HOROLOGY: ALL ABOUT WATCH MAKING
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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. An automatic or self-winding watch is a mechanical watch in which the mainspring is wound automatically as a result of natural motion of the wearer's arm, to provide energy to run the watch, making manual winding unnecessary. A mechanical watch which is neither self-winding nor electrically driven is called a manual watch. Many of the mechanical watches sold today are self-winding.
The ring which surrounds the watch dial (or face). The bezel is usually made of gold, gold plate or stainless steel.
A patented bracelet assembly method in which the bracelet is produced like a bicycle chain
A feature that shows the date, and often the day of the week. There are several types of calendar watches. Most calendar watches show the information digitally through an aperture on the watch face. Some chronograph watches shoe the information on sub-dials on the watch face.
Watch case materials range from inexpensive cast metal through moulded plastic to solid chunks of steel or gold from which the case is machined. In Great Britain, gold cases are usually 18k, but less expensive watches are 9k. In most other countries, 14k is preferred. Caratage indicates the gold content of metal, stated as the number of parts of gold in every 24 parts, i.e. 18k gold is 18 parts of gold alloyed with six parts of metal. Platinum is becoming increasingly popular, as is titanium for its lightness. Ceramic cases and bracelets -a scratch resistant space age material formed under great pressure and heat from powder -are used by some manufacturers. It does not bear any resemblance to the ceramics used in pottery. Some watches in the middle price ranges are gold plated over brass -9k or 18k plating usually. Vermeil is the term used to describe silver which has been gold plated.
The case of a watch must not only protect the mechanism and hold all the parts together but it must also look good -sometimes to the extent of making a timepiece into a piece of jewellery. A watch case is generally in 3 parts -the bezel, which holds the crystal, -the band or centrepart, which contains the movement, -and the back, either snapped or screwed on, in to which, sometimes, is fitted a crystal so that an intricate mechanical movement watch.
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.
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'.
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.
The transparent cover on a watch face made of glass crystal, synthetic sapphire or plastic. Better watches often have a sapphire crystal which is highly resistant to scratching or shattering.
Buckle A buckle that attaches to either side of the strap. The buckle is expandable so that the watch can be slipped on the wrist & snaps shut on the wrist. Once set to the correct size it needs not be resized, thus reducing stress to the strap & elongates its life. This buckle also offers additional security while putting on & taking off the watch.
The face of the watch and all of its components
A watch that shows local time and the time in at least one other time zone. This is generally displayed by an additional hour hand which tracks time in a 24 hour mode. Some watches have a separate sub-dial showing the full clock at the additional Time Zone.
Time that is relative to six different time zones all at once
A watch, usually battery-powered, which uses an electric current to cause a quartz oscillator to vibrate, normally 32,768 Hz per second but sometimes at much higher frequencies. These vibrations are processed by an integrated circuit which transforms the current into impulses. These are fed into a stepping motor which drives a train of gears to move the hands. Some quartz watches have solar cells which take light from any soul, natural or artificial, and transform them into electrical energy.
A term used to describe the various different tasks a watch can perform such as chronograph and countdown timer. These are also known as complications.
A simple stick/line design hour indicator on an analog watch dial, used instead of numerals.
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
Projections on a watch face to which the watch band or bracelet is attached.
Luminous Hands and/or Hour Markers - is a standard feature on many watches. The hour markers and/or hands have a coating of "glow in the dark" which will illuminate in the dark so you can tell the time where there is insufficient light. Results vary by the amount & quality of Luminous material used.
A Manual watch operates by manually winding the crown which winds the mainspring in the barrel, thus powering the watch. Once wound it will stay working for the specified amount of time as indicated in your manual (generally 35-45 hours).
The iridescent interior of a freshwater mollusc that is often used to decorate watch dials. Its colors include milky white, blue and pink. Mother of Pearl is available in an array of colors, such as blue, pink, yellow and more
The inner mechanism of a watch that keeps time and moves the watch's hands, calendar, etc. Movements are either mechanical or quartz.
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.
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.
A coating of titanium nitrate applied in a vacuum and then covered by a coating of 22k gold to obtain a gold coloured finish.
A movement powered by a quartz crystal to. Quartz crystals are very accurate. They can be mass produced which makes them less expensive than most mechanical movements which require a higher degree craftsmanship.
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.
A crystal made of synthetic sapphire, a transparent, shatter-resistant, scratch-resistant substance.
An additional dial that can be set to the time in another time zone. It lets the wearer keep track of local time and the time in another country simultaneously.
Spring-loaded bars between the lugs on the case, used to attach a strap or metal bracelet to the case.
A durable metal alloy that is almost rust resistant and rarely corrodes or discolors and, therefore, is highly suitable for watch case and bracelets. It is sometimes used on the case backs of watches made of other metals.
The part of a quartz movement that moves the gear train, which in turn moves the watch's hands.
A small dial on a watch face used for any of several purposes, such as keeping track of elapsed minutes or hours on a chronograph or indicating the date.
As a part of a move towards greater consumer protection and in order to combat fakes in the Far East that claim to be swiss made, the Swiss federal council in 1993 laid down the rule that a watch has to satisfy before it could be described as swiss made. The movement must be of Swiss origin, and must contain at least 50% swiss parts. The watch must be cased in Switzerland and pass its final inspection in that country.
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.
A watch shaped like a barrel, with two convex sides.
The ability to withstand splashes of water. Terms such as "water resistant to 50 meters" or "water resistant to 200 meters" indicate that the watch can be worn underwater to various depths.
The button on the right side of the watch case used to wind the mainspring. Also called a "crown."
any timepiece or jewelry that has diamonds on it
Haute is the French term for “high,” and haute horlogerie is watchmaking in its highest form. We are not talking about mass-produced timepieces, but watches that are designed and manufactured by IceLink, exposing hand-built corners and are more often than not, hard to find. Someone once joked that, “horology is expensive watchmaking. Haute horlogerie is very expensive watchmaking.”