-Low drain battery (in watches with analog display
Battery which can be recharged by an external energy source.
A watch or clock alerts you with sound at a pre-set time.
A watch that shows the time by using hands.
Automatic movement
This term refers to a watch with a mechanical movement. The internal rotor
(part of the automatic mechanism) winds the mainspring by the motion of
the wearer’s wrist. If an automatic watch is not worn for a longer period, it
will wind down and stop working.
This is essentially an oscillator which regulates the running speed of a
mechanical watch.
Energy source in which electrical energy is generated through direct
transformation of chemical energy. When the reagents are used up, the
battery is discharged. It is not rechargeable in contrast to an accumulator.
-Low drain battery (in watches with analog display min, h, sec)
-High drain battery (in watches with additional functions, e.g.
alarm, LCD-display, etc.)
Bi-directional rotating bezel
A bezel that can be turned either clockwise or counter clockwise. Rotating
bezels can be used to measure elapsed times or read second or third time
A feature that shows the date. Day, month, and moon-phases are often
shown additionally. There are several types of calendar watches. Most
calendar watches show the information digitally through an aperture on
the watch face and some watches show the information on sub-dials.
Synonym for size and form of the movement. Round caliber, shaped caliber,
Lépine-caliber, Hunter-caliber.w
A watch case has several parts. The bezel (which holds the crystal), the case
middle part (which contains the movement and fitted the strap/bracelet)
and the case back which is either snapped or screwed on.
Center seconds
Seconds indicated by a hand at the center of the dial.
A chronograph is a mechanism for measuring short time periods
independently of the normal timekeeping function.
Swiss-made movements which meet very high standards set by the Swiss
Official Chronometer Control. A chronometer is a mechanical movement of
the very highest quality. Movements are usually tested in various positions
and at various temperatures.
COSC = Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (Official Swiss
Chronometer Testing Institute)
Chronograph counter. Mechanism that shows, on a dial the number of
revolutions of the chronograph-hand, i.e. 1/10th or 1/100th seconds,
minutes, and hours.
Countdown timer
A function that lets the wearer keep track of how much of a pre-set period
of time has elapsed. Some countdown timers sound a warning signal a few
seconds before the time runs out.
The crown is used for winding up a mechanical watch or for setting the
hands to the correct time. Also you can use setting the date in the case of
calendar equipped watches.
The crystal is the transparent cover over the dial. There are various materials
used like plastic, mineral glass or sapphire.
The date is showing through an aperture in the dial. Typically at the 3 o’clock
or 6 o’clock position
Apertures which display both the date of the month and the day of the
The face of a watch showing the time and other functions that may be
displayed by hands, markers, discs or through windows.
Digital watch
A watch that shows the time by numbers on an LCD or LED display.
(End of Life) Some battery operated watches have a feature that indicates
when the battery is approaching the end of its life. This is indicated by the
second hand jumping every 4 seconds or in a digital watch, by a flashing
Gold plated
A layer of gold electroplated to a base metal.
Number of oscillations per second, expressed in hertz (Hz). A watch with a
count of 36’000 vibrations per hour (18’000 oscillations), in 1 hour (3’600
seconds), has a frequency of 5 Hz. Thus a watch beating at an frequency of
36’600 per hour ticks 10 times per second.
A GMT watch has a second hour hand (or a disc) which completes one full
rotation in 24 hours. On the dial or bezel is a 24-hour index (or an arrow for
the disc) to read the second time zone.
Indicator, usually made of a thin, light piece of metal which moves over a
dial. Very variable in form.
Helium escape valve
Decompression system which allows helium to escape from inside the
watch when the watch is worn for professional use in pressure chambers.
(Long-term underwater work, crude oil exploration, etc.)
Unit of frequency. The frequency of the quartz resonator is 32’768 Hz.
Mechanical watches have a frequency of 2.5 to 4 Hz.
Integrated bracelet
A watch bracelet that is incorporated into the design of the case.
LCD (Liquid crystal display)
A digital watch display that shows the time electronically by means of a
liquid held in a thin layer between two transparent plates.
LED (Light Emitting Diode)
Light Emitting Diode used for displays. Electronic component that lights up
numbers when voltage is applied.
Limited edition
A series of watches whose production in a limited quantity. Usually the
watches have the limited number on the case back.
Mechanical movement
A movement which has only mechanical parts and is powered by a mainspring and working in conjunction with a balance wheel. The mainspring
must be wound manually.
A function which showing the phases of the moon through an aperture
in the dial. One lunar cycle have four phases: new moon, first quarter, full
moon, last quarter.
Numbered edition
A watch series each of whose pieces is numbered sequentially in the order
it is produced.
Power reserve indicator
A feature that indicates when the mainspring must be wound or the watch
will soon need a new battery.
Push buttons are on the case of the chronographs and some watches with
complications. They are used to operate the complication.
A technique for coating metal. This is a special treatment to harden the
surface. (Usually comes in black color or gold color)
PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition
Quartz movement
A movement usually battery powered, which uses an electric current to
cause a quartz oscillator to vibrate, normally 32’768 Hz per second.
In an automatically winding wristwatch, the rotor is winding the mainspring
by the movements of the wrist. It is a segment made of heavy metal, which
turns freely in both directions.
In watchmaking, jewels made of synthetic ruby. They are used in sensitive
parts of the machinery to reduce friction. They helping the watch stay
accurate and last longer.
Sapphire Crystal
A crystal made of synthetic sapphire. It possesses the characters of high
hardness, scratch resistant and light transmittance performance.
Screw- down crown
A crown that can be screwed into the tube of the case to make the watch
highly water resistant.
Skeleton watch
These watches have usually no dial (or a skeleton dial). At the movement is as
much metal removed as possible and all the remaining parts are decorated
with elaborate engravings. Usually the have a crystal on the case back.
Small second
A hand which showing the seconds on a sub-dial.
The strap fixed the watch on the wrist. Can be made of leather, rubber,
textile or metal.
You can find a tachymeter on some chronograph watches. This is a feature
used to measuring speed per hour on a scale on the dial or on the bezel. The
distance based on 1000 meters.
Uni-directional rotating bezel
A bezel that turns only one way – counterclockwise. Particularly useful for
divers, because the bezel cannot accidentally rotate it in the wrong direction
and the diver is on the side of safety.
Rotating bezel
A bezel that can be turned on both sides. Different types of rotating bezels
can be used for different functions
Water resistance
Describes the level of protection a watch has from water damage.
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