Reference

Anti-magnetic: The movement of a mechanical watch can be thrown off balance if it comes in contact with a strong magnetic field; Magnetism is common in loudspeakers, televisions, refrigerators, cars, etc. etc. and these days most watches claim to be anti-magnetic. This is achieved by using alloys for certain parts, among them the balance wheel and escape wheel. Electronic watches are not susceptible to magnetism.

Automatic winding: (or self-winding) This term refers to a watch with a mechanical movement (as opposed to a quartz or electrical movement). The watch is wound by the motion of the wearer's arm rather than through turning the winding stem. A rotor that turns in response to motion winds the watch's mainspring. If an automatic watch is not worn for a day or two, it will wind down and need to be wound by hand to get it started again.

Balance: The most critical moving part of a mechanical watch movement. This includes the balance wheel that rapidly spins back and forth and the balance lever. The lever is the ratchet mechanism that makes the characteristic 'tick' sound as it converts the balance wheel's motion into the precisely regulated increments of movement that run the watch.

Bezel: Generically, the upper part of the watch body. Specifically, it usually refers to a ring around the outside of the crystal. On jewelry watches, the bezel may contain a ring of diamonds. On sports watches, the bezel may have calibrated markings and the ability to rotate in one or both directions.

Breitling® style watch straps: Watch straps with specific dimensions to fit the Breitling® watch case. They come in varying sizes: 18mm, 19mm, 20mm, 21mm, 22mm and 24mm. One of the defining features of the Breitling® style watch straps is the heavily padded body and heavy gauge stitching. Breitling® style watch straps are also compatible with most watch brands that have standard spring bar attachments to the lugs of the watch case. Breitling® style watch straps are available in a variety of leathers and materials – alligator, calfskin and rubber texture.

Chronograph: A watch that includes a built in stopwatch function - i.e., a timer that can be started and stopped to time an event. There are many variations on the chronograph. Some operate with a center seconds hand which keeps time on the watch's main dial. Others use sub-dials to time elapsed hours, minutes and seconds. Still others show elapsed time on a digital display on the watch face. Some chronographs can be used as a lap timer (see "flyback hand" and "split seconds hand"). The accuracy of the stopwatch function will commonly vary from 1/5th second to 1/100th second depending on the chronograph. Some chronographs will measure elapsed time up to 24 hours. Watches that include the chronograph function are themselves called "chronographs." When a chronograph is used in conjunction with specialized scales on the watch face it can perform many different functions, such as determining speed or distance (see "tachymeter" and "telemeter") Do not confuse the term "chronograph" with "chronometer." The latter refers to a timepiece, which may or may not have a chronograph function, that has met certain high standards of accuracy set by an official watch institute in Switzerland.

Chronometer: Technically speaking, all watches are chronometers. But for a Swiss made watch to be called a chronometer, it must meet certain very high standards set by the Swiss Official Chronometer Control (C.O.S.C.). If you have a Swiss watch labeled as a chronometer, you can be certain that it has a mechanical movement of the very highest quality.

Complications: One or more features added to a watch in addition to its usual time-telling functions, which normally not only include the hours, minutes and seconds but also date and often the day of the week as well. Complications such as; perpetual calendars, moonphase displays, alarms, repeating mechanisms, quarter strikes as well as stop/start chronograph functions. Power reserve indicators are also usually regarded as 'complications'

COSC: Is the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomčtres (Swiss Chronometer Control Board). They are the official Swiss agency that certifies all watch movements that bear the internationally recognized and protected status of "Chronometer." Also see Chronometer and the section on Accuracy.

Crown: Also called a stem or pin, a crown is the button on the outside of the watch case that is used to set the time and date. In a mechanical watch the crown also winds the mainspring. In this case it is also called a "winding stem". A screw in (or screw down) crown is used to make a watch more water resistant. The crown actually screws into the case, dramatically increasing the water-tightness of the watch

Crystal: The glass front of a watch. Often made of a mineral glass or acrylic, but on many finer watches, it is a synthetic sapphire which is very hard to scratch.

Deployant clasp: A clasp mechanism for use with watch straps. This allows a leather or other watch strap to operate similar to a watch bracelet. This gives a nicer, more finished appearance than the traditional tang-type buckle on most straps. Sometimes mistakenly called a 'deployment' clasp.

Dial: The watch face.

Ebauche: A base watch movement. Often, manufacturers will make custom modifications to the base movement to add complications (features), decorate the movement, and electroplate or upgrade certain parts for added durability.

Escapement: Device in a mechanical movement that controls the rotation of the wheels and thus the motion of the hands.

Gear train: The system of gears which transmits power from the mainspring to the escapement.

Hack: The feature on many mechanical movement watches that stops the second hand when you pull the crown all the way out to set the time. This makes it much easier to set a mechanical watch precisely to the second when synching with a time signal or known accurate clock. Older watches less commonly have this feature. To simulate the hack feature on many watches that don't have it, pull the crown out to the time setting position, then try gently turning the crown backwards. This puts a small amount of back pressure on the watch movement, which may stop the second hand long enough for you to synchronize it with another clock.

Incabloc: A method of shock protection for a wristwatch movement, developed in the 1930's. Other named techniques for shock protection include Parachoc, Kif, Unisafe and Novochoc. Incabloc prevents shock damage by allowing the jeweled balance of the watch to move laterally and vertically within a spring-mounted setting. Incabloc is used by many movements including most modern ETA and Omega movements.

IWC® style watch straps: Watch straps with specific dimensions to fit the IWC® watch case. They come in varying sizes: 18mm, 19mm, 20mm, 21mm and 22mm. One of the defining features of the IWC® style watch straps is the distinctive “square tip” which is at the end of the long piece of the strap. They are also available with a “blunt” or wedge tip. Both are common with most Pilot watches. IWC® style watch straps are also compatible with most watch brands that have standard spring bar attachments to the lugs of the watch case. IWC® style watch straps are available in a variety of leathers and materials – alligator, calfskin and rubber texture.

Jewels: Synthetic sapphires or rubies that act as bearings for gears in a mechanical watch. The jewels reduce friction to make the watch more accurate and longer lasting.

Keeper: The one or two loops included on watch straps, used to help hold any extra part of the strap protruding past the buckle.

Lugs: The four projections on a typical watch case used to attach a bracelet or strap.

Mainspring: is a spiral spring of metal ribbon that is the power source in mechanical watches and some clocks. Winding the timepiece, by turning a knob or key, stores energy in the mainspring by twisting the spiral tighter. The force of the mainspring then turns the clock's wheels as it unwinds, until the next winding is needed. The adjectives wind-up and spring-wound refer to mechanisms powered by mainsprings, which also include kitchen timers, music boxes, wind-up toys and clockwork radios.

Manual-wind: Refers to a watch movement that you have to manually wind it every day or two to keep it running. This is the oldest method of powering a watch. While much less common today, manual-wind watches are still available from a number of finer watch manufacturers.

Movement: The inner mechanism of a watch that keeps time and moves the watch's hands, calendar, etc. Movements are either mechanical or quartz.

OEM: Original Equipment Manufacturer.

Panerai® style watch straps: Watch straps with specific dimensions to fit the Panerai® watch case. They come in varying sizes: 22mm, 24mm, 25mm, 26mm and 27mm. One of the defining features of the Panerai® style watch straps is the size of the mounting hole at the lug ends. Panerai® style watch straps are designed to accommodate cylindrical tubes, which are larger than your average spring bars. These tubes have a lumen that is large enough to allow the screw fasteners to pass through. Panerai® style watch straps are available in a variety of leathers and materials – alligator, calfskin, carbon fiber and sharkskin.

Power reserve indicator: A feature that shows when the watch will soon need a new battery or winding. A battery reserve indicator on a quartz watch informs the wearer when the battery is low. Often this is indicated by the seconds hand moving at two or three-second intervals. Seiko's Kinetic watches are quartz watches that do not have a battery (see Kinetic). When a Seiko Kinetic needs to be wound, the seconds hand will also move in two second intervals.

Pushers or push pieces: Push buttons are on the case of the chronographs and some complicated watches. Most are used to stop and start a stopwatch but sometimes serve other functions.

PVD -physical vapour deposition: A coating of titanium nitrate applied in a vacuum and then covered by a coating of 22k gold to obtain a gold coloured finish.

Rotor: The part of an automatic (or self-winding) mechanical watch that winds the movement's mainspring. It is a flat piece of metal, usually shaped like a semicircle, that swivels on a pivot with the motion of the wearer's arm.

Rotor automatic: The most common form of automatic watch, and pretty much the only type manufactured today. In it, a weight inside the back of the watch has a 360 degree free path of rotation. Activity of the wearer causes the rotor to move. Its movement in one or both directions (depending on the exact watch movement) winds the watch.

Spring bars (or pins): Spring-loaded bars between the lugs on the case, used to attach a strap or metal bracelet to the case.

Strap: A watch band made of cloth, rubber, leather or other non-metal material.

Titanium: A metal that is used for some watch cases and bracelets. Titanium is much stronger and lighter than stainless steel. Titanium is also hypo-allergenic.

Tourbillon: A device, invented by Breguet in 1801, in which the escapement is mounted in a small revolving cage as a means of overcoming the effects of gravity on the precision on a mechanical timepiece. It is a special complication found on only a few very high end mechanical watches that compensates for the effect of gravity. This eliminates the small variation in watch movement performance based on the position of the watch (face up, face down, on side, etc.).

Winding stem: The button on the right side of the watch case used to wind the mainspring. Also called a "crown."

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