Dictionary Guide to Luxury Watch Terms

  • Automatic Movement - A type of mechanical movement that is wound by the motion of the wearer's wrist.
  • Balance Wheel - The part of a mechanical watch movement that oscillates, dividing time into equal segments.
  • Bezel - The ring surrounding the watch face. Some bezels can be rotated and have specific functions, such as tracking elapsed time.
  • Caliber - Refers to the specific model or type of watch movement.
  • Complication - Any feature on a watch beyond the display of hours, minutes, and seconds. Examples include chronographs, moon phases, and calendars.
  • Crown - The button on the side of the watch case used to set the time and date. In mechanical watches, it's also used to wind the movement.
  • Crystal - The clear cover over the watch face. It can be made from various materials like acrylic, mineral glass, or sapphire.
  • Dial - The watch face where the hands and often indices or numbers are displayed.
  • Escapement - The mechanism in a mechanical watch that transfers energy to the timekeeping element and allows the gear train to advance.
  • Gasket - Rubber or plastic seals used to ensure water resistance in watches.
  • Hand - The pointing device anchored at the center and rotating around the dial (e.g., hour hand, minute hand, second hand).
  • Horology - The science and study of timekeeping.
  • Jewels - Synthetic rubies or sapphires used in watch movements to reduce friction.
  • Lug - The part of the watch case where the bracelet or strap is attached.
  • Lume - Luminescent material applied to watch hands and markers to make them visible in the dark.
  • Mainspring - The spiral spring of metal ribbon that powers mechanical watches.
  • Mechanical Movement - A movement powered by a mainspring, wound either by hand (manual) or by the motion of the wearer's wrist (automatic).
  • Movement - The inner mechanism of a watch that keeps time and moves the watch's hands, date wheels, etc.
  • Power Reserve - The duration a watch will continue to run after being fully wound or charged.
  • Pusher - Button(s) on the side of a watch case used to control specific functions like a chronograph.
  • Quartz Movement - A watch movement powered by a battery and regulated by the oscillations of a quartz crystal.
  • Regulator - A device in a mechanical watch movement used to adjust the timekeeping.
  • Subdial - A smaller dial within the main dial, which provides additional information (e.g., chronograph functions or secondary time zones).
  • Tourbillon - A device in mechanical watches that counters the effects of gravity by mounting the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage.
  • Watchmaker - A person who repairs or makes watches.
  • Water Resistance - Often marked on the case back, indicating how well a watch is sealed against the ingress of water.


Leave a comment

All blog comments are checked prior to publishing