For beginners, the world of watches can be a mysterious and intimidating place.
But before you even start wading through the millions of quality watches for sale today, the first hurdle is knowing about you’re talking about. Let us help with that.
We’ve rounded up 16 of the most common watch-specific terms. If you’re looking to build a watch collection, we recommend bookmarking this.
- Automatic or self-winding: A mechanical watch that winds itself automatically, usually by the natural motion of your wrist. It does not take a battery.
- Movement: The clockwork mechanism that enables the watch to tell time.
- Quartz movement: A watch powered by a battery current that is sent through a quartz crystal, which keeps perfect time.
- Mechanical movement: A watch that uses a system of gears and levers to measure and tell time. Is not powered by a battery like a quartz watch, but is wound either manually or automatically.
- Complication: A feature of the watch beyond telling time, such as the day of the week, date, month, moon phase, or other feature.
- Bezel: The metal ring surrounding the crystal of the watch.
Wikimedia/RamaA Jaeger-LeCoultre Tourbillon watch.
Crystal: The glass piece embedded in the case that allows one to view the time.
- Case: The metal housing the watch’s mechanicals.
- Crown: The button on the side of the watch that pulls out to set the time and date. It also rotates to wind some non-automatic mechanical watches.
- Face or Dial: The part of the watch that has numerals and hash marks.
- Bracelet:The metal wrist strap of a watch.
- Lugs: The metal parts that stick out on the top and bottom of the watch’s case, which frame the bracelet.
- Power reserve: How long a mechanical watch can run before needing to be wound again.
- Tourbillon: A mechanical watch that features the clockwork in a constantly rotating cage to protect the watch’s time-telling accuracy from gravity distortions.
- Chronograph: A type of watch that can also be used as a stop watch.
- Diving Watch: A watch that has been tested and will work underwater up to a certain depth.
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