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Watch Dictionary

Glossary Automatic Watch: An "Automatic movement" needs no battery. The mechanism winds itself by the movement of the watch bearer. Therefore the watch never needs a battery change. An "Automatic" watch typically cost more than a "Quartz" watch. Most watches have matching styles for Quartz & Automatic.

Buckle: The traditional Loop & Pin buckle is called a "buckle". See also "Deployment Clasp" or "Clasp"

Bezel: A "Bezel" is a ring on the top side of the "Case" around the "Crystal" with time intervals engraved. The "Bezel" can be turned either two ways called "Bi-directional", or more popularly one way (anti-clock wise) called "Unidirectional". The purpose of the "Bezel" is to be able to begin timing an event at any given time by aligning the bezel's #12 at the beginning point.

Case: A "Case" is the total housing of the watch excluding the strap or bracelet. The case is the housing of the Dial (face), movement & crystal (glass).

Chronograph: A watch 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, thus enabling the exact timing of an event.

Chronometer: A watch that is a certified "Chronometer" has passed vigorous tests that demand the watch stands up to the high standard of precision the COSC demands (Swiss Official Chronometer Control). The mechanical movement must be close to perfection. If punctuality is your motto, consider a certified "Chronometer".

COSC: The Swiss Official Chronometer Control - Consists of three independent control offices.

Crown: The "Crown" is known better as the Adjustment Knob or as the "Winding Knob" On a Quartz & Automatic watch the crown is used to adjust the time and/or date. On a manual watch the crown doubles as the winding mechanism to power the watch.

Crystal: The "Crystal" is the glass that you look through in order to see the "Dial" (face). The purpose of the crystal is to protect the dial. The Crystal can be made of glass, plastic, or a scratch resistant synthetic material called "Sapphire Crystal".

Deployment Clasp: A "Deployment clasp" is a feature that most quality watches with metal or gold bracelets use to tighten the bracelet to the wrist. The typical "clasp" has two pieces of steel that clip safely beneath one long elegant looking piece of steel thus tightening the bracelet. All manufacturers have slightly different versions and features.

Dial: The "Dial" is the face of the watch showing the time. A blue dial means the face colour of the watch is blue.

Display: The "Display" is the term used to describe the way a watch displays the time. A "Digital Display" will show the time by showing a digital image of the numbers in a window. An "Analogue Display" will show the time by two hands sweeping the dial.

End of Battery Life Indicator: (EOL) The EOL indicates when it is time to replace the existing battery. Different manufacturers use different methods to indicate a low battery, i.e. if a second hand usually sweeps, when the battery is low it will begin to tick.

Finishing: The "Finishes" of watches are of three types
1) Polished surface - means it is shiny, has a high gloss & is reflectant.
2) "Brushed" Finish surface has a galvanized, low gloss & non-reflectant look.
3) "Gold Plated" Finish is a thin layer (usually around 5 microns) of gold elctroplated to Stainless Steel base.

Function: "Function" is a term used to describe the different tasks each time related component performs i.e the date "Function" is the date task the watch performs.

Links:Watches with steel or gold bracelets made of individual attached components. Each individual component is called a "link".

Luminous: “Luminous Hands and/or Hour Markers"- is a standard feature on most watches. The hour markers and/or hands have a coating of "Glow in the dark" which will illuminates in the dark so you can tell the time where there is insufficient light.

Mechanical Movement: A "Mechanical Movement" is a watch's mechanism that is powered by a manual activity such as being wound up by hand or by the movement of the watch.

Movement: The "Movement" is the motor of every watch. The Movement controls all movement aspects of the watch such as the time, date, escape valves, chronograph functions etc.

Perpetual Calendar: A calendar mechanism that automatically corrects long and short months & self adjusts for leap years (i.e. it will count 29 days in February every fourth year).

Power Reserve Indicator: This feature indicates when the power resource of a mechanical movement watch is low & soon the watch will need winding.

Quartz: A Quartz Movement is a watch with a mechanism powered by a "Quartz Crystal". The crystal vibrates when placed in a electronic field, thus powering the watch. Most affordable watches today have Quartz movements. Quartz watches are mostly battery operated.

Safety Clasp: See "Deployment Clasp"

Sapphire Crystal: The "Sapphire Crystal" is a type of glass that covers the watch dial (face). Sapphire crystal is a made of a synthetic material, which is extremely durable, shatter proof & scratch resistant. Therefore Sapphire crystal is popularly used by all manufactures for most of their watches.

Screw-In Crown: A crown that ensures water resistance to a depth of 660 feet. The crown is protected from accidental damage.

Tachometer (Tachymeter): Common feature in chronograph watches. Measures the speed over a predefined distance. The wearer starts the chronograph when passing the starting point and stops it when passing the finish. The wearer can read the speed in units per hour off the tachometer scale.

Unidirectional Turning Bezel: A bezel that turns in only one direction (anti-clock wise). When used to measure dive time, should the bezel be accidentally moved, it will only indicate shorter remaining dive time. Thus eliminating the risk of being left without oxygen.

Water resistance: A watch that is water resistant can withstand water to a certain extent. When a watch is deemed just "Water resistant" it usually means that the watch will safely withstand splashes of water. A watch deemed "water resistant 30m", means that the watch can be immersed into water up to a depth of 30meteres/99 feet. Some watches are water resistant up 1000 feet. Check the watch manual to find out the exact level of water resistance your watch is. The "Water Resistant" feature is common on most watches.