Battery which can be recharged by an external energy source.

Automatic movement

This term refers to a watch with a mechanical movement. The internal rotor (part of the automatic mechanism) winds the mainspring by the motion of the wearer’s wrist. If an automatic watch is not worn for a longer period, it will wind down and stop working.


A watch or clock alerts you with sound at a pre-set time. Analog A watch that shows the time by using hands.



This is essentially an oscillator which regulates the running speed of a mechanical watch.

Bi-directional rotating bezel

A bezel that can be turned either clockwise or counter clockwise. Rotating bezels can be used to measure elapsed times or read second or third time zones.


Energy source in which electrical energy is generated through direct transformation of chemical energy. When the reagents are used up, the battery is discharged. It is not rechargeable in contrast to an accumulator. -Low drain battery (in watches with analog display min, h, sec) -High drain battery (in watches with additional functions, e.g. alarm, LCD-display, etc.)



A feature that shows the date. Day, month, and moon-phases are often shown additionally. There are several types of calendar watches. Most calendar watches show the information digitally through an aperture on the watch face and some watches show the information on sub-dials.


A watch case has several parts. The bezel (which holds the crystal), the case middle part (which contains the movement and fitted the strap/bracelet) and the case back which is either snapped or screwed on.


A chronograph is a mechanism for measuring short time periods independently of the normal timekeeping function.


Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute)

Countdown timer

A function that lets the wearer keep track of how much of a pre-set period of time has elapsed. Some countdown timers sound a warning signal a few seconds before the time runs out.


The crystal is the transparent cover over the dial. There are various materials used like plastic, mineral glass or sapphire.


Synonym for size and form of the movement. Round caliber, shaped caliber, Lépine-caliber, Hunter-caliber.w

Center seconds

Seconds indicated by a hand at the center of the dial.


Swiss-made movements which meet very high standards set by the Swiss Official Chronometer Control. A chronometer is a mechanical movement of the very highest quality. Movements are usually tested in various positions and at various temperatures.


Chronograph counter. Mechanism that shows, on a dial the number of revolutions of the chronograph-hand, i.e. 1/10th or 1/100th seconds, minutes, and hours.


The crown is used for winding up a mechanical watch or for setting the hands to the correct time. Also you can use setting the date in the case of calendar equipped watches.



The date is showing through an aperture in the dial. Typically at the 3 o’clock or 6 o’clock position


The face of a watch showing the time and other functions that may be displayed by hands, markers, discs or through windows.


Apertures which display both the date of the month and the day of the week.

Digital watch

A watch that shows the time by numbers on an LCD or LED display.


E.O.L (End of Life)

Some battery operated watches have a feature that indicates when the battery is approaching the end of its life. This is indicated by the second hand jumping every 4 seconds or in a digital watch, by a flashing display.



Number of oscillations per second, expressed in hertz (Hz). A watch with a count of 36’000 vibrations per hour (18’000 oscillations), in 1 hour (3’600 seconds), has a frequency of 5 Hz. Thus a watch beating at an frequency of 36’600 per hour ticks 10 times per second.



A GMT watch has a second hour hand (or a disc) which completes one full rotation in 24 hours. On the dial or bezel is a 24-hour index (or an arrow for the disc) to read the second time zone.

Gold plated

A layer of gold electroplated to a base metal.



Indicator, usually made of a thin, light piece of metal which moves over a dial. Very variable in form.


Unit of frequency. The frequency of the quartz resonator is 32’768 Hz. Mechanical watches have a frequency of 2.5 to 4 Hz.

Helium escape valve

Decompression system which allows helium to escape from inside the watch when the watch is worn for professional use in pressure chambers. (Long-term underwater work, crude oil exploration, etc.)


Integrated bracelet

A watch bracelet that is incorporated into the design of the case.


LCD (Liquid crystal display)

A digital watch display that shows the time electronically by means of a liquid held in a thin layer between two transparent plates.

LED (Light Emitting Diode)

Light Emitting Diode used for displays. Electronic component that lights up numbers when voltage is applied.


Mechanical movement

A movement which has only mechanical parts and is powered by a mainspring and working in conjunction with a balance wheel. The mainspring must be wound manually.


Quartz movement

A movement usually battery powered, which uses an electric current to cause a quartz oscillator to vibrate, normally 32’768 Hz per second.



In an automatically winding wristwatch, the rotor is winding the mainspring by the movements of the wrist. It is a segment made of heavy metal, which turns freely in both directions.


Screw- down crown

A crown that can be screwed into the tube of the case to make the watch highly water resistant.

Small second

A hand which showing the seconds on a sub-dial.

Skeleton watch

These watches have usually no dial (or a skeleton dial). At the movement is as much metal removed as possible and all the remaining parts are decorated with elaborate engravings.


The strap fixed the watch on the wrist. Can be made of leather, rubber, textile or metal.


Water resistance

Describes the level of protection a watch has from water damage.