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KULTUhR Fab Classic Tourbillon with Black Roman Numerals on White Enamel-Style Dial
I have one of them! So cool, eveybody is staring at me all t ..
5 of 5 Stars!
Watch Glossary

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y
 


A
Accuracy
The frequencies of oscillations (number of one-way movements of the regulating organ per hour) used in mechanical watches range from 21,600 A/H (3 Hz) to 28,800 A/H (4Hz), allowing a variation of less than 10 seconds a day.

Quartz watches are extremely accurate due to their high frequency of vibrations (32 kHz). Their daily variation is equivalent to much less than a second per day. Mechanical watches are slightly less accurate than the extremely accurate of an electronic watch. Automatics are accurate enough for daily timekeeping, with an accuracy rate within +30/-5 seconds a day, depending on the quality of the movement.


 
Adjustment
Process to tune the balance as close to accurate time as possible in five different dial positions, heat and cold and at low amplitudes.

 
Age of the Moon
The time elapsed since the new moon. On some watches, the 29 1/2 days of the lunar month are indicated on a lunar dial.

 
A/H
Vibrations of the balance per hour. These vibrations make the familiar ticking sound of the mechanical watch, known as oscillation.

 
Alarm
A device that makes a sound at a pre-set time and is found in both quartz and mechanical alarm watches.

 
Altimeter
A device that determines altitude by responding to changes in barometric pressure.

 
Amplitude
Maximum angle of oscillation of the balance wheel by which a balance swings from its position of rest.

 
Analog
A watch with a dial, hands, and numbers or markers that shows the time using hour and minute hands. Analog digital refers to a watch that has both a digital display and hands of a conventional watch.

 
Anadigi Display
A display that shows the time with hour and minute hands on an analog display or digital numbers on a digital display.

 
Anchor
Movement component in a mechanical watch that assists in the final part of the mechanical process to divide the seconds and provide accurate timekeeping. Moving side to side, the anchor allows the final wheel (escape wheel) to rotate one cog at a time. This process produces the ticking sound of a mechanical watch.

See "Lever Escapement"


 
Annual Calendar
A watch that shows the day, date, month and 24 hours, adjusting automatically for short and long months. The calendar needs setting only once a year - from the end of February to the 1st of March.

 
Anti-Reflective Crystal
"Anti-reflective" or "glare-resistant" crystals have been coated on one or both sides with a substance to reduce reflections and glare on the watch face. Anti-reflective crystals can be made of either mineral glass or synthetic sapphire. These are often used on sport style watches to prevent glare.

 
Aperture/Montres a Guichet
Small opening. The dials of some watches have apertures in which indications are given (the date, hour, etc.).

 
Applique/Applied Chapters
Numerals or symbols cut out of a sheet metal and stuck or riveted to a dial.

 
Arabic Numerals
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

 
Assembling
Process of fitting together the components of a movement. Usually the operations are automated while inspection and testing are still done by hand.

 
Assortiment
French term for the parts used in making an escapement.

 
Asthometer Scale
Graduations on the dial of a chronograph for measuring the respiration rate.

 
ATM or Bar
"Atmosphere" = 10 meters of water pressure and is used to determine water resistance. Another word for "atmosphere" is "bar," which is often used in Europe.

See "Water Resistance"


 
Auto Repeat Countdown Timer
A timer that resets itself when the preset time has elapsed and then begins the countdown again. The timer repeats the countdown continuously until the stop button is pushed.

 
Automatic Watch
The most popular complication in a wristwatch. The slightest action of the wearer's wrist causes the rotor, a metal weight attached to a winding mechanism, to pivot freely on its staff in the center of the movement. The rotor's movement winds the mainspring, a flat coiled spring that powers mechanical watches.

A fully wound automatic movement will run 36 to 48 hours. It is best to fully wind a watch if it will not be worn for an extended period in order to keep the oils in the movement lubricated and distributed.

See "Winding"


 
Automatic Winding/Self Winding/Perpetual
Winding that occurs due to the motion of the wearer rather than due to turning the winding stem. The slightest action of the wearer's wrist causes the rotor, a metal weight attached to a winding mechanism, to pivot freely on its staff in the center of the movement. The rotor's movement winds the mainspring, a flat coiled spring that powers mechanical watches.

A fully wound automatic movement will run 36 to 48 hours. It is best to fully wind a watch if it will not be worn for an extended period in order to keep the oils in the movement lubricated and distributed.


 
B
Baguette
A rectangular table-cut for diamonds with a length at least three times the width.

 
Balance
The running regulator of the mechanical wristwatch where the balance wheel has the role of a swinging weight and the hairspring brings the balance back to its resting position. The swinging weight and the returning power of the hairspring are set against each other so that the desired number of swings is attained. The classic frequency is five beats per second. To improve accuracy, the balances of modern wristwatches beat faster, up to ten beats per second. The balance is mounted in synthetic ruby bearings, with every bearing using a hole jewel and a cap jewel. The pivots of the balance arbor are very thin (about 0.1 mm) to minimize friction. The balance and its arbor are mounted on two rubies.

 
Balance Spring
A very fine spring in a mechanical watch that returns the balance wheel back to a neutral position. The hairspring and the balance form the oscillating system.

 
Balance Wheel
Part of the escapement of a mechanical watch movement that oscillates to divide time into equal segments, controlling the rate of the watch. The regular vibration of the balance-wheel is usually six or eight times a second.

 
Bar, Lug/Spring
A thin metal rod fixed between the lugs or horns in wristwatch cases for attaching the watch strap or bracelet.

 
Barrel
Thin cylindrical metal box containing the wound-up mainspring, storing the energy of the watch. The toothed rim of the barrel drives the train.

 
Battery Life
A silver oxide battery will last two to five years. Lithium batteries will last 10 years or more.

 
Battery Reserve Indicator (End of Battery Indicator)
A feature that indicates when the battery is approaching the end of its life, often shown when the second hand moves in two second intervals instead of one second intervals.

 
Beryllium Balance
A balance made of a beryllium-based alloy, which gives balances extreme hardness and firmness, a golden yellow shine and they rarely oxidize.

 
Bezel
Usually made of gold, gold plate or stainless steel, the bezel is the ring that surrounds the dial with the watch crystal pressed into it and then the bezel itself is sprung against the middle of the watch case.

 
Bi-Directional Rotating Bezel
A bezel that can be moved either clockwise or counterclockwise and are used for mathematical calculations or for keeping track of elapsed time.

 
Bimetallic Balance/Compensating Balance
A two-metal balance ring made of brass outside and steel inside, which prevent temperature variations from affecting the running of the watch. With rising temperatures, the brass expands faster than the steel, the ring ends bend inward, and the inertia of the ring decreases. Because the hairspring also becomes weaker with the rising temperature, the running of the watch remains the same. Today's watches also use hairsprings that do not weaken in order to prevent the effects from variations of temperature.

See "Self-Compensating Hairspring"


 
Bi-Sextile
Leap year.

 
Bracelet
A type of watchband made of elements that resemble links, usually made of steel, silver or gold. Metal bracelets can range from inexpensive base metals to precious metals, such as specially developed tungsten carbide or titanium. Bracelets can influence watch prices considerably.

 
Breguet Hairspring
An overcoil hairspring that prevents the hairspring from swinging farther to one side (eccentric swinging). The last loop of these springs is raised up and bent into a precisely defined curve. Breguet hairsprings were used in precision pocket watches and can be found in good wristwatches.

 
Bridge
Complementary plates fixed on the main plate in a watch caliber holding the main bearings of oscillating system or the wheels. Bridges are screwed to the plate and their position is secured by setting bars. The other parts are mounted inside the frame (part of the "ébauche").

 
Built-In Illumination
Lighting on a watch dial that allowing the wearer to read time in the dark.

 
C
Cabochon
Decorative stone carved into a round shape.

 
Calendar
A feature that shows the date and often the day of the week. There are several types of calendar watches with most showing the information digitally through an aperture on the watch face. Some chronograph watches show the information on subdials on the watch face.

See "Gregorian Calendar,""Perpetual Calendar"


 
Calibre
Calibre designation indicates the manufacturer, reference number, size and complications (if any).

 
Cambered
Refers to a curved or arched dial or bezel, or the domed shape of a watch crystal.

 
Cannon Pinion
The turnable tube fitting on the center-wheel pivot that drives the minute wheel. The hour hand is mounted on the hour pipe. The hour wheel pipe is mounted over the cannon pinion and is driven by the minute wheel pinion.

 
Cap Jewel
A jewel that reduces the friction of the balance bearing and limits arbor play. Cap jewels are sometimes used in the wheel train and other bearings, such as in the second wheel, third wheel.

 
Carat (K)
Term to denote metal alliage: 1 Carat = 1/24 fine gold of a gold alloy. Pure gold is very soft; gold is made in several carats ("K"), or 1/24th proportions of gold, to make it harder and able to stand up to daily wear. An 18 carat gold alloy contains 18/24 fine gold = 75% fine gold content. The term 18K refers to solid gold (it is considered pure gold after reaching 75% fine gold content).
  • 9K = 9/24 purity of gold = 37.5% purity (sometimes seen in vintage and/or UK market watch cases, along with 10K gold)
  • 14K = 14/24 purity of gold = 58.3% (sometimes marked 583 or 585 in gold hallmarks)
  • 18K = 18/24 purity of gold = 75% (sometimes marked 750 in gold hallmarks)
  • 24K = 24/24 purity of gold = 99.999%, which is seldomly used in watch cases because it is so soft and easily scratched.

All Swiss watches are made of 18 karat gold, or 75% pure gold.


 
Case
The metal housing of a watch's parts that protects the movement from dust, damp and shocks. Cases can be made of many different materials, including plastic, resins, stainless steel, base metal (usually brass), gold-plated base metals, gold-filled and more expensive metals, such as titanium, gold, silver, and platinum. Plastic and resin composites generally are the least costly and are found primarily in fashion and sport watches. Stainless steel is a robust metal and is commonly used in sport watches. The back of the watch case or the documents accompanying the watch will indicate the metallic content.

 
Casing (up)
The process of inserting and fixing a watch movement into the case.

 
Chablon
French term for a watch movement which all or part of the components are not assembled, not including the dial and hands.

 
Center-of-Gravity Error
A very small imbalance disturbs the running of the watch so that the balance is not balanced and the watch runs differently in different positions.

 
Center Seconds/Sweep Seconds-Hand
A second-hand that is mounted in the center post of the watch dial instead of a subdial.

 
Champleve
Enameling done by cutting grooves in the metal, into which the ground enamel is melted and the surface is then ground and polished.

 
Chasing
Cutting ornaments or figures out of smooth surfaces for decoration purposes.

 
Chime
The bell-like sound made when a clock strikes on the hour, half-hour, etc.

 
Chronograph
A mechanical watch with hour and minute hands and a center sweep-second hand, which can be controlled by one or more buttons, in the side of the case or with the crown. The sweep-second hand may be started, stopped and returned to zero without interfering with the timekeeping of the watch.

There are many variations of the chronograph with some operating with a center second hand to keep time on the watch's main dial while others use subdials to show elapsed hours, minutes and seconds. Some chronographs show elapsed time on a digital display on the watch face, and some chronographs can even time more than one event simultaneously. Used in conjunction with specialized scales on the watch face, a chronograph can perform many different functions, such as determining speed or distance.


 
Chronometer
A highly precisioned timepiece that has met the high standards of accuracy set by the Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometeres, the official testing agency in Switzerland. Testing of the watch's movement is conducted for 15 days and nights. The movement's accuracy is checked in five different positions and at various temperatures, which simulate conditions under which the watch might be worn. The term "chronometer" is copyrighted for mechanical watches.

 
Cleaning
Because even small traces of old oil can cause disturbances and friction, cleaning often involves overhauling a watch so that the old, used and usually hardened oil is removed. The watch is dismantled and rinsed several times with liquid-fat solvents in an ultrasonic cleaning machine. The watch is also lubricated with oils for the wheels, and fats or pressure-resistant oils for the springs. Watch oil must stay in its place and should not harden if it is to remain fully effective. Only very small drops of oil are used on the bearings.

 
Cloisonné Enamel
A type of enamel work, whereby thin strips of metal are soldered to the base to form the outlines of a design and colored enamel is then placed into each section.

 
Compensating Balance/Bimetallic Balance
A two-metal balance ring made of brass outside and steel inside, which prevent temperature variations from affecting the running of the watch. With rising temperatures, the brass expands faster than the steel, the ring ends bend inward, and the inertia of the ring decreases. Because the hairspring also becomes weaker with the rising temperature, the running of the watch remains the same. Today's watches also use hairsprings that do not weaken in order to prevent the effects from variations of temperature.

 
Complication
A watch with other functions besides timekeeping, including chronographs, minute repeaters, tourbillons, and perpetual calendars.

 
Convertible Case
A watch case built into a sliding frame that allows the dial side to be protected by turning it over to face the wrist.

 
Countdown Timer
A function that keeps track of how much of a pre-set period of time has elapsed. Some countdown timers sound a warning signal a few seconds before the time runs out, which can be very useful in some sporting events.

 
Crown/Stem/Pin
The grooved circular button on the outside of the watch case used to set the time and calendar, and, in mechanical watches, to wind the mainspring. In this case it is also called a "winding stem." A screw in (or screw down) crown screws into the case to greatly increase the water-tightness of the watch.

 
Crystal
The transparent cover on a watch face, which can be made of plexiglass (a clear, lightweight type of plastic), mineral glass (hardened by a tempering process), or synthetic sapphire (approximately three times harder than mineral and 20 times harder than acrylic crystals). Some crystals are made of both mineral and sapphire glass.

Plexiglass is the least expensive, least likely to shatter and the most likely to become scratched but permits shallow scratches to be buffed out. Mineral glass is more scratch-resistant than plexiglass. Synthetic sapphire is the most expensive crystal and the most scratch resistant but it is also the hardest and most brittle so it shatters more easily than other materials.

Watch crystals come in many shapes. Some French words used to describe the shape of a crystal are: "lunette," meaning round and "bombé," "chevé" and "boule," which all mean concave, or dome-shaped. A "raised" crystal is flat on top but raised up from the case. "Shaped crystals" are those that are not circular, such as rectangles, square and ovals. "Cocktail" shapes are the more extreme examples of shaped crystals, including elongated baguette and octahedral (eight-sided) crystals.

"Anti-reflective" or "glare-resistant" crystals have been coated on one or both sides with a substance to reduce reflections and glare on the watch face. Anti-reflective crystals can be made of either mineral glass or synthetic sapphire. These are often used on sport style watches to prevent glare.

See "Sapphire Crystal"


 
Curvex
A case with a slightly curved back to better fit the wrist (patented by Gruen).

 
Cushion
A square shaped case with rounded edges.

 
Cylinder Watch
A small hollow cylinder about 1 mm in diameter and with walls around 0.1 mm thick used as its escapement, with about half of its effective part removed. The cylinder directly bears the weight of the balance and it is very sensitive to shock. Watches with cylinder escapement were still built after World War II but repair of cylinder watches is almost impossible since spare parts are rare.

 
D
Daily Rate
A term used to denote the difference of time adjustment after 24 hours, with differences of up to several seconds per day attributable to the quality of the watch and wearing conditions.

 
Date
Ordinal number referring to a day of the month. A date watch (also called a calendar watch or calendar) indicates the date, month and sometimes the year and the phases of the moon.

 
Dayglow (Luminous)
Luminous paints containing traces of radioactive substances, which make the phosphorescent material (zinc sulfide) glow. Today, a beta radiator (tritium) is used.

See "T Swiss Made T" or "Swiss T 25"


 
Day/Night Indicator
A colored or shaded band on a world time clock, showing which time zones are in daylight and which are in darkness.

 
Decoration
The finishing and engraving of the movement. For example the Côtes de Genève pattern, a regular wave pattern obtained by engine-turning and polishing.

 
Deployment Buckle
A buckle that opens and fastens using hinged, often adjustable, extenders, making it easier to put the watch on and remove and is usually more comfortable.

 
Depth Alarm
An alarm on a diver's watch that sounds when the diver exceeds a pre-set depth and, in most watches, stops when the diver ascends above that depth.

 
Deviation
Daily deviation is the discrepancy from the real time within a 24 hour period, stated in seconds per day. Mechanical watches usually have a deviation of only a few seconds per day while precise quartz watches deviate only a few seconds per month.

 
Dial
The watch "face" - a plate of metal or other material, which bears various markings to show the hour, minutes and seconds. The indications are given by means of numerals, divisions or symbols of various types.

 
Dial Train
The train of wheels under the dial that moves the hands, comprised of the cannon pinion hour wheel, minute wheel and pinion.

 
Digital Watch
A watch that shows the time through digits rather than through a dial and hands (analog) display. Mechanical watches with digital indication became more common with the introduction of microelectronics in time measurement during the 1970's and 1980's.

 
Direct-Drive
A seconds-hand that moves forwards in little jerks. Trotteuse is a French term for a direct-drive seconds-hand, especially a center seconds-hand.

 
Display
Indication of time or other data, either by hands moving over a dial (analog display) or by numerals appearing in one or more windows (digital or numerical display).

 
Diving Watch


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