Balance the balance wheel was invented in the 14th century and it plays a critical role in maintaining the accuracy of time as it keeps the sound “tick” of the second-hand constant and in doing so, it maintains the precision of the entire watch.
Complication an additional feature on a watch, such as a calendar, a second time zone or a moon phase.
Chronograph a watch that incorporates stopwatch functions and nothing else. This can be included as a complication as it goes beyond the basic time keeping of a watch. Other “complications” include date indicators, moon phase displays, multiple time zone features and other time-related measurements shown with additional hands, windows, or sub-dials on the watch.
Chronometer a watch or clock movement that had been certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse Des Chronomètres testifies the unvarying accuracy of the particular watch in question. A watch with this certification has been found not to deviate from -4 to +6 seconds per day. Only watches that have been approved by the COSC can be called chronometers.
Ebauche an ébauche (which originally means unfinished movement in French) are unassembled parts. Some watch companies purchase ébauches so that they can mix them with standard parts and create a watch of a higher quality.
Guillochage this is an old mechanical engraving technique. the complexity of the work means that this type of decoration is restricted to certain luxury items such as watches, jewellery or mirrors. you will find an example of guillochage on the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak dial.
ISO 6425 – divers’ watches a diver wearing a watch with this feature can dive a depth of at least 100 meters without it affecting the watch’s mechanisms and its accuracy to tell time. for this test, additional costs are incurred and each watch is tested individually, although not all brands comply with testing as it can come up to a hefty amount.
Quartz serious collectors aren’t looking for quartz-sporting watches. these should only be kept for beach days.
Swiss made simply means that 50 per cent of the parts of the watch must be from Switzerland and the watch must be constructed in Switzerland (foreign parts are to be sent unassembled) to ensure quality craftsmanship.
Swiss movement where the movement of the watch matches that of swiss principles but was not assembled on swiss soil. Using the abbreviation “Swiss movt” is illegal as it can sometimes be mistaken as Swiss made.
Tourbillon the tourbillon is a cage that hosts the balance wheel and the energy giving escapement and it eliminates the effects of gravity on watches. Whether you’re hanging off your boat or practising a downward dog, your watch won’t falter. You will only find this in high-end timepieces and they can usually be seen in the face of the watch.
Vintage anything over 25 years old can be named vintage. However, a true vintage watch is said to be as difficult to get hold of as a vintage car. Hedge funds have been launched to invest in vintage watches. A buy from the ’90s won’t be found among their books.