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Watch ABC

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24-hour denotation

In digital 24 hour denotation one o’ clock in the afternoon/pm is shown as 13.00. On an analog watch dial the 24-hour denotation often has the shape of a separate dial showing the hour from 00 – 24.

A

Altimeter

An altimeter shows altitude.

Ana-Digi

Combined analogdigital watch.

Analog watch

Watch with hour, minute and second hands.

Automatikuhr

The spring of the watch is wound by a rotor powered by physical movement. Also called mechanical watch.

B

Backlight

Pressing a button lights up the dial.

Bezel

The rim of the watch around the watch face securing the crystal. On sports- or dive watches the bezel is usually movable.

Big Date

When the Date denotation on a watch is made up of two seperate windows with individually moving numbers, it is called a Big Date.

C

Carbon

Coal. Also: Very dark grey color.

Chronograph

Watch with stopwatch function.

Chronometer

A watch compliant with the quality standards of the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres. Not to be confused with chronograph.

Complication

When a watch has more functions than just hour, minutes and seconds, the extra functions are called complications.

D

Date bubble

Magnifying glass in the watch crystal above the date window. Common in dive watches.

Day- and Date denotation

Usually in the shape of a window in the dial or a seperate dial with a pointer.

Digital watch

Watch with an LCD dial

E

ETA

Swiss watch movement manufacturer owned by Swatch Group.

Eco-Drive

A quartz watch battery charged with (sun)light.

Ewiger Kalender

A perpetual calendar watch automatically displays (usually up to the year 2100) the correct date for differing lenghts of months and leap years.

F

Fixed Bezel

A Fixed Bezel is not movable. Usually contains a scale of sorts, for instance for a tachymeter.

Fixed Lugs

Usually the watch strap or bracelet is attached to the lugs by a removable push pin. On a Fixed Lug watch the pin is welded to the lugs. The watch strap (usually a NATO-strap) is pulled through the opening between pins and case. Also see: Slip Thru Strap

Fly Back Chrono

A flyback chronograph is a watch complication whereby the chrono function can be started, stopped and reset with just one button. Also called Retour-en-vol or Permanent Zero Setting.

Funkuhren

A quartz watch synchronised with the international atom clock.

G

GMT

GMT means the watch can show the time in two different time zones. Also: Dual Time.

GPS

Global Positioning System

Gangreserveanzeige

Indication of how many hours of power a mechanical watch has left before it needs to be rewound.

Gunmetal

Dark Grey/Brown metal color

H

Handwinder

Watch movement powered by a handwound spring.

I

Indexes

The hour and minutes denotation on an analog watch.

Indiglo

Backlight system for Watches developed by Timex, incorporating an electroluminescent display for even illumination of the watch dial.

Iridescent

Iridescence is the property of certain surfaces that appear to change colour as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes. Examples of iridescence include soap bubbles and mother of pearl.

K

Kinetic

Mechanical quartz watch movement, controlled by a battery charged by a rotor powered generator.

L

LCD

Liquid Crystal Display

Laptimer/lap counter

Lap time memory

Lugs

The watch strap is mounted to the watch case at the lugs.

Lumen

Luminescent material applied to the numbers, indexes and/or hands of analog watches. Usually charged by sunlight and blacklight/ultraviolet light.

Lunette

See: Bezel

M

Mechanical watch

A mechanical watch is not powered by a battery, but by a rotor (automatc or kinetic watch), a handwound spring or spring drive.

Mesh strap

Also called: Milanese, is a strap made out of woven and waltzed steel wire.

Milanese Band

Also called: Mesh strap, is a strap made out of woven and waltzed steel wire.

Mineral crystal

'Regular' glass. Not scratch or shock resistant. Sometimes provided with a protective coating.

Miyota

Japanese watch movement manufacturer owned by Citizen.

Moonphase

A window in the dial shows the 29.5 day moon cycle.

Movable Bezel

On sports- or dive watches the bezel is often movable. This has several functions. Also: Uni-Directional Bezel.

Multifunktionsuhr

Watch with more than 2 functions/complications. Usually day, date and 24-hour denotation.

N

NATO-strap

Watch strap made out of durable textile (usually canvas or nylon) with stainless steel buckle and placeholders.

P

Pepsi bezel

(movable) bezel in in the colors red and blue.

Petit seconde

See 'Small second'

Plexiglass / Plexi

Plastic. Shock resistant, but not scratch resistant. Can easily be polished.

Q

Quarz

Watch movement with an oscilating crystal powered by a battery.

R

Regulator watch

A regulator watch is a watch with hours, minutes and seconds on separate dials.

Retrograde

A retrograde watch dial does not display the time and other functions on a round dial, but on a scale. When the pointer reaches the end of the arc it automatically jumps back to the start.

Ronda

Swiss watch movement manufacturer.

Rotor

A contra weight powered by physical movement winding the mechanical watch.

S

Saphirglas

Scratch resistant glass. Often supplied with an anti-glare coating. This type of crystal is also shock resistant, but can – in rare circumstances -shatter under extreme pressure/shock.

Schraubverschlußrückseite

To be able to withstand higher (water) pressure, the watch back is screwed into the watch case.

Schweizer Uhrwerk

Watch movement manufactured in Switzerland. Some of the best known Swiss watch movement manufacturers are: ETA, Ronda, Soprot en Sellita.

Screwed Crown

Watch crown screwed into the case for protection of the water resistance.

Skeleton watch

A skeleton watch is a mechanical watch (although occasionally quartz), in which the movement is visible through the front of the watch and often the back of the watch or a small window in the dial.

Slip Thru Strap

Watch strap in one piece. A slip through strap is pulled through the gap between the lugs and the pin and worn underneath the watch case.

Small Second

When the second hand of the watch does not run from the central axis, but in a separate dial or display it is called a Small Second. Chronographs usually contain a small second doubling as a stopwatch. Also: Petit Seconde

Solar

A quartz watch powered by a solar powered cell.

Spring drive

Watch mechanism like in a mechanical watch wound by a mainspring, barrel, automatic winder and stem, to store the watch energy.

Start-Stop Hebel

Lever on top of a chronograph pusher. Used by pilots to start and stop their chronograph with one push.

Stretchband

Metal or Plastic bracelet of which the individual links are held together by elastic material.

Swiss Made

A watch can only be called Swiss Made when the assembly of the movement and the watch were started, adjusted and checked by a manufacturer in Switzerland. By law at least 50% of the watch components must be produced in Switzerland. It is allowed to produce the watch case and strap elsewhere, but all components must be delivered to Switzerland unassembled.

Swiss Watch

See: Swiss Made

T

Tachymeter

Scale on the watch dial or bezel that can be used to compute a speed based on travel time or measure distance based on speed.

Taschenuhr

Watch with or without lid(s) worn on a chain in trouser or vest pocket.

Telemeter

A Telemeter is a device used to measure distances - a rangefinder - to remote objects/occurances that can be both seen and heard (like a flash of lightning). The user starts the stopwatch at the moment the occurance is seen and stops the watch at the moment the occurance is heard. The second hand points to the distance on the scale. Originally used for finding naval gunnery.

Tide alarm or -table

Denotes water levels and high tide. Predominantly used by sailors and surfers.

Tonneau

Barrel shaped.

Tourbillion

A tourbillion is a cage turning on its own axis containing the mechanical watch mechanism. Originally developed to limit wear and tear to the pocket watch movement.

Tyvek

Tyvek is a synthetic material consisting of high density polyetheen. The material can be cut by scissors or knife, but cannot be torn. Is sometimes used in watch straps.

U

Uni-Directional Bezel

A bezel that can only be turned in one direction. Often found on dive watches to help the diver estimate the remaining dive time / air supply. Uni-directionality is a safety measure to avoid accidental changes of the set time.

W

Watch mechanism

The driving mechanism of the watch. Well known types of watch mechanisms are: quartz, solar, kinetic.

Wecker

Alarm function.

Workout memory

lap timer/lap counter

World timer

An analog watch (usually in the bezel) shows the time in the 24 time zones of the world.

Z

Zwei Zeiten

Dual Time means the watch can show the time in two different time zones. Also: GMT.

Zweifarbig

Bicolor literally means two colors, usually silver + gold or white gold + yellow gold. Also called: Two-Tone.

Zweite Zeitzone

Usually denoted by GMT or Dual Time.

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