Analogue watches use hands to show the time, not an LCD display.
A watch feature that sounds an alarm at an user-set time or at regular
A watch function that uses changes in barometric pressure to provides
A watch that uses both digital display and hands to display the time.
Usually featured on sport watch styles.
The most commonly-used term in referring to any analogue watch that is
powered by a battery or solar power and is regulated by a quartz
Ana log Watch
A watch with a dial, hands, and numbers or markers to display the time.
Where the date is displayed within the dial of the watch.
Unit of pressure used in watch making to indicate water-resistance.
Atomic time standard
These watches set their time by receiving radio signals from extremely
accurate Atomic clocks.
Auto repeat timer
If the watch timer function is set and started, it will countdown to
zero, beep with a warning signal and immediately return to the preset
time and start the countdown again. This continues until stop button is
Automatic watches negate the need for manual winding by using the
movements of the wearers arm to move an oscillating weight which keeps
the mainspring wound up. When fully wound and left to sit, most
automatics will have up to 36 hours of reserve power. Mechanical
movements are accurate within one minute each day.
See 'Automatic' above
Ladies style watch with a thin, elongated rectangular or oval face.
The regulating organ of the watch, vibrating on a spiral hairspring.
Lengthening or shortening the balance-spring makes the balance-wheel go
faster or slower to advance or retard the watch.
A small rod with a sprung pivot at either end which fixes the strap to
Any non-precious metal such as steel.
Also known as a cell. For replacement purposes, the battery number is
found on the case back. The volt in a quartz analogue watch is 1.5V. The
volt in a digital watch is 3.0V.
This is the minimum period of time that a battery will continue to power
the watch. Life begins at the point of manufacture when the factory
initially installs the battery.
Battery Reserve Indicator
The watch will indicate when the battery is nearing it's end by causing
the movement of the hands to jump 2-4 seconds depending upon the make
and model. This function is only available on some Quartz watches.
The ring on the outside of a watch that surrounds and holds the crystal
in place. A rotating ratchet bezel moves in some sport watches as part
of the timing device. Some rotating bezels are bi-directional, and can
assist in calculations for elapsed times.
A flexible metal band consisting of assembled links which allow the
bracelet to articulate to mould itself comfortably to any wrist.
Stainless Steel with a Matt 'brushed' effect finish.
The fastening for a strap, consisting of a rim and tongue. It attaches
the two parts of the leather strap around the wrist.
Push piece controls to control special functions such as the chronograph
or the alarm.
A rounded semi-precious stone or synthetic material usually black,
fitted into the watch crown as an ornament.
A watch feature that shows the date and sometimes the day of the week
and the month, usually displayed through a cut-out window in the dial,
or as a small sud-dial with small hands indicating the day/date feature
or by digital readout.
The dimensions of the watch. Calibre describes the size and
configuration of the movement and can now indicate the shape, origin and
constructor as well.
Refers to a curved or arched dial or bezel.
Degree of purity of gold: Pure gold is 24 carat, 18 carat is an alloy of
which 75% is gold, 14 carat is 58% gold and 9 carat is 37.5% gold.
Essentially the chassis of any watch, housing of a watch's parts, and to
which the strap is fixed.
The cover on the back of a watch which protects the movement. A case
back normally snaps back into place or in the case of a waterproof model
will be of the screw down variety to ensure water cannot permeate the
seal. Information regarding each watch can usually be found on the
outside of the case back.
A multifunction sport watch with stopwatch functions. Most have two or
three small dials on the face, for measuring seconds, minutes and hours.
A precision watch that is set in various temperatures and positions,
thus meeting the accuracy standards set by an official watch institute
in Switzerland. Most watch companies either provide this certificate
with a purchase or it can be mailed to you.
The fastening mechanism for bracelet watches. There are many types of
- Deployment Buckle—A three-folding enclosure, which secures the two
ends of the bracelet and allows enough room for placing the watch on
the wrist when fully deployed. When closed, the buckle covers the
two-piece folding mechanism
- Fold-Over Buckle—See Deployment buckle
- Hook Lock—Two separate units each fitting on either end of the
bracelet which allows the watch to be laid out. One end of the closure
hooks onto the other to secure the two ends of the bracelet.
- Jeweler's Clasp—A closure that is generally used on better
bracelets. Also allows it to lie flat.
- Sliding Clasp—Also a hook type method but allows for easy sizing
of the bracelet by sliding up.
- Twist Lock—A closure similar to Jeweler's Clasp used on ladies
A watch with other functions besides time keeping. For example, a
chronograph is a watch complication. other complications coveted by
watch collectors include: minute repeater, tourbillion, perpetual
calendar, or split second chronograph.
System to set the watches time by means of the crown.
As with a Chronograph, except that the Tachymeter function is found on
the watshes bezel.
Measures remaining time from preset period of time.
The button that extends from the case that is used to set the time,
date, etc. Most pull out to set the time. In water resistant styles, the
crowns should screw down.
Used for setting the watch hands (often called the button).
The clean cover over the watch face, commonly known as the glass. Three
types of crystals are commonly found in watches.
- Acrylic crystal, a plastic, is inexpensive and shallow scratches
can be buffed out.
- Mineral crystal is comprised of several elements that are heat
treated to create unusual hardness that aids in resisting scratches.
- Sapphire crystal is the most expensive and durable, approximately
three times harder than mineral crystals and 20 time harder than
acrylic crystals. A non reflective coating on some sport styles
Dial or Face
The dial sits on top of the movement and is one of the most important
ways of giving a watch its own distinctive looks.
A watch that can indicate the day of the week as well as the date.
A clasp that folds under the strap of the watch.
The watch face that the numerals, indices, or surface design are applied
Any watch that shows the time in numbers instead of hands on a dial.
The geographical direction can be displayed by rotating a bezel or
digital readout on the face of the watch using the location of the sun.
A clasp that is suitable to wear over a diving suit
Diver's watches are designed and manufactured especially for divers
whose lives depend on the reliability of their watch in the water. Seiko
and Pulsar diver's watches meet ISO (International Standardization
Organization) regulations and must meet various standards regarding
water resistancy, pressure resistancy, readability in the water, time
presetting function (rotating elapsed time bezel), anti-magnetic
ability, anti-shock, rust resistancy in salt water, manageability in
water, ability to withstand sudden temperature changes, etc.
Dual timer, Duo Time or Travelcentric
A watch that measures current local time as well as at least one other
A watch that never needs a battery. Citizen Eco-Drive technology
harnesses the power of light - from any natural or artificial light
source - and converts it into energy which is stored in a permanently
rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It recharges continuously in any kind
of light to run forever.
The glass acts as the light energy cell. Located on the top of the glass
are very fine strips of amorphous silicon virtually invisible to the
naked eye. Electricity is generated as soon as light strikes the glass
from the outside and again as it reflects back off the dial. Vitro' runs
for approximately six months once fully charged.
These watches run for approximately 5 years once fully charged (Ladies
model 2 years), and feature a perpetual calendar accurate to February
2100. When this watch has not been exposed to light for a certain length
of time, the functions begin to shut down. This saves power and extends
operating time. In the mean time, the movement's integrated circuit
keeps track of the current time and date. When the watch is once more
exposed to light, the hands and date immediately resume their correct
End of Life. In quartz movement watches, the battery should be changed
when the seconds hand which starts to jump every four seconds.
End of Energy. System used with the AHP alerts the wearer of accumulator
discharge by causing the seconds hand to jump every four seconds instead
of every second. The accumulator can the be recharged by turning the
The visible side of the watch where the dial is contained, most are
printed with Arabic or Roman numerals. Note: traditionally IIII, rather
than IV, is used to indicate the 4 o'clock position.
A seconds hand on a chronograph that is used to determine lap or
finishing times for several competitors. Both the flyback and the
regular second hand are set in motion, then to record a lap or finishing
time, the flyback hand can be stopped. After taking the results, push a
button and the flyback hand will catch up to the constantly moving
Greenwich Mean Time, used as universal standard time.
A style of intricate engraving that is popular on watch dials, usually
very thin lines interwoven to create a surface texture.
The authorised stamp impressed on gold or silver watches that indicate
the authentcity of the precoius metals used in the watches construction.
The pointing devices that circle around the dial indicating hours,
minutes, seconds and any other special features of the watch.
- Alpha Hands: A slightly tapered hand.
- Baton Hands: A narrow hand sometimes referred to as a stick hand.
- Dauphine Hands: A wide, tapered hand with a facet at the center
running the length of the hand.
- Luminous Hands: Hands made of skeleton form with the opening
filled by a luminous material.
- Skeleton Hands: Cut-out hands showing only the frame.
A scratch-resistant metal comprised of binding several materials,
including titanium and tungsten-carbide, which are then pressed into an
extremely hard metal and polished with diamond powder to add brilliance.
Helium Escape Valve
A Decompression System allowing helium to escape from inside the watch.
Used by professional divers in decompression chambers.
The science of time measurement, including the art of designing and
Hourly time signal
Single beep/chime which indicates the hour, every hour when it is
Synthetic sapphires or rubies that act as bearings for gears of a
mechanical watch. A quality hand wound or automatic mechanical watch
contains at least 17 jewels.
The leather loops on a leather watch strap which keeps the end of the
strap in place once it has been fastened.
Seiko Kinetic® watches run entirely on self generated energy from
natural movement of your wrist. It never needs a battery, being
independent of conventional storage batteries.
Several types of lighted dials are used so that you can tell time in the
Projections at either side of the case where the bracelet or strap is
Environmentally safe illumination technology that will glow brightly for
hours without pushing a button or drawing energy from a battery.
Self illuminating paint used on hands and markers.
A hand-wound mechanical watch.
A movement based on a mainspring which is wound by hand; when wound, it
slowly unwinds the spring in an even motion.
Mechanical kinetic watches require no winding because of the rotor,
which winds the mainspring every time you move your body.
Hardened watch glass (or crystal) that is scratch resistant.
A complication on a watch that can strike the time in hours, quarters,
or seconds by means of a push button.
An indicator that keeps track of the phases of the moon through an
aperture on the watch dial.
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.
The inner workings or assembly that make up the main timekeeping
mechanism of the watch.Mmovements are either quartz or mechanical.
A type of calendar that automatically adjusts for months of different
lengths and indicates February 29 in each leap year until the year 2100.
One of the rarest precious metals, platinum is also one of the strongest
and heaviest, making it a popular choice for setting gemstone jewelry
and watches. It has a rich, white luster, and an understated look.
Platinum is hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant. Platinum used in
jewelry and watches is at least 85 to 95 percent pure. Many platinum
watches are produced in limited editions due to the expense and rarity
of the metal.
Another term for battery.
The time the watch will run from being fully charged. For mechanical
watches it is usually 44 hours. For quartz watches it can vary from 18
months to 10 years.
Promaster watches undergo rigorous safety tests and fulfil the stringent
quality standards on water and shock resistance, visibility and strap
strength, as determined by the International Organisation for
Standardisation (ISO 6425).
When activated by a battery or solar power, a thin sliver of crystal
very predictably vibrates, providing very accurate timekeeping.
Ratchet / Rotating bezel ring
A bezel ring which can either turn one way (counter clockwise) or both
ways and generally clicks into place. Different types of rotating bezels
perform different functions
A complicated case design with a practical raison d'etre, (first and
famously invented by Jaeger le Coultre to protect the glass and dial
from damage on the polo field or hunting field) where the case can be
reversed so that the case back is uppermost.
Combination of sapphire and hardlex crystals.
Transparent synthetic sapphire is used for scratch-proof watch glasses
as it has a hardness second only to diamond.
Screw down locking crown
Watches which are water resistant for 100m and above have screw down
crowns to prevent moisture entering the case.
Synthetic gaskets that seal the joints between parts of the case and
keep out the wet.
Spring devices in balance-wheel bearings that divert shocks away from
the fragile pivot and allow the balance-wheel to return to its original
position after shocks. If shock resistance is specified on a watch case,
a watch can withstand normal wear and tear, even during strenuous sport
A transparent front or back that permits viewing into the inner workings
of the watch.
Slide rule bezel
A rotating bezel that is printed with a logarithmic scale and assorted
other scales to perform general mathematical calculations or
Seiko Eco-Drive watches use a microns thin disc of amorphus Silicon
under the dial to convert light energy into electrical energy through
the photovoltaic process. The electrical energy is then stored in a
A type of quartz movement where the batteries are recharged via solar
panels on the watch face. They have a power reserve so they can run even
in the dark.
Solid End Links (SEL)
On some recent Rolex watches they have solid links on the bracelet.
A watch with no moving parts. All digital watches are 100% solid state,
whilst analog watches combine solid state circuits with moving parts.
Measures the elapsed time of a certain moment of an event. A second
chronograph that runs concurrently with the first but can be stopped
independently to record an intermediate time. It the catches up to run
with the first hand again.
A metal pin, telescopic in design is used on most strap designs to
fasten them to the watch case. The spring bar slots into the lugs of a
The band that holds the watch to the wrist. All Rotary watch straps are
made from plain leather which is then embossed or printed with patterns
to imitate animal skins.
A small dial found within the main face of a watch that is used for any
of several purposes, such as keeping track of elapsed minutes or hours
on a chronograph or indicating the date.
A wheel on a watch partially visible through a cut-out window indicating
a sun and moon on a 24-hour basis.
Using a patented integrated circuit technology, some watches are cpapble
of assuring their accuracy up to 20 times more accurate than
conventional quartz watches, being accurate to ±10 seconds per year.
A seconds-hand mounted in the center of the dial instead of a subdial.
In order to qualify as "Swiss Made" a watch must have been assembled,
adjusted and subjected to official tests in Switzerland. At least 50% of
the value of all parts, and its movement must have been made in
Tachymeter (also tachometer)
A watch function that measures the speed at which the wearer traveled by
means of a numeric scale on the watch bezel of a chronograph. Frequently
used to determine a speed of a car over a measured distance.
A particular desing of watch with heavier bars on either side of the
dial, inspired by the tank tracks of World War I and first created by
A watch function that enables the distance of an object from the wearer
to be measured by timing how long it takes sound to travel that
distance. Like a tachymeter, a telemeter consists of a stopwatch
function and a special scale on the dial of a chronograph.
The "space age" metal, often with a silvery-gray appearance. It is 30%
stronger and nearly 50% lighter than steel, making it ideal for watch
making, especially sport watch styles. Its resistance to salt water
corrosion makes it particularly useful in diver's watches.
A watch with a barrel-shaped case with two convex sides.
A device in some mechanical watches that eliminates timekeeping errors
caused by slight variations due to shifts in gravity when a watch
changes position during use. The round carriage or "cage" of the
tourbillon holds the mechanisms that rotate the wheels, and thus the
hands of the watch, in a continuous rate of once per minute.
Displays military time by sub-wheels or digital readout.
An illegal and misused term: No watch is fully 100 percent waterproof.
Water resistence informs the user as the the durability of the watch
when put into contact with water. Water resistance is indicated in
various methods. Sometimes water-resistance is measured in atmospheres
(ATM), which is equal to 10 meters of water pressure or 1 bar.
Watches come in different water resistant depths and diver's depths:
- Water resistant: Will withstand splashes of water or rain but
should not be worn while swimming or diving.
- Water tested to 50 meters: 5ATM: 5bar: Suitable for showering or
swimming in shallow water.
- Water tested to 100 meters: 10ATM: 10bar: Suitable for swimming or
- Water tested to 150 meters: 15ATM: 15bar: Suitable for snorkeling.
- Water tested to 200 meters: 20ATM: 20bar: Suitable for skin
- Diver's to 150 meters—Meets ISO Standards and is suitable for
- Diver's to 200 meters—Meets ISO Standards and is suitable for
An analog watch that is able to display digital functions at the touch
of a button. An easily legible white numeric display appears on the
inside surface of the crystal when any digital function is activated.
A watch with a dial that indicates up to 24 time zones around the world,
usually found on the outer edge of the face or sometimes on the bezel.
Time zones around the world are indicated by major cities.