking, the term refers to the specific layout and shape of a movement and the bridges, and its various components as well as the designer of the movement. Carillon Striking mechanism, or chime, that involves two or more bells of varying tones. Central piece Central part of the watch-case, which houses the movement. Calendar Date Indicator Calibre The size and configuration of the movement inside the watch. Case The metal outside of the watch which holds the mechanism. Chamfer (or bevel) To take down a sharp angle into a flat edge which often produces a luminous strip along the contours of the chamfered part or area. Hand chamfering results in particularly clean recessed and protruding angles. Chronograph A watch with 3 subdials within the larger dial. Used to display other functions of the watch such as a stopwatch. Chronograph watches have a center seconds hand that can be started at zero, stopped to record the time of an event, and then returned to zero by operating a button on the outside of the watchcase. They also have the ordinary hour and minute hands. Chronometer A Standard set by the Official Watch Institute of Switzerland (COSC). The watch would have been rigorously tested for its accuracy at various temperatures and in different atmospheres and is supplied with a certificate. Chronometers are precision watches that have passed rigid tests for accuracy. (Chronometers should not be confused with chronographs.) Clasp The clasp attaches the strap or bracelet at either end. Cosmograph As with a Chronograph, except that the Tachymeter function is found on the bezel of the watch. Complications Supplementary time mechanisms, with the exception of the display of hours, minutes and seconds, that are added to a basic movement. Complications belong to three main categories: those that provide extra time indications; those that strike or chime the time of day; and those that provide a variety of astronomical indications. “Grand Complication” watches feature mechanisms from all three above categories. “Côtes de Genève” The term means “Geneva ribbing” which are regular, parallel strokes that impart a ribbed aspect to the surface of given parts, often the bars and bridges of a movement. Crown The crown is the button on the side of the watch (usually the right) which changes the time and date of the watch. The Crown is also used to wind the watch depending on its movement. Crystal The glass on a watch can be made of Plexi Glass (A synthetic Crystal) or Sapphire Crystal depending upon its make and age. Go To Top

D
Dual Time Zone A watch that can display at least 2 time zones by means of a Subdial, an extra hand etc. A watch that displays two time zones, to simultaneously keep track of local time and time in another country. Divers Watch A watch that is water resistant to 200M, has a one-way rotating bezel and a screw-on crown and back, has a metal bracelet or rubber strap. Deployment Buckle The clasp folds under the strap of the watch. Dial – face of the (non-digital) watch, which is the background for the hands and shows the time. Dial markings and hand styles vary greatly. Diver’s Clasp Suitable to wear over a diving suit Go To Top

E
Ebauche A French term for a movement blank, which is an incomplete watch movement before its assembly is completed, and comprises the main plate, the bridges, the train, the winding and setting mechanism and the regulator. Not part of the ebauche is the timing system, the escapement and the mainspring. Etablissage French term for the method of manufacturing watches and/or movements by assembling their various components. It generally includes the following operations: receipt, inspection and stocking of the “ébauche”, the regulating elements and the other parts of the movement and of the make-up; assembling; springing and timing; fitting the dial and hands; casing; final inspection before packing and dispatching. Etablisseur French term for a watch factory which is engaged only in assembling watches, without itself producing the components, which it buys from specialist suppliers. Equation of time The amount of time used to compensate for difference between true solar time to the mean, or civil, solar time at any given time. Escapement The mechanism that “releases” the energy that maintains the oscillations of the balance wheel. End of Life (EOL) Indicates the end of life of a battery within a quartz watch by succesive jumps of the seconds hand of 4 seconds or a flashing digital display Electric Watch In the electric watch, a small battery replaces the mainspring and other parts where tension and control interfere with timekeeping accuracy. Electric power is more accurate than the conventional spring-wound mechanism. Go To Top

F
Factory, works In the Swiss watch industry, the term “manufacture” means a factory in which watches are manufactured almost completely, as distinct from an “atelier de terminage”, which is concerned only with assembling, timing, fitting the hands and casing. Fold over clasp Hinged and jointed element, normally of the same material as the one used for the case. It allows easy fastening of the bracelet on the wrist. Fly-back Hand, (retrograde date hand) Usually, a hand indicating a date or time against a scale and then “flies back” to catch up with to another date or time. For example, a hand that “flies back” to the beginning of the month after reaching the 28th, 29th, 30th, or 31st day of the month. Frequency The number of vibrations a second, in hertz (Hz). Flyback hand A seconds hand on a chronograph that is used to determine lap or finishing times Features Shock-resistance is a feature of all quality watches. There is no way to make a watch movement “shockproof.” A watch is considered shock-resistant when a drop from one meter (about 40 inches), or the shock equivalent to that impact, will not a) stop the watch movement; b) damage the glass or crystal, bend the hands, or damage the case; or c) change the rate by more than 60 seconds per day. Water-resistant watches are designed with special features to seal out moisture and allow swimming or bathing without risk of damage to the mechanism. Watches are tested to withstand water leakage at pressures experienced by divers under water. Such pressures are measured in “atmospheres.” An atmosphere is 4.7 pounds per square inch, or the amount of pressure at a depth of 33 feet of water. A watch rated at 10 atmospheres can withstand the pressure of water to a depth of 330 feet. Calendar watches record the day of the month. In some cases, they are engineered to compensate for longer and shorter months and to give day of the week. Calendar watches record the day of the month. In some cases, they are engineered to compensate for longer and shorter months and to give day of the week Chronograph watches have a center seconds hand that can be started at zero, stopped to record the time of an event, and then returned to zero by operating a button on the outside of the watchcase. They also have the ordinary hour and minute hands. Chronograph watches have a center seconds hand that can be started at zero, stopped to record the time of an event, and then returned to zero by operating a button on the outside of the watchcase. They also have the ordinary hour and minute hands. Chronometers are precision watches that have passed rigid tests for accuracy. (Chronometers should not be confused with chronographs.Chronometers are precision watches that have passed rigid tests for accuracy. (Chronometers should not be confused with chronographs.)) Water-resistant watches are designed with special features to seal out moisture and allow swimming or bathing without risk of damage to the mechanism. Watches are tested to withstand water leakage at pressures experienced by divers under water. Such pressures are measured in “atmospheres.” An atmosphere is 4.7 pounds per square inch, or the amount of pressure at a depth of 33 feet of water. A watch rated at 10 atmospheres can withstand the pressure of water to a depth of 330 feet. . Frame frame – the center of the case, with end pieces or legs to which the watchband is attached Go To Top

G
GMT Greenwich Mean Time, used as universal standard time. As a feature of watches, it means that two or more time zones are displayed. Gold Gold is a metal that is used as an alloy frequently in watch making. The amount of gold is measured in Carats. Guilloche Decoration of dials, rotors or case parts consisting of patterns made by hand or engine-turned. By the thin pattern of the resulting engravings & consisting of crossing or interlaced lines Go To Top

H
Hands The pointing device anchored at the center and circling around the dial indicating hours, minutes, seconds and any other special features of the watch. Helium Escape Valve Decompression System allowing helium to escape from inside the watch. Used professionally in decompression chambers. Horology The art and study of watch making. Horns The parts on a wristwatch case, usually joined to the central piece, to which the straps are attached. Go To Top

I
Incbloc The Incabloc shock protection system is used in mechanical watches, to protect the critical alignment of components in the event of an unexpected physical shock, such as being dropped onto a carpeted floor. The pivots and jewels of the balance are fragile in comparison to the mass they need to support, and without shock protection are the most likely part of the watch to be damaged under impact. The Incabloc system uses a specially shaped spring to allow the delicate jewels and pivots to shift in their settings under impact until a stronger shoulder of the staff contacts the strong metal endpiece. When the impact is over, the springs guide the parts back to their original positions. Go To Top

J >Jewels Within a mechanical watch the jewels are used as bearings. Most watches with mechanical movements will contain at least 17 jewels. Jeweled Movement A jeweled movement is powered by a mainspring, using the same principle as the weights. After the spring is tightly wound with the winding stem, the coil gradually unwinds, running the watch. The unwinding powers the gears. All spring-driven watches tick, although some are muted. The “tick-tock” is created by the alternate stopping and starting of the escapement. The escapement regulates the flow of power through the wheels and assures the transmission of power to the hands at a steady, precisely controlled rate. The movement bearings are made from jewels (synthetic rubies), each milled, cut, and polished to a high degree of exactness. There are usually 7 to 23 jewels. More jewels does not necessarily ensure greater accuracy, though fine watches usually have more jewels. Used as bearings, jewels reduce friction in the watch. Jewel movement watches can be regular-wind or auto-wind. In the automatic models, the mainspring is kept constantly wound by means of a small bar or rotor that moves at the slightest movement of the hand, wrist, or arm. Jumping hours On a watch dial, the digital numbers representing hours appearing through a small aperture or window. Go To Top

K
Kinetic Based on a new technology, Seiko Kinetic watches run entirely on generated energy from natural movement of your wrist. It does not require a battery.
L
LCD Liquid-crystal display. This digital time display is used by longines to give additional chronograph indications. Lugs On the case, this is where the bracelet or strap is joined. Lever Any pivoting element and anchor-shaped part made of steel or brass that is part of the escapement Luminous Illuminating paint on the batons, numerals and/or hands of certain watches. Go To Top

M
Manual A hand-wound mechanical watch. Manual movement A mechanical movement in which winding is performed by hand. The motion transmitted from the user’s fingers to the crown is forwarded to the movement through the winding stem to the barrel, through a series of gears to the mainspring Mechanical Describes a movement with a balance wheel. Mechanical movement A movement based on a mainspring which is wound by hand; when wound, it slowly unwinds the spring in an even motion. An automatic mechanical requires no winding because of the rotor, which winds the mainspring every time you move your body. Manufacture In the Swiss watch industry, this French term names companies where the watch manufacturer produces in-house all the major parts and components of a watch. Opposite from a “manufactory” which is to an “assembler” who merely puts together movements from parts acquired elsewhere, times and adjusts the movements, and fits on the hands and cases them up. Minute repeater A timepiece that sounds hours, quarters and minutes as requested. Mirror polish Extremely meticulous and elaborate polishing operation resulting in a flawlessly bright and smooth surface, absolutely free from scratches and blemishes. Military or 24-hour time When time is measured in 24-hour segments. To convert 12-hour time into 24-hour time, simply add 12 to any p.m. time. To convert 24-hour time into 12-hour time, subtract 12 from any time from 13 to 24. Mineral glass Watch glass that has been tempered to increase its scratch resistance. Minute repeater A complication on a watch that can strike the time in hours, quarters, or seconds by means of a push piece. Moon phase An indicator that keeps track of the phases of the moon. A regular rotation of the moon is once around the earth every 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes. once set, the moon phase indicator accurately displays the phase of the moon. Moon phase watches display the current phase of the moon. Mother-of-Pearl Iridescent, milky interior shell of the fresh water mollusk that is sliced thin and used on watch dials. While most have a milky white luster, mother-of-pearl also comes in other colors such as silvery gray, gray blue, pink, and salmon. Movement The inner workings or assembly and engine of the watch that make up the main timekeeping mechanism, movements are either quartz or mechanical. All watches have a movement, a mechanism that drives the hands or digital display. It must have a power source tiny enough to fit inside a case and still leave room for all the other parts. The two principal types of movements today are jeweled movements and quartz movements. Go To Top

N
O
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Oyster Invented in 1926 by Rolex. At the time it was described as” the first waterproof, airtight and dustproof watch. Named Oyster due to its shape. Go To Top

P
Perpetual A perpetual rotor converts the movement of the wrist into energy that can be stored and powers the watch. Perpetual calendar A complication displaying the day of the week, the date, the month – also correcting for leap years – and the phases of the moon. Operating on the 400 year cycle, perpetual calendars require no manual correction before February 2100.Perpetual calendars are almost always self winding and, if worn constantly, are one of the most useful of all complications. Pink Gold (Also Rose Gold) Gold Metal with a pink/rose tint Power reserve The time a watch will continue running based on the movement’s residual winding of its mainspring. Polished Shiny Stainless Steel used in many fashion pieces. (As opposed to Brushed) Go To Top

Q
Quartz Manufacturers of electronic watches gradually did away with the escape wheel, pallet fork, and other moving parts, replacing them with an oscillating quartz crystal and sophisticated electronic circuitry. The electric watch does away with the balance wheel. Instead, a tiny tuning fork vibrates at a constant rate and amplitude. In the electric watch, a small battery replaces the mainspring and other parts where tension and control interfere with timekeeping accuracy. Electric power is more accurate than the conventional spring-wound mechanism. Go To Top

R
Rolseium Racks The striking mechanism incorporates three round-shaped parts called racks: one for the hours, one for the quarters and one for the minutes. Repeater A watch mechanism that sounds hours, quarters or minutes or repeats them on request. First designed to help the wearer to tell the time in the dark, they were always the most complex of watches and were the most difficult to miniaturize to fit into a wristwatch. Rotor In automatic winding mechanisms, an unbalanced, semicircular metal turns freely in both directions winding the mainspring. Rolesor Stainless Steel and 18ct Gold Case and Bracelet on a Rolex. Rotating Bezel A bezel that can be turned. Different types of rotating bezels perform different functions. Go To Top

S
Sapphire Crystal A transparent crystal frequently used in watch making due to its resistance to scratching. Scratch-resistant man-made material (synthetic corundum) used for watch crystals, fitted over the dial and sometimes set into the case back. Screw-Locking Crown (Also Screw-in Crown) The screw-in crown seals the crown against the case and aids water resistance. Shock Resistant Shock-resistance is a feature of all quality watches. There is no way to make a watch movement “shockproof.” A watch is considered shock-resistant when a drop from one meter (about 40 inches), or the shock equivalent to that impact, will not a) stop the watch movement; b) damage the glass or crystal, bend the hands, or damage the case; or c) change the rate by more than 60 seconds per day. Solid End Links (SEL) On some recent Rolex watches they have solid links on the bracelet. Stainless Steel A Metal alloy which is known for its resistance to rusting. The most common metal used in watch making. Strap A band to secure the watch to your wrist. Can be leather, rubber, canvas etc. Subdial(s) A smaller dial within the face on a Chronograph to display other functions, such as the date. Sun/Moon Indicator A wheel visible on the dial of a watch displaying the sun and moon over a 24 hour period. Skeleton Watch in which the case and various parts of the movement are cut away to reveal the watch’s mechanical elements. Slide(-bolt) Found on the case middle and operated with a fingernail, the slide triggers or locks a function or mechanism. The repeater slide also serves to wind the striking mechanism. Snail Notched cam for the hours, quarters or minutes. Named after its shape, it is used to mechanically set a wide range of indications. Split-seconds chronograph A chronograph mechanism controlling two second hands, one called the split-seconds hand, superimposed on one another. Stamp, swage A precision tool that has stamps and presses components of a movement, through shaping, bending, blanking and cutting them. Go To Top

T
Tachymeter Often used in the motor industry to measure the speed of a car over a specific distance. Functions via a scale on the bezel of a chronograph. Average speeds or hourly production rates can be calculated over a period of observation of less than 60 seconds Titanium A stronger and lighter metal than Stainless Steel and increasingly used to make watches. Tourbillon A regulating device that cancels the effects of gravitation on the precision of a watch movement by rotating the balance, lever and escapement around a single axis. The mechanism that even in its most conventional version, is extremely hard to manufacture. Tonneau Watch Describing the shape of a watch case that looks like a barrel with tow bulging sides. Train A set of wheels and pinions in a watch movement. Go To Top

U
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V
Vibration Describes the movement of a pendulum or other oscillating element, limited by two consecutive extreme positions. The balance of a mechanical watch making five or six vibrations per second vibrates at 18,000 or 21,600 times per hour. Go To Top

W
Watchbands The strap-type band may be leather, simulated leather, plastic or fabric. It usually features a metal buckle or other closure. The expansion type is available in silver or gold color and should “match” the watchcase. These bands vary greatly in durability and price. The bracelet type comes in silver- or gold-colored metal. It may be sleek and shiny, textured to complement the watchcase, or woven. Waterproof Beware if a watch is described as waterproof as this would not be the case. No watch is considered 100% Water Proof and watches are not allowed to be termed as such. See Water Resistant for correct terminology) Water Resistance A watch classed as this is able to withstand splashes of water (Eg. In the kitchen or in the rain) but cannot be used for swimming or diving. Diving watches are classified as “Water resistant to 200 meters” to indicate the depth to which it can withstand pressure. For more details see individual model descriptions . Water-resistant watches are designed with special features to seal out moisture and allow swimming or bathing without risk of damage to the mechanism. Watches are tested to withstand water leakage at pressures experienced by divers under water. Such pressures are measured in “atmospheres.” An atmosphere is 4.7 pounds per square inch, or the amount of pressure at a depth of 33 feet of water. A watch rated at 10 atmospheres can withstand the pressure of water to a depth of 330 feet. White Gold An 18k alloy of yellow gold with nickel or similar metal Go To Top

X
Y
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Yellow Gold Either 14k or 18k. The traditional gold used in watch making in both all gold or bi-metal combinations. Go To Top

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