A pocket watch, watch or table clock with a built-in striking-work mechanism that automatically functions at the time that it has been set on.
Annual calendar
A clock that shows the day, date and hours of a day and can be adjusted automatically depending on the days of every month (28, 30 or 31). The calendar needs adjustment only once per year, at the last day of February, since it cannot compute leap years.
A type of coating on top of the crystal that eliminates the minor reflection and improves the reading of indications on both sides of the crystal. Due to the apparent risk of being scratched, many manufacturers apply it only on the crystal’s inner surface. It is mainly used in the manufacturing of synthetic sapphire crystals.
A system that protects the entire mechanism of a watch from magnetic fields.
The shock resistant protection system of a watch. Intended to be an elastic stand, which absorbs the shocks hitting the balancier’s rod and protects the sensitive rotating shafts from impairments. One of the most known shock resistant protection systems which is used in manufacture is the incabloc.
The dial of some watches possess small quichets, through which several indications appear (date, time and etc).
Sconces or pads are numbers or symbols made of a sheet of metal, which are sticked or nailed on top of the dial. They are usually used in hours’ indications.
Elongated part that connects other components to a watch’s mechanism.
Unit of measurement of the atmospheric pressure that is equivalent to 1.033g/cm or 1.013 bar. In watch manufacture the atmospheric pressure is measured in atmosphere or bars. One atmosphere on the sea’s level corresponds to water pressure of 10 meters depth. The manufacturer displays on the dial or the back of a watch’s case the water resistance extend either in atmospheres (atm or bar) or meters, stating the maximum allowed depth.
Back Cover
A watch's back cover, from which anyone can control or even remove its mechanism. It has been either fixed steadily on top of the case’s middle part with 4 or 8 screws, or it has been screwed on top of the case’s main body. Between the back part of the case and the middle part there is always a gasket, which blocks the entrance to water or dust. Commonly, it is produced from the same material as a watch’s case, without it being absolute. In many watches, usually mechanical or automatic with many complications, a watch’s back cover is made of sapphire crystal, for the purpose of the mechanism being visible.
A mobile component, usually circular, which oscillates with regard to its rotating shaft and adjusts a watch’s gear wheel system’s movement. The balancier is connected to a spiral, making it to float backwards and forwards and dividing the time evenly. Every one of the balancier’s retrogressive movements (commonly heard as 'tick-tack') is named oscillation. An oscillation consists of two pulses. The balancier is known to the watch manufacturers as ''balance''.
Balance Bridge
A special stand that braces on the Modern Balance-Cock balancier. The only specificity of this bridge is a protrusion, through which the balancier’s spring (hair) support shaft is framed.
In watch manufacturers’ terms it is known as ''hair''. A small spiral spring that is connected to one end at the balancier and the other end to a balancier’s bridge. These mechanical parts constitute a watch’s adjustment mechanism, whose precision depends on great degree to the quality of this spring.
A wheel consisted of a geared disk and a thin cylindrical box along with a cover. The barillet (barillie in the slang of clock manufacturers) rotates around a shaft and encloses a watch’s mainspring. The external spring’s end is connected to the barillet and its internal end to the shaft. The geared bezel (''Rose wheel'') of the barilet sets into motion the gear wheel system.
A shaft that holds down the brasillet and its spring. It consists of a cylindrical part, which is called a ''core'', and one hook, which is braced on the internal end of the mainspring.
Metallic component, part of the ébauche, which supports the barillet. Basically, it is the cover along with the spring.
A thin metallic bar used in watches, which is applied between the special protrusions of a case and holds down the watchband or the bracelet.
The accumulator, which provides the quartz watch with the necessary electrical energy for its functioning. Under normal circumstances a battery lasts 2-3 years, but in several multifunctional watches, such as chronographs, the battery has a life duration of nearly 1 year. For water resistant watches, it is necessary to renew the waterproofing on the back cover.
This term refers to a watch case’s top part. Particularly to the ring that exists around the crystal and supports it. In jewelry-watches the bezel is usually decorated with diamonds or other valuable gems. While in sports watches, it is common to be marked with different symbols or numbers (e.g. tachymeter scale) and is able to rotate clockwise and counter clockwise.
Bracelet ή Wristlet
Bracelet or wristband that supports the watch to a hand’s wrist. Bracelets are manufactured from stainless steel, gold in different colors or silver, while wristbands from leather of different qualities and color, rubber or plastic.
Metal known as bronze. An alloy made of copper and zinc with an inclusiveness in zinc up to 30-40%. A watch’s plates, bridges and wheels are made of brass.
Metallic components screwed to the main plate or platine, which constitutes part of the main mechanism (ébauche). On top of the bridge rotates at least one of a watch’s rotation shafts. Bridges usually are named after the components that they support, e.g. balance-bridge, train bridge, barrel-bar and etc.
Calendar Watch
A watch possessing the indication for the date of the month or even possibly the year as well as the Moon phases. It is called <> or simply <>. The display of the calendar to a mechanical watch was and remains one of the manufacture’s most complex problems. The date and month usually appear inside two symmetrical windows on the dial, while the Moon phases are displayed in a semi-circular window. In some cases these indications are represented in small ancillary dials along with their own hands. Watches with date indication, require five adjustments per year (1st of March, 1st of May, 1st of July, 1st of October and 1st of December) after the months with 30 days. If the watch’s mechanism possess the annual calendar complication, then only one adjustment per year is needed (1t of March), as the months with 30 or 31 days are ''recognizable''. In the perpetual calendar, adjustments are not required because of a special configuration with a wheel that performs one full rotation every four years and thus the mechanism is automatically adjusted to ''recognize'' leap years.
Unit of measurement for the purity of gold.
French term that has prevailed in clock manufacture concerning watches that have square cases. One carré can have sharp sides and edges, but there are also carre cases with externally curved sides (galbé) or even squared cases with rounded edges (cambree).
Carriage Tourbillon
The rotating cage of a tourbillon, which supports the balance and the escapement mechanism. This watch component is of determinant importance to establish the perfect balance and stability of the entire system, despite its light weight. Due to the fact that, the modern cages of the tourbillon perform one rotation per minute, substantial errors/deviations towards its vertical position are eliminated. As a result of the transparent dials’ widespread use, the tourbillon’s cage has obtained a decorative role that enhances aesthetically the appearance of a watch.
The metallic shell that protects a watch’s mechanism from the dust, moisture and knocks. It presents the watch with an impressive appearance, according to the trends and the aesthetic requirements of the buyers. The case is made of stainless steel or valuable metals (gold, platinum). It is usually consisted of three parts, the middle, the back and the Lunette (ring that supports the crystal), while sometimes the Lunette is omitted. Between these two or three parts, waterproofing materials are always interposed so as to protect the mechanical parts from humidity and dust.
The protrusion (cut tooth) of watch's wheel (gear) or lever.
Centre seconds
Also known as sweep seconds or grande seconde. This long second hand is located at the center of the dial.
The term is obviously of greek origin and is related to high-technology materials that already have been imposed to special process. Following their appliances in medical science and Formula 1, the high-tech ceramics are widely common in space technology. Excluding their enormous endurance to high temperatures they are extremely hard, do not get scratched or eroded and are not toxic for humans. In clock manufacture we are referring to two oxides (multi-crystallized), the ΑΙ203 and Zr03. These are used for the manufacturing of cases and rubies (ΑΙ203 +Cr203) as friction-reduction stones to watches’ mechanisms.
A watch with two independent timekeeping systems: one shows the time of day while the other measures specific periods of time. Along with a special mechanism, the chronograph’s hand records seconds, minutes and even hours and is sets into motion or pauses with the press of a button. It performs one rotation per minute. The chronograph is able to measure the exact duration of a phenomenon or event, but must not be confused with timers, stopwatches and chronometers. The applications that the chronographs can be used in are unlimited. There are many types of chronographs. The most significant are: the minute-recording chronograph, hour-recording chronograph, tachymeter, telemeter, pulsimeter, osmometer, production meter, chronograph with a dial for timekeeping or date reminder, multifunction chronograph, primary minute-counter chronograph, orientation chronograph and so on.
That’s how a watch that has been imposed on a set of precision trials by an official timekeeping organization is called and meets the precision standards of COSC. The standards are very strict: a few seconds per day in the most adverse temperature conditions (for mechanical watches) and positions that anyone can meet. The watch is provided with a certificate of timekeeping, which reports in detail the results of these trials.
A mechanism that stops a component (usually a gear wheel) or moves them towards only one direction. In a watch the click prevents the ratchet wheel (wheel that is braced on the barrel’s wheel) from turning in reverse after the winding has ended.
A timekeeping instrument. The first clocks were hourglasses, gnomons, solar and hydraulic ones. The mechanical clocks appeared during the 14o century.
Cloisonné enamel
Complex decorative technique (jewelry, hunters and so on.), during which very thin gold-fibre materials with a diameter smaller than 1/10th of a millimeter create an intricate design-pattern. The empty spaces (cloisons) are filled with enamel in different colors and the gold fibers do not let it get loose and mix with other colors. The object afterward is heated in the oven and its surface is evened until the gold fibers appear again.
A watch, whose hour hand’s and minute hand’s movement is performed at the same axis.
A special component that is fitted to a watch’s case and supports the bracelet.
Counter ή Timer
Every instrument that measures or records time. The minute counter in a chronograph is the mechanism that shows on a dial the number of a hand’s rotations e.g. number of minutes. Timer is the name of the mechanism that possess a long primary second hand, which moves for every 1/5th, 1/10th, 1/50th or 1/100th of a second, depending on its creation. A smaller hand counts the minutes. Some timers have a warning electronic sound that is heard a few seconds before the time runs out.
A button located externally of the case, usually in position 3, and is used to wind the mainspring. It is also used for the adjustment of time and the correction of the date indication. Watches used for diving or tough sports bear a screwing crown, ensuring better waterproofness.
A watch that does not possess a crown and it is winded or charged either automatically or by other means, e.g. the sense of touch over a sensor.
A regular number referring to the particular day of each month. Date watch: a watch with an indication for the calendar date, month, possibly even the year as well as the phases of the Moon. Also called ''calendar watch'' or ''calendar''. Perpetual calendar or quantième perpétuel: A watch that excluding the full calendar date has even the indication for leap years. Its mechanism corrects automatically the dates according to the Gregorian calendar and ''knows'' which months have 28, 29, 30 or 31 days.
The term is referring to all the actions of embellishment that are performed at the case, the dial and the watch’s mechanism, so as to make the outcome more appealing. In case decoration, are included the actions for the main part’s striation, engraving of embossments or the traditional and spectacular miniature patterns with enamel. In a dial’s decoration, most commonly element met is the Guilloché, meaning the engraving, textured, handcrafted process of the dial. Lastly, in a watch’s mechanism, the most widespread patterns are the côtes de Genève or a decorative process with small, subtly engraved circles that usually are crossed.
A plate made of metal or other materials, which bears different indication that state in normal watches the hours, minutes and seconds. The dials are of many shapes, decoration, construction material and so on. The indications are given either by numbers or separating –often engraved- lines or with various symbols. In many cases, the dial is decorated with patterns or valuable stones.
It is the most hard, natural material of the planet and consists of nearly 99,95% pure crystallized carbon. Despite the general opinion that has prevailed, the diamond in its natural form is an indistinct crystal. Brilliant: the well-known brilliant is a pure colorless form of carbon, which obtains extreme brightness thanks to its special polyhedral cut. Besides jewelry, it is used for the decoration of the bracelet, the bezel, the case and the dial of woman based watch versions.
That’s how are generally named the watches, mechanisms or dials, which do not show the time with hands, but with digits. In classic watch manufacture, there are several such versions, while in quartz watches the time indication is bright due to the liquid crystals (LCD : Liquid Crystal Display).
A thin circular plate with specific time indications. Date disc or disque de quantièmes : the disk that rotates under the dial and shows the date right through a window. Day disc or disque des jours : a disk for days. Month disc ή disque des mois : a disk for the months. Lunar disc / moon disc or disque des phases lunaires : a disk for the phases of the Moon.
An indication of time or other information either through hands that move on a dial (analogue) or numbers that appear in one or more windows (digital display). These numbers may be combined with letters of the alphabet or other indications, e.g. 12.05= 12 hours and 5 minutes, MO 12.3= Monday 12 of March.
Display Light
A mechanism that illuminates the dial and the hands of a watch. It functions either with the use of radio phosphide materials or the aid of an electric system.
Diver's Watch
A water-resistant watch, which can endure great depths that diving activities require. For a model to obtain this title, being waterproof is not enough, it must meet the standards set by swiss tests. Through which, waterproofing, stability in timekeeping, utility and clarity of a dial are regulated. Watches must possess a screwed crown and poussoirs, a screwed back cover, an anti-shocking crown and a dial of high clarity with illuminated indications, which can be read under any light conditions, from a distance of 20cm.
A set of components (escapement wheel, lever, cylinder), which exists in mechanical watches. Its purpose is to transform the rotating movement of the gear wheel system to a retrogressive movement (oscillation) and maintain the oscillations of the balancier.
The completion of a work, the finishing of watch’s case, the final assembly of the components, the final trial and the beginning of a mechanism’s function.
Gear train
The total number of wheels and gears that thanks to their arrangement set in motion a watch’s mechanism.
Geneva seal
A distinction awarded by the Canton de Genève to the mechanisms that are manufactured from factories of the namely area and meet all the standards of high watch manufacture, regarding handcrafted manufacturing, the production of limited scale, the quality work, the precision of assembly and adjustment. Geneva’s seal is marked at least on one of the mechanism’s bridges and bears the symbol of Canton, an escutcheon divided in two parts. The first displays an eagle and the second a key.
Glass or crystal
A thin transparent plate which protects the dial of any watch’s type. There are three kinds of watch crystals. The acrylic crystal is the cheapest synthetic material that can be polished with even a soft scratching. It is more vulnerable than the other crystals but it has an advantage: in case of damage, it will not break but bend. The mineral crystal is practically a type of glass, which is scorched in order to obtain greater hardness and scratchproof protection. It is more durable than the acrylic crystal, but when scratched, will not be polished again so easily. The sapphire crystal (synthetic sapphire) is the most expensive and resistant material , since it is around three times harder than the mineral crystal and 20 times harder than the acrylic one. It is a first option to be selected by great manufactures. Its only disadvantage is that if the crystal extends beyond the perimeter of the case, it can be damaged and break (see scratchproof sapphire crystal).
Coating of a metal with a thin sheet of gold, usually with the method of electrolysis. Watch mechanisms’ mainly possess gilded bridges and plates.
GMT: Greenwich Mean Time
Abbreviation for Greenwich Mean Time. Some watch models have the capability to show the time in two different time zones. They possess second hand, which indicates the Greenwich or Zulu time. These watches are used by pilots in all over the world.
One of the older instruments of timekeeping. A gnomon is a stone obelisk. The shadow that it was casting on the ground during the day helped the ancient people determine the time.
The only natural form of gold is yellow gold. Due to the fact that it is a very soft metal in its natural form, the production of jewellery requires it to be mixed along with other metals and thus creating a new alloy. The proportion of pure gold towards the other metals determines the rank in carats. Pure gold is considered 24 carats. Gold of 18K is 75% pure gold. The color of gold can change depending on the added metals. Thereby a medium quantity of copper will produce a pink coloring to the alloy. A medium quantity of palladium and nickel produces platinum.
In table and alarm clocks exists a small plate-like gong made of steel alloy, which is usually located around the mechanism and are being hit by little hammers announcing the time through sound. The size and thickness of the gong determines the tone and musical note that will be heard. In clocks that have minute-repeaters (see minute-repeaters) there are frequently two gongs and the hammers hit one note for the hour, both notes for the quarters and the second note for the minutes. In more complicated versions may exist up to four gongs, which generate different notes and play even simple tones, such as the Big Ben tone.
Grande complication
That’s how watches numbering a great number of complications are called. Being exceptionally rare pieces, they are manufactured in a very limited number. Therefore, priority lists exist mainly for collectors and their price is astronomical.
A steel or brass hammer, which is used in striking-work or alarm mechanisms. It rings a gong or a bell.
A clock’s hand, usually manufactured from a thin, light metal in a variety of shapes that rotates over the dial. Watches usually have three hands, which indicate the corresponding hours, minutes and seconds.
Hatch cover or case back cover
A clock’s case back cover which can be removed by a specialist to either repair the mechanism or replace the battery.
Helium Valve
A valve encompassed in the case of some professional diver’s watches, which releases helium existing in the mixture of air that divers breathe.
Hi-tech materials
Materials exemplifying the state of the art are used to mainly improve a watch’s sturdiness. Research is mainly focused in material formation of extreme hardness, so as not to scratch easily (See scratchproof hi-tech ceramics, scratchproof hi-tech diamond, scratchproof hard metal, scratchproof sapphire crystal).
Horn shaped component of a watch’s case on top of which the bracelet is fitted.
The wheel that turns a clock’s hand.
A pocket watch or hunter whose case has a protecting top and bottom cover.
Index adjuster
A component used to make fine corrective measure adjustments in the daily flow of time. The whole process is applied at a pendulum’s oscillation, whose acceleration or deceleration causes the narrowing or widening of a pendulum’s length. In its most simple form, an adjuster is consisted of a gusset that presses against the ending of the adjuster on top of a screw. The screw can be framed to fit a desired position and hold down the adjuster.
The dial and hands constitute a clock’s indicator.
Jewel or Ruby/Rubis
Stone that aids to the reduction of friction. In watch manufacture terms it is known as ''ruby''. In clock mechanism jewels are usually made of synthetic material, whereas luxurious watches use valuable and semi-valuable gemstones (ruby, sapphire). The existence of such stones does not add up to the market value of a clock. In addition, it must be said that more stones do not necessarily make a clock better.
LCD Display (Liquid Crystal Display)
Electronic time indicator through numbers appearing in one or more windows. The indication is appearing inside an enclosed liquid located between two transparent plates.
Limited edition
A watch model that has been released in a limited number. Every watch bears an upward number, while the mold is destroyed immediately after the production of the specific series is completed.
This special paint which has been used to coat or color the indications of hours and hands, so as to be possible to read the time even at night distinctly. This material is produced from phosphor and has the capability to absorb light during the day and disperse it at night or at a dark environment. In our days, in order to achieve the best possible result, the manufacturers use the element tritium, which has the ability to emit excellent brightness.
Main plate
The main plate on top of which all the components of a mechanism’s clock are braced on. It constitutes part of the Ébauche.
The mainspring of a clock that is contained inside the barrel.
Manufacture ή Factory
French term used to describe the traditional clock factory, which manufactures the parts (especially the Ébauches) required for the production of its goods (watches, alarm clocks, floor clocks and etc). The factory manufactures clocks almost from the beginning in contrast to the atelier de terminage, which is only concerned about the assembly of the mechanism, the adjustment, the placing of hands and the application of the case.
Marine Chronometer
Mechanical or electronic timer of fine precision, enclosed in a box (the term box chronometer is derived from this fact). It serves for determining the geographical length while on top of a ship. Mechanical marine chronometers are braced on special stands, which maintain them in horizontal position, so as to remain accurate. The first marine chronometer using a spring and a balancier was invented by a self-taught clock manufacturer, George Harrison in 1761.
Mechanical Watch
The traditional mechanical watch is consisted of nearly 130 components assembled in three main parts: the power supply, the regulation element and the case. The number of components is increasing spectacularly when the watch is of great complexity, to wit having many complications, like date, moon phases, fly-back function and etc. The ''Ébauche'' (with nearly 60 components) equipped with the adjustment system and some other parts constitutes a clock’s mechanism, which makes it possible to maintain a consistent spring stress provided that it has been winded up either by hand or automatically (by using hand movement) and adjusts the indication of time with the assist of the hands (hour hand, minute hand, second hand). A clock is considered completed only when the mechanism has been fitted to the dial, the hands and the case.
Metal coating
A metallic thin layer which is fitted to an object in order to protect or change its appearance. In clock manufacture, the metals used to protect are gold, silver, nickel, chrome and rhodium.).
Unit of length equivalent to one thousandth of a millimeter. It is symbolized with the letter m. In clock manufacture, durability is often measured in this unit.
Middle part
The middle part of a case existing between the crystal and the back part of a case and practically supports the basic mechanism of a clock. In between it, a shaft goes by connecting the crown with the mechanism on top of which are framed the chronographs’ poussoirs as well as the rods that restrain the bracelet.
Military watch
Military watches are one of the first clocks that were worn on a hand’s wrist. Beginning in the First World War they had already been proved as a treasure that allowed humans to read time quickly and effectively. Military watches have their own mark. They are easily recognized from their big shapes as well as their black dial along with the Arabic characters in the hour indications and their illuminated hands. Genuine military watches bear a traced indication in the back of a case with the designation of the specific military body. Today, there are several people who mimic the militaire style for fashion reasons.
Moon phases
An indication that corresponds to the successive phases of the Moon. A normal rotation of the Moon around the Earth lasts 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes. It is accounted as one of the most delightful complications. The mechanism is consisted of a gear wheel, which shifts at midnight and activates a turning disk below the dial. Due to the dial's special window’s shape, the Moon appears as it can be seen in the sky.
Morbier clock
Floor clock with a long pendulum, which usually measures every second. Its name originates from the area it is manufactured, Morbier mount range Giura of France. It is also known as Comptois or Compté.
A set of gear wheels located beneath the dial and is used for transferring the rotating movement of the minutes’ pinion to the hour hand.
The total number of a clock’s components and mechanisms: the winding and time-adjusting mechanism, the mainspring, the gear wheel system, the échappement and regulating elements. Individually, the mechanism is consisted of the ébauche, the adjustment information and the rest of the components.
Multifunctional watch
Watch with multiple functions, like the chronograph.
When the balancier is oscillating, it reaches two extreme positions. The movement from one position to the other and the return to the startup point makes up one oscillation. A clock usually performs 9000 oscillations or 18000 beats per hour.
A device that receives messages, can be worn at the wrist and frequently complements a watch. The information is transferred through sounds, numbers or words.
Part of a clock’s escapement mechanism made of steel or brass that resembles the shape of a ship’s anchor. A clock’s pallets are made of two parts, the pallet and the pin.
A small piece of stone (ruby, sapphire or garnet) shaped as a parallelogram, embedded in each one of the two pallet’s arms (for watches using a pallet escapement mechanism).
Weight hanging from a fixed point and is able to oscillate right and left. A pendulum clock is consisted of the suspension, which can be in a spring, chisel or thread-like form, the metallic rod, which is usually cylinder-like, and of course the weight that is hanging off the rod’s end.
Perpetual calendar/ Quantiéme perpétuel
A clock that excluding the main date indications (date, day, month, Moon phases) possess one very important complication. The mechanism is able to identify which months have 28, 29, 30 or 31 days and correct the dates based on the Gregorian calendar automatically passing to the 1st of the next month. It’s about a mechanism of great complexity resulting in a considerable higher price.
Term used to describe materials that polarize electrically when are subject to an external form of pressure (pull or compression).
Geared component, which is found in every type of clocks. It is combined with a wheel and a shaft creating a gear that transfers the movement to a wheel. The pinion has less cut teeth than a wheel (6-14 cut teeth), but is extremely polished to reduce the friction to minimum.
The plate on top of which are braced on the bridges as well as other parts of a clock’s mechanism.
Platinum is one of the hardest, heaviest and most valuable metals, thence it is used widely in the clock and jewelry manufacturing along with valuable gems. It is hypoallergenic and does not fade. Gold and clock manufacturers it has a purity of at least 85-95%. Many watches made of platinum are manufactured in limited edition, due to the high price and rarity of the metal.
Synthetic pitch, which is used for the manufacturing of clocks’ crystals.
All of a clock's parts that are bound to friction must be evened or polished.
Power reserve
An indication of a watch’s wind up charge. It shows how much more time the timekeeping mechanism is going to operate based on its power reserves. When it reaches 0, the watch stops. Many modern mechanical watches have a wind up charge of 40 and more hours.
A small case, usually made of wood or leather, padded with velvet, inside of which a watch ready for sale is placed.
Pulsimeter chronograph
A special type of chronograph. The pulsimeter scale shows immediately a human’s number of heart beats per minute. The observer activates the chronograph when he begins counting the heart beats and stops on the 30th, 20th or 15th beat according to the graduation of a watch’s dial.
A stamp located on the watch, usually on the mechanism so as to guarantee the quality, stating that the specific version meets the standards of some areas with tradition in great watch manufacturing. E.g. Geneva seal.
Push-piece ή Push button
This special button is located on top of a watch’s case and controls specific functions. When pressed, it activates a mechanism, e.g. chronometer. Push-pieces or push buttons are usually found in chronographs, alarm clocks and so on.
Quartz watch
A clock equipped with a mechanism for timekeeping controlled by a quartz crystal, which can pulse at a specific frequency in an oscillated electrical circuit. The singularity of a quartz clock is that it can provide us with a higher degree of precision while timekeeping than the balancier of a mechanical watch. Most clocks are sold in a frequency of 32 kHz.
A steel gear wheel. In mechanisms equipped with striking-work, the hour ratchet or hour rock is a geared component that props up the lifting levers of the hammer ensuring the repeating of the hours. Ratchet-wheel or winding wheel: a gear wheel braced on the shaft of the barrel. A click is not allowing it to rotate in reverse and wind down the clock.
Regulating elements/ éléments de Réglage
Total number of components consisting of the balancier and the escapement mechanism (escapement wheel, lever and cylinder) and adjusting the allocation of time inside the mechanical mechanism, ensuring the normal function of timekeeping. As the balancier functions like a pendulum, it's spring performs one oscillation after the other. This combined action determines the frequency, which is the number of beats per hour, and affects the rotation speed of various wheels. As a matter of fact, the balancier while the oscillation is occurring, thanks to the pallets, for every beat releases one cut tooth from the escape wheel (see escapement). Therefore, the movement is transferred to the fourth wheel, which performs one rotation per minute, then to the third wheel and onto the main wheel (performs one full rotation per hour). Lastly, we have to specify that every action is actually defined from the balancier’s oscillations’ correct period of time.
Regulation ή setting
In watch manufacture, just before a watch’s time is adjusted, it undergoes the following procedures: a. application of the spring to a watch’s ring, centering and aligning, positioning and alignment of the balance, c. specification of the point of adjustment, d. configuration of a final spring coil adjustment, if necessary, e. application of a balancier’s spring to the fixed shaft. Time adjustment requires observation and correction in various positions and temperature conditions. There are different adjustment categories depending on the degree of precision that is required: basic, adjustment in various positions, adjustments in various temperatures, for precision. The high precision adjustment corresponds to the quality standards raised by an institute or an observatory. The trial is similar to the ones practiced by the watch testing institutes with the only difference being that the limits here are narrower and the time of trials is longer.
Repeater/Répétition A watch that announces the hours using striking-work via a mechanism enabled through a button, pulling switch or key. There are various types of watches using répétition. Quarter-repeater (répétition à quartz): hours are announced with a deep sound, while quarters with a ding dong. Five-minute repeater (répétition à cinq minutes): uses sound to announce the hours, quarters and five-minutes. Minute-repeater (répétition minutes): uses sound to announce the hours, quarters and minutes. Grand strike (Grande sonnerie): automatically uses sound to announce the hours and quarters and repeats after the push of a button. Chiming repeater (répétition à carillon): quarters are announced with three or four sounds of different volume.
Semicircular disk of heavy metal, which can rotate inside the case of an automated mechanism due to the energy that is generated from the hand’s movement. Thanks to a specially designed mechanism, the rotor’s rotations coil continuously the watch’s mainspring.
Very hard, natural, valuable gem in intense red color. Its chemical composition is a red crystalic aluminium’s oxide (corundum). The ruby is the most suitable stone for the reduction of friction in various moving parts of the mechanism as well as instruments of the escapement system of a watch. In watch manufacture the synthetic ruby is used widely.
Usually met in chronographs. They are embossed on the dial and used for particular measurements. These that are widely used: the tachymeter scale, which measures the average speed, the production scale, which is similar to the tachymeter scale but measures the hourly productivity (by piece), the telemeter scale, which is based on the rapid transmission of light and sound, and the pulsimeter or medical scale, which measures for a small period of time the breathing or heart beats giving their equivalence per minute (see chronograph).
Scratchproof hardmetal/Métal dur inrayable
The manufacture of the ''hard metal'' is an extremely complicated procedure. Wolfram or titanium’s carbide dust is subject to pressure of 1000 bar and consequently is compressed even more inside an oven of 1450 °C, to acquire the metal's final form. Numerous other practices are required before the shiny hard metal reaches our hands. In the future it is expected to be used widely from the modern watch manufacture.
Scratchproof hi-tech diamond
Many years of intensive research was needed in order for the scientists to convert carbon into nano-crystal diamond particles. By improving the parameters of the process, it became feasible to combine these particles in a homogenous diamond layer on top of hard metal components, ensuring a diamond of great technology, one material of utmost hardness that remains stable.
Scratchproof Sapphire crystal
The first matter for the industrial production of a sapphire crystal is a dust that can be crystallized in temperatures of 2050 °C and then converted in a sapphire mass, which is cut in thin slices using the aid of high precision special diamonds. Every crystal disk has to pass a certain process and then is polished. The final result is a flawless, especially resistant shield of scratchproof protection for the watches.
Scratchproof ή Scratch-resistant
Term used to describe some materials, which do not scratch easily when coming in contact with tough objects. In watch manufacture there are cases or crystals with scratchproof protection.
Base unit for measuring time (in brief s or sec), which corresponds to 1/86000 of an average day, (the duration of the Earth’s rotation around its own axis, circling around the sun in a year, with a fixed speed and at the height of equator). After the Second World War, atomic watches became so precise so as to be able to show the slightest deviations (a few centimeters of a second every year) in the Earth’s rotation around its axis. The second can be divided in deciseconds, milliseconds, microseconds, nanoseconds and picoseconds. In clock manufacture a seconde is a tool which shows seconds (second’s wheel, second hand). Centre seconds or sweep seconds-Seconde au centre or grande seconde: a long second hand located in the center of the dial. Small seconds-Petite seconde: a short second hand located in outside the center of the dial (e.g. Location 9 or 12). Seconde foudroyante: a second hand which performs a rotation around a special dial every second. Seconde morte: a long second hand located in the center of the dial and can stop without terminating the functions of the watch. Seconde trotteuse:a second hand which moves in small brief steps for every oscillation that the balancier does.
Second time zone
Some watch versions have the capability to show simultaneously the time in two different time zones. They may possess either a second main hour hand that shows the time in another time scale, which appears around the dial, or a second smaller dial usually equipped with a 24hour scale. In some cases the main dial may be divided into two equally smaller dials with double time indications.
The shock resistant protection system of a watch. Intended to be an elastic stand, which absorbs the shocks hitting the balancier’s rod and protects the sensitive rotating shafts from impairments. One of the most known shock resistant protection systems which is used in manufacture is the incabloc.
Silver ή silver-plate
Coating of a metallic surface or component with a thin layer of silver. Extremely widespread technique in watches’ dials.
An elastic steel oblong object that can regain its original form (see balance-spring) after it has been bended or compressed.
Stainless steel
An extremely durable metal alloy (whose main ingredient is chrome), which cannot get oxidized, fade or corroded. When polished, it looks more like a valuable metal. Stainless steel is often used in watches’ back cases made of other metals and it has become the first option selected by watch manufacturers for high quality cases and bracelets. It is hypoallergenic, due to it not containing nickel.
Iron with mixes of carbon. Swiss watch manufacturers use the term "steel" referring to all of the watch’s steel parts. There are different types of steel: the semi-hard steel used in movement shafts and other curved components, the hard steel for screws, pinion and other watch instruments, which do not require great hardness, whereas very hard steel is used in springs and other various tools.
Swan-neck fine adjustment
A system that is encountered in particularly expensive models. It refers to mechanisms equipped with an adjuster, which consists of a spring (shaped like its name suggests) and a screw required for the adjustment mechanism. The spring’s said appearance is so spectacular, so as to name the system "swan-neck".
Instrument that measures speed. In watch manufacture, it’s about a chronograph with a stepped bezel, whose speed reading is displayed in kilometers per hour.
A chronograph’ scale, which is based on the swift transmission of light and sound, and measures the distance of a phenomenon that becomes perceivable both visually and by sound. The chronograph’s hand is set in motion the moment a phenomenon is observed and ends by the time the sound is heard. Its position in a watch’s scale represents the distance measured in kilometers or miles separating the phenomenon from the observer. The measurement is based on the speed at which the sound travels in the sky, nearly 340 meters per second. During a storm, a telemeter scale records the time needed from the moment a lightning flashes until its sound is heard.
Instrument used to record periods of times without showing any indication towards the time of day.
Titanium/ Titanium
Considered as the metal of "space era". Due to it being 30% stronger and nearly 50% lighter than steel, it has been used widely in watch manufacturing and especially for the manufacture of sports models. The great endurance towards the erosion caused by sea water, enabled it to become an especially useful material for divers’ watches. Due to being easily scratched, some manufacturers cover it with a special scratchproof coating. It is hypoallergenic.
Metallic component part of the ébauche, which supports the system of geared wheels.
Radio-phosphide material used in the coloring of the hands, numbers and the dial, so as to illuminate in the darkness.
It constitutes part of the case on top of which the crown is screwed or fixed and also where the watch is sealed up.
The movement of a pendulum or another similar element, which has two successive extreme positions. The balancier of a mechanical watch usually performs five or six oscillations per second (18000-21600 per hour). However, the balancier of a high frequency watch is able to perform seven, eight or even ten oscillations per seconds (25200, 28800 or 36000 per hour).
All the components of a watch, springs, shafts, balanciers, bridges and etc, that are used for the repair or manufacture of a mechanism.
A mobile timekeeping instrument. Its main feature is that it can be worn by a human and constitutes an irreplaceable accessory of his/her clothing. A watch is consisted of three main parts: the mechanism along with all the timekeeping and function instruments (see movement), the case which protects the mechanism (see watch-case) and the dial (see dial) with its hands (see hand) that show the time. Depending on the way a watch is worn, it is known as hunter (pocket-watch – montre de poche), watch (wristlet-watch or wristwatch – montre bracelet) and jewel watch (jewel-watch or montre bijou).
Water resistant
A watch after a special procedure does not allow the inflow of water towards its interior. It is considered water resistant, when exposed to water at 1 meter depth for 30 minutes and also at 20 meters for 90 seconds. There are certain standards that must be met in order for a watch to be acknowledged as "water resistant". If there is not a specific indication on the watch, then the case is water resistant until 3 atm or 30 meters depth. In this case, it is recommended that the watch is not to be worn while at sea and also minimize the time it comes in contact with water. Watches that bear the indication of 5atm or 50 meters are considered water resistant while at sea, whereas those bearing indication of 10 atm or 100 meters are suitable for diving.
Water resistant case/ Boîte étanche
A watch case whose connections do not allow moisture to get inserted in its interior. All modern watches are “sealed up” with the aid of a special sealing material, which does not allow the water and dust to erode or wear a watch’s mechanism. These materials are located between the case’s middle part and its back, while also enclosing Lunette, the crown’s rings as well as the grooves of the winding mechanism and the external press button used in timekeeping. The waterproof materials have the shape of rings (therefore called “O-rings”) and are usually made of plastic matter. If we desire a watch’s waterproofing to last longer, we must renew every two to three years its waterproofing process, while at the back part of its case must be renewed every time it’s opened.
Wheel and pinion/Mobile
A simple watch's gear wheel system is consisted of the movement system –balancier, main pinion, main wheel, third wheel and pinion, fourth wheel and pinion, escapement pinion- and the measuring system- main pinion, hands’ wheel and pinion, hours’ wheel.
A circular component that rotates around one shaft and is used to transfer of energy or movement. In a gear wheel system, every wheel is connected to its equivalent pinion (see pinion).
A function used to coil a watch’s mainspring. This is possible either by hand (or the crown) or automatically (through a shaft-rotor, which is oscillating due to the owner’s hand movements.
World timer
A watch that except the classic time indication can indicate the time up to 24 different time zones around the world. These zones are represented by the name of town which is marked or registered in a rotating bezel around the dial. The user can easily read the time in a time zone, since the main hour hand is pointing towards a specific number of the 24 hour scale. Minutes are read normally.
Zinc/ zinc
For protection reasons, iron and steel are subjected to a galvanism process, thus getting coated in a layer of zinc.
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