Glossary of watch related terms
Watch Term Glossary
A complication in a watch that allows the user to set the watch to chime at a certain time. In a mechanical watch this is usually set by rotating a marker hand to the desired alarm time . There is also the ability on the watch to turn the alarm on or off.
- Jaeger Le Coultre Master Compressor Memovox White Gold 170.31.40
- Breguet Classique Le Réveil Du Tsar Yellow Gold 5707Ba/12/9V6
A chronograph is a watch with timekeeping and stop watch functions. Chronographs in watches are the most common type of complication. Usually they are recognised by three subdials on the main dial, one for seconds, one for minuits and one for hours, although this is not alway the case.
- Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Bi Metal 116523(Wb)
- Breguet Heritage Chronograph White Gold 5461Bb/12/996 Dd00
- Breitling Navitimer Steel Black Face A23322 (401)
generally all time measuring devices are chronometers.."chrono" is time and "meter" to measure, however for a swiss made device to be called a chronometer it must have been tested for accuracy by COSC.
Complication in a watch is any feature the watch has over an above simply telling the time. Complications include Chronograph, Moon Phase, tourbilon, rattrapante, retrograde, repeaters & sonneries and perpetual calendars. A watch that has more than one complication is called a Grande Complication.
Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute, which is the institute responsible for certifying the accuracy and precision of wristwatches in Switzerland. Watches with this certificate are submitted to the testing institute in switzerland and their time keeping is tested while the movment is in various different positions.
This complication means that the watch displays the time in multiple time zones. This is usually achieved by an extra hand on the watches dial which points out a second hour, however this is not always the case.
- Audemars Piguet Royal Oak (Dual Time) Rose Gold Black Face 26120Or.00.D002Cr.01
- Jaeger Le Coultre Master Compressor Dualmatic Rose Gold Brown Dial 173.21.40
- Tag Heuer Carrera Twintime WV2116-0
the device in a mechanical watch that converts the continual rotation of a gear into a oscillating or back and forth movment.
This usually referes to a watch that has more than one complication
Is a complication in a watch that announces the time using chimes and dongs to represent the hours and usually the minutes This is usually activated by the user pressing a button on the watch.
- Franck Muller Minute Repeater Tourbillion 7880 RMT Platinum
- Parmigiani Kalpa Xl Minute Repeater PF008622.01
- Parmigiani Toric Westminster White Gold PF004185.01
A window in a watch face that shows which phase the moon is in. A regular rotation of the moon is once around the earth every 29 days, 12 hours and 44 minutes. Once set, the moon phase indicator accurately displays the phase of the moon.
- Jaeger Le Coultre Reverso Grande Sun-Moon Watch White Gold Case Leather Bracelet 2753470
- IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Iw5022-13
- Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonphase 18K White Gold 3689.30.31
A quartz movement in a watch is one that uses an electronic oscillator that is regulated by a quartz crystal to keep time. The quartz crystal in the watch vibrates at a very precise frequency (usually 32,768 Hz). Quality quartz movments are ganerally more accurate than a mechanical counterpart however many watch officiandos believe they lack the sould and "beating heart" of menachical watches.
- Cartier Roaster Ladies
- Chanel J12 33Mm Black Diamond Ceramic Quartz H1173
- Omega Seamaster Bond Steel Blue Face Quartz 2221.80.00
Rattrapante (Flyback) Chronograph
A chronograph with an additional hand that moves with the second hand but, can be stopped independently to measure an interval and can then fly back to catch up with the other hand. This is useful for capturing lap times without losing the ability to capture the finish time.
- IWC Pilots Watch Spitfire Chronograph Alligator Strap IW3717-02
- Panerai Luminor 1950 8 Days Rattrapante 47Mm PAM 00319
- Breguet Classique Chronograph Yellow Gold 5947Ba/12/9V6
Used to describe a pointer hand on a watch dial, which returns to zero at the end of a prescribed period. For example a watch may have retrograde date - in this case the hand moves up a scale a day at a time, pointing to the current date - when it reaches 31 it will spring back to 1.
- Franck Muller Casablanca Chronograph Noir Steel Black, Black Face Rubber Strap 8885 Ccc DTNr Casa
- Breguet Classique Retrograde Seconds Yellow Gold 5207Ba/12/9V6
- Franck Muller Evolution 3-1 9885 T Ev 3-1
Tourbillon is french for whirlwind, and referes to an addition to the mechanics of a watch escapment. As you will see in a watch COSC certificate its time keeping accuracy is usually different depending on what position the watch is tested in (vertical or horizontal). A tourbillon aims to mitigate the effect of gravity by mounting the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage.
- Franck Muller Revolution 2 Tourbillion 7850 T Rev 2
- Breguet Tradition Tourbillon Yellow Gold 7047Ba/11/9Zu
- Parmigiani Kalpa Xl Tourbillon Pf011254.01
So this isn't as simple as it seems. A water resistance of 50m does not neccesarily mean that the watch can be worn under 50m of water. According to this Wikipedia article the following is a reliable giude to watches and water:
|Water resistance rating||Suitability||Remarks|
|Water Resistant or 50 m||Suitable for swimming, white water rafting, no snorkeling water related work, and fishing.||NOT suitable for diving.|
|Water Resistant 100 m||Suitable for recreational surfing, swimming, snorkeling, sailing and water sports.||NOT suitable for diving.|
|Water Resistant 200 m||Suitable for professional marine activity and serious surface water sports.||NOT suitable for diving.|
|Diver's 100 m||Minimum ISO standard (ISO 6425) for scuba diving at depths NOT suitable for saturation diving.||Diver's 100 m and 150 m watches are generally old(er) watches.|
|Diver's 200 m or 300 m||Suitable for scuba diving at depths NOT suitable for saturation diving.||Typical ratings for contemporary diver's watches.|
|Diver's 300+ m for mixed-gas diving||Suitable for saturation diving(helium enriched environment).||Watches designed for mixed-gas diving will have the DIVER’S WATCH L M FOR MIXED-GAS DIVING additional marking to point this out.|