window.ga=window.ga||function(){(ga.q=ga.q||[]).push(arguments)};ga.l=+new Date; ga('create', 'UA-29724315-2', 'auto'); ga('require', 'GTM-WJS4Q3W'); ga('set', 'forceSSL', true); ga('set', 'anonymizeIp', true); ga('require', 'displayfeatures'); ga('require', 'cleanUrlTracker'); ga('require', 'outboundLinkTracker'); ga('require', 'ec'); ga('send', 'pageview'); ga('set', 'nonInteraction', true); setTimeout("ga('send', 'event', 'read', '20 seconds')", 20000); | Uhrinstinkt
 

Watch lexicon

The most important terms and terminology of the watch industry

If you have any further questions about a term, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Analog display
Displays with dial and hands.
back to top
Antimagnetic
Watches are mainly protected from magnetism by anti-magnetic components. An engineer model from IWC was insensitive to magnetic influences up to 500,000 A/m.
back to top
Assortiment
Term for the parts of the escapement. A steel escapement consists of a steel pallet and escape wheel.
back to top
Baguette Dial
Rectangular and particularly narrow movement for ladies' jewelry watches. This is a crowded gear train, arranged on two levels.
back to top
Balance
The balance wheel, also known as the balance or rate regulator, is a timing flywheel that enables the hands to advance evenly over the gear train. It performs the function of a flywheel mass: it must always return the hairspring to its rest position. By tuning the balance and hairspring, the desired oscillation rate is achieved. The balance is held in ruby bearings. The shaft end has a thickness of about 0.10 mm. Nowadays, the use of special materials largely eliminates disturbing influences such as temperature fluctuations and variations in spring force.
back to top
Balance cock
The balance cock is a part of the movement for the bearing of a wheel or the balance. It is held only by a screw and a dowel pin. See also bridge.
back to top
Balance spring
The balance spring used to partially compensate for temperature fluctuations, which had an unfavorable effect on the rate of the watch.
back to top
Beryllium
Metal for the manufacture of the Glucydur balance.
back to top
Breguet overcoil (Breguet spring)
A special balance spring with a bent-up end curve. For a long time, it was considered a special feature of precision watches.
back to top
Bridge
Part of the movement body, which is used to support wheels and is fixed with two screws. There is the elevator bridge and the gear train bridge. See also balance cock.
back to top
Bridge Dial
The rear movement plate, which consists of several bridges (and balance cocks).
back to top
Cabochon
Round cut decorative stone, for example, in the winding crown.
back to top
cal.
Short form for "calibre", French for movement, caliber. Usually with the manufacturer's name and a number to distinguish it (e.g. ETA 2892-2), often also with the size (e.g. 13"). A distinction is made between round calibers and form movements with an oval, rectangular or similar shape. The designation "R" stands for "rectangulaire" (rectangular).
back to top
Caliber
See cal.
back to top
Cap jewel with end-piece
Brass or steel plate to hold the jewel cap, fixed with one or two screws.
back to top
Central second
The center second hand was first found in cheap watches, from the mid-thirties more and more often in good wristwatches. The second hand is driven from the center of the dial (as are the hour and minute hands). In the case of a decentralized second, the display appears on a small subdial, which is integrated into the main dial of the watch.
back to top
Center wheel
The center wheel is usually the gear in the middle of the movement, on which the minute hand sits and which with its pinion takes over the power from the mainspring barrel and transmits it to the third wheel.
back to top
Chaton
In the past, ruby bearings often set in gold on high-end wristwatches, sometimes fixed in the plate with two or three screws (screwed bearings).
back to top
Chronograph
Wristwatch with additional mechanism for stopping times up to 30 or 45 minutes, later up to twelve hours. The chronograph hand is centrally mounted, for the minute and hour stabilizer small subdials are used. The mechanism consists of various levers and wheels. A distinction is made between the construction with and without a switching wheel (splitter gear). Form movements are rare in chronographs.
back to top
Chronometer
High-quality watch regulated in different positions and at different temperatures, whose accuracy is tested by an official institute and confirmed with a certificate.
back to top
Complete calendar watch
Complete calendar watches are watches that display both the day of the week and the month. Weekdays must be corrected manually by the person wearing the watch because of the different lengths of months in months with fewer than 31 days. On some models, the month display also does not switch automatically. Many of these watches are equipped with a moon-phase display.
back to top
Complication
Additional mechanism that can only be manufactured by specialists. These include repetition, perpetual calendar, but also chronograph.
back to top
Crown
See hand-wound movement.
back to top
Crown wheel
The crown wheel is the smaller gear on (more rarely under) the mainspring bridge and thus part of the crown winding mechanism. It meshes with the ratchet wheel and provides the connection between the winding stem and the mainspring in the barrel. It is made of steel.
back to top
Date display
The date display was first placed on the outer edge of the dial with a central hand and number ring, today with a digital date disc in the window, usually at the hour marker ,,3".
back to top
Digital display
There are digital displays with digits, without pointer, in the window or on the display.
back to top
Double Chronograph
The Double Chronograph has two hands and is used to measure intermediate times. Chronograph hands with double or drag hands run on top of each other after start. The latter can be stopped temporarily by the push-button for reading interval times. If the push-button is pressed again, the drag hand jumps back into alignment with the chronograph hand.
back to top
Ebauche
French for raw movement. In the past, this was understood to mean only moving parts, but today it is used to refer to a movement with gear train and winding mechanism - without escapement, balance and mainspring.
back to top
Eccentric screw
To regulate wristwatches precisely, fine adjustment is required. This comes in the form of swan-neck fine adjustment (see swan-neck regulator) and eccentric fine adjustment, which can be found on some special regulators. Here, the pointer on the balance cock forms a fork, at the end of which sits a screw. Its rotation allows micrometer regulation of the rate of the watch.
back to top
Eight Day Movement
Wristwatch with oversized mainspring barrel. The driving force of the mainspring lasts for at least one week. This movement is rare.
back to top
Escapement
The escapement consists of a pallet fork and a lever escapement and is located between the gear train and the regulating organ, the balance. The escapement prevents the movement from running out of time by supplying energy to the regulating organ and allowing the gear train to continue jumping in time with the balance.
back to top
Fine adjustment
The fine adjustment compensates for the differences in the rate of the watch. For this purpose, the watches are fine-tuned by specialists in different positions and at different temperatures. In most cases, such watches also have a fine regulator with which the regulator can be shifted micrometer by micrometer. Other watches have adjustment screws on the balance, with which the inertia of the regulator can be changed.
back to top
Flying tourbillon
One speaks of a flying tourbillon when, for example, a wheel is mounted on only one side, and thus there is no second bearing on the opposite side. This can sometimes be found in particularly flat designs.
back to top
Form movement
Form movements are movements that deviate from the circular shape in their basic layout. These movements demonstrated the independent development of the wristwatch. With the introduction of automatic calibers, there was a widespread return to the round movement type that had been adopted from pocket watches. The measurement refers to the width of the caliber, the length is rarely specified.
back to top
Fourth wheel
The fourth wheel transmits the power to the lever escapement drive.
back to top
Frequency
Whereas in the past it was common to express the frequency of the balance in half oscillations per hour, today the unit used is the hertz (1 Hz = 1 oscillation per second, which would correspond to 7,200 half oscillations per hour). The most common frequencies in mechanical wristwatches: 2.5 Hz = 18,000 half oscillations, 2.75 Hz = 19,800 half oscillations, 3 Hz = 21,600 half oscillations, 4 Hz = 28,800 half oscillations, 5 Hz = 36,000 half oscillations.
back to top
Gear Train
The gear train receives the energy from the mainspring barrel and transmits it to the lever escapement via pinions and gears. In a wristwatch, this connection is made by the center wheel, third wheel and fourth wheel. These wheels are usually riveted to the pinions.
back to top
Geneva Seal
Particularly high-quality products from Geneva manufacturers have the Geneva Seal stamped on the movement as a seal of quality. It shows the coat of arms of the Swiss city. These watches always have chronometer quality. A similar seal of quality also exists in Besancon.
back to top
GMT
Abbreviation for Greenwich Mean Time, the mean solar time at the prime meridian in the London district of Greenwich. GMT is the starting point for the division of the earth into 24 time zones. The "GMT" is one of the classics of the Rolex manufacture.
back to top
Grain bearings
Grain bearings are stoneless holes in the movement in which the shaft ends of gears or pinions run. Grain bearings are mainly found in cheap watches.
back to top
Hairspring
A coiled spring attached at its inner end to the balance staff and at its outer end to the balance cock (hairspring stud). It was first made of steel, later of Elinvar, today of Nivarox. The hairspring, together with the oscillating weight balance, generates the frequency.
back to top
Hand-wound movement
Hand-wound movements are controlled by a crown, a wheel on the side of the watch that can be turned to wind the watch. In the case of the rocking bar winding mechanism in simple watches, a rocker switch is used to set the hands; in the more technically complex yoke winding mechanism, this function is performed by the yoke wheel, which is guided by the square of the winding stem.
back to top
Hinge housing
Hinged housings can be found on early wristwatches, sometimes as late as the late 1930s. Until the mid-twenties, hingeless housings often had an adjustment pin that had to be aligned with the hole in the housing base so that the housing could be closed.
back to top
Hole jewel
Bearing jewels are made of rubies, today mainly synthetic. They reduce wear on the shaft ends (pivots) and reduce friction. In the past, they were set in chatons, but today they are pressed into the plate without a sleeve (press fit). They have a recess to receive the lubricant (oil recess).
back to top
Isochronism
With isochronous oscillation of the balance, the oscillation period is independent of the oscillation amplitude. The oscillation is simultaneous. The isochronous oscillation of the escapement used to be a significant problem for watchmakers.
back to top
Jacquemart
Jacquemart refers to the moving figures on the dial of a repetition clock.
back to top
Jewel cap
A jewel cap has to additionally reduce the friction of the bearing. It limits the axial play (vertical clearance). Jewel caps are always used in the balance bearing and occasionally in the lever escapement bearing.
back to top
Jewels
The number of stones is indicated on the movement in English, for example, "SEVENTEEN (17) JEWELS".
back to top
Layer error
The rate behavior of a wristwatch varies slightly in the different positions. The deviations, known as layer errors, result from bearing friction, the imbalance of the balance and the center of gravity of the hairspring.
back to top
Lever escapement
A free escapement found in all good wristwatches.
back to top
Limited edition
Complicated wristwatches produced in small series or for a special occasion are often numbered consecutively on the dial or on the caseback, for example, 150/500 (= the 150th watch in a series of 500 pieces). Nowadays there are many such editions, which do not justify the highlighting.
back to top
Line
The line is the measure of length in watchmaking. 1 line (1") equals 2.256 mm. It is used to indicate movement sizes. Dl:: most common sizes for wristwatch calibers are between 5 1/2" and 13".
back to top
Link motion
In the case of wristwatch chronographs, the mechanism is controlled by a notched disc or a shift lever. The design without a notched disc is called a link motion. This simpler type was only used after the Second World War.
back to top
Mainspring
The mainspring stores the energy and releases it to operate the clock. It drives the gear train. In newer watches, it is unbreakable and does not rust.
back to top
Military watches
Military watches are wristwatches with robust movement. Starting in 1912, they were made with radium luminous hands and hour markers, many with a protective grid over the watch glass and a black contrast dial. Later, they were occasionally given a 13-to-24 hour display, such as for the American paratroopers, to prevent misunderstandable time interpretations.
back to top
Moon-phase display
The lunar phase (lunation) is the term used to describe the different light forms of the moon - full moon, waning moon, new moon and waxing moon - during its orbit around the earth (lunation). The lunation lasts an average of 29.5 days. In the moon phase display, a popular complication, the moon travels through a window section with a night sky.
back to top
Motion work
The motion work is used to display the time. The quarter tube with gear rim (also called minute tube), change wheel, hour wheel and hand setting wheel form the motion work. The rotational movement of the center wheel is transmitted to the hour wheel with pointer in a ratio of 12:1. In order to be able to set the hands, there is a friction connection between the center wheel shaft and the quarter tube, which carries the minute hand. Pulling the crown enables the hands to be adjusted via the winding stem.
back to top
Nivaflex
The Nivaflex is a fatigue-resistant and unbreakable tension spring made of the special alloy beryllium, molybdenum, nickel, cobalt, iron, tungsten and titanium with an extremely favorable force-discharge curve. It replaced the steel spring after 1950, which had a very limited service life.
back to top
Nivarox hairspring
Nivarox hairspring is made of the alloy Nivarox (iron, nickel, chromium, titanium and beryllium) and is non-rusting, non-magnetic, elastic and hard as steel. Since it is not susceptible to temperature fluctuations, it increases the accuracy of watches. It replaced the more complicated and expensive compensation balance. It is available in several quality grades.
back to top
Notched disc
Chronograph mechanisms are divided into two designs: one with and one without a notched disc. The notched disc is easy to recognize even for the amateur, because it is made of steel and has seven to nine strong pin teeth (triangular wedges). It controls the start and stop functions and prevents unintentional zeroing of the chronograph hand.
back to top
Observation Clock
The Observation Watch, also called B-watch, is a large wrist chronometer with stoppable center second hand for accurate time setting. These watches were used by the air forces of Germany and Switzerland during World War II.
back to top
Pallet fork
The pallet fork receives the force impulse from the escapement wheel and transmits it to the balance. In the Swiss lever escapement, the pivots of escapement wheel, pallet fork and balance are usually in a straight line. If this is not the case, it is called a lateral pallet fork. An example of the right-angled, i.e. laterally placed, pallet fork is the Gruen-Tecno Form 877 movement from Aegler, which is also found in the famous Prince wristwatch chronometer from Rolex.
back to top
Pallet stone
Pallet stones are the part of the stone armature that is set with two synthetic rubies. They are cut at an oblique angle so that the escapement wheel teeth can slide along them. Pallet forks are complex designs of lever escapement. The pallet lever bridge and pallet stones are separate components, but can be precisely matched to each other. In small watches, the pallet stones are always made of rubies to keep the wear particularly low. The rubies on the pallet arms are counted in the number of jewels. Therefore, of a watch with 17 jewels, two are accounted for by the pallet stones.
back to top
Perpetual calendar
Wristwatches with the highly complicated perpetual calendar are manufactured only in very small numbers. A mechanism automatically controls the entire calendar, starting with the different lengths of the month, the day of the week and the month, and ending with the leap years. Usually, a moon phase display is added. See also complete calendar watch.
back to top
Pinion
The pinion is a power transmission gear with more than six but less than 20 teeth.
back to top
Pin-lever escapement
A simplified lever escapement without jewel pallets. You can find them in cheap watches.
back to top
Pins
Pins are found in older wristwatches to prevent the pallet fork from swinging out too far. In newer watches, they have given way to cutouts in the main plate.
back to top
Pivot
The ends of a gear or drive shaft that are mounted in rubies or stone-less are referred to as pivots. See also hole jewel.
back to top
Plate
In horology, a plate is the movement plate on which the movement is built. The second movement plate on wristwatches usually consists of bridges and balance cocks.
back to top
Power reserve indicator
The power reserve indicator is an attractive additional indication. In wristwatches, it was introduced with the launch of self-winding. The person wearing it should be informed about the status of the power reserve at any time. The power reserve indicator is relatively rare.
back to top
Quick date setting
Today, the quick date setting makes it possible to set any date quickly with the help of the crown. Previously, the watch hands had to be turned for more than 24 hours before the next calendar day appeared in the display window.
back to top
Ratched wheel
The ratchet wheel is part of the crown winding mechanism and the ratchet (ratchet wheel, pawl, ratchet spring). It sits on (more rarely under) the mainspring barrel bridge and is made of steel.
back to top
Register excerpt
Since the last century, manufactories such as Patek Philippe or IWC have been keeping logbooks in which every watch shipped is recorded with the most important data. Against payment of a handling fee, a so-called register excerpt is issued for each watch.
back to top
Regulate
The regulate is used to optimize the gear. By changing the effective length of the hairspring with the help of the regulator, it can be influenced and regulated. Good watches are regulated in two different positions ("2 ADJUSTMENTS"). See also fine adjustment.
back to top
Regulator
The regulator or regulator hand is located on the balance cock and is adjustable. It is used to regulate the rate of the watch. In the past, the regulator had a hand extension so that it could be moved more easily and its position on the plus-minus scale could be seen more clearly.
back to top
Replica
Models from the twenties and thirties are often reissued recently. However, they are not good copies, because sometimes modern automatic movements are used. They also differ from the originals because at that time, these did not have a shock protection of the balance.
back to top
Retrograde display
In the retrograde display, the dial indications for the time are not arranged in a circle, so the hour hand must move to the 0 position at 12 o'clock and the minute hand must return to its original position after 60 minutes.
back to top
Rhodium plating
High-quality watch movements are given an electroplated metal coating as a surface protection and embellishment. In the process, the rhodium provides the platinum-containing surface with a shiny, silvery appearance. The process of coating is called rhodium plating.
back to top
Second hand
In mechanical wristwatches, the second hand moves five steps per second; in quartz wristwatches, it moves only one. With the stop second, i.e. a stoppable second, the hand and balance come to a standstill by pulling the crown and the watch can be set to the second. With mechanical jumping seconds, only every fifth step is transferred to the hand. The chronograph hand usually also makes 1/5-, rarely 1/10-second steps. The "flashing" second ("seconde foudroy-ante") is a display in which a special second hand rotates once on its own axis in four or five jumps per second. See also center second.
back to top
Self-winding automatic
In the case of automatic winding, a special mechanism is used to tension the mainspring with the help of a flywheel mass through the movement of the arm.
back to top
Shock absorber
The shock absorber primarily serves the sensitive pivots of the balance staff. The elastic jewel bearings, for example the Incabloc system, have proven most effective.
back to top
Spring bar
The spring bar is spring-loaded in the housing's lug holes and connects the watch and bracelet. The spring bar has been around since the 1930s.
back to top
Swan-neck regulator
The swan-neck regulator is a special regulator for fine adjustment of a watch. Due to a swan-neck shaped spring and a fine screw, the regulator arm is under pressure and cannot change its position.
back to top
World clock
World clocks are wristwatches with a dial of the 24 time zones marked by city names. See also GMT.
back to top

Do you have any further questions?

You can contact our support team Mo.-Fr. from 9am to 6pm.
Hotline Germany (free of charge): 0800 8 834000
Hotline other countries: +49 9122 999900-0
E-Mail: info@uhrinstinkt.de
Contact form

Recently viewed
Do you have any questions?
We are glad to help you.