Archive for the ‘Watch Terms A-D’ category

Watch Glossary (A-D)

February 16, 2010

Tags: Watch glossary. From automatic watches to Diver’s Watch

Want to know about watches. Be conversant with the following terms and behave like a pro

Automatic Watch: A watch whose mainspring is wound by the movements or accelerations of the wearer’s arm.

Balance: Moving part, usually circular, oscillating about its axis of rotation. The hairspring coupled to it makes it swing to and fro, dividing time into exactly equal parts. Each of the to-and-fro movements of the balance (“tick-tack”) is called an “oscillation”. One oscillation is composed of two vibrations.

Barrel: Thin cylindrical box containing the mainspring of a watch. The toothed rim of the barrel drives the train.

Bezel: It is the topmost ring of the watch, surrounding the dial. A bezel may be fixed or in the case of a diver’s watch, rotating. It can either be plain (usually fixed) or can be marked with, for example a 0-60 minute scale in the case of divers’ watches. Older rotating bezels were usually bi-directional, modern diving watches are equipped with a unidirectional bezel.

Bridge: Complementary part fixed to the main plate to form the frame of a watch movement. The other parts are mounted inside the frame (part of the “├ębauche”).

Caliber: Originally used to mean the size of a watch movement, this term now denotes a type of movement (men’s caliber, automatic caliber, etc). When a caliber number is accompanied by the manufacturer’s mark, it serves as an indication of origin.

Chronograph: Watch or other apparatus with two independent time systems: one indicates the time of day, and the other measures brief intervals of time. Counters registering seconds, minutes and even hours can be started and stopped as desired. It is therefore possible to measure the exact duration of a phenomenon. Not to be confused with the timer, the stopwatch and the chronometer.

Chronometer: Watch that has undergone a series of precision tests in an official institute. The requirements are very severe: a few seconds per day in the most unfavourable temperature conditions (for mechanical watches) and positions that are ordinarily encountered.

Crown: Knurled knob located on the outside of a watchcase and used for winding the mainspring. It is also used for setting the hands to the right time and for correcting the calendar indications.

Crystal: The crystal is the clear cover over the dial. Can be referred to as the glass. Various materials have been used over the years including acrylic, mineral (glass) and sapphire.

Diver’s Watch: Divers’ watches traditionally are large, featuring a graduated rotating bezel and often a screw down winding crown. Water resistant to 200m as a minimum, the modern diver’s watch must confirm to certain standards laid down for example by ISA in order to be classified as a Scuba Divers Watch.

Courtesy: Illustrated Professional Dictionary of Horology and Federation of Swiss Watch Industry