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Knowledge Hub


Luxury Watch Knowledge Hub

Welcome to our comprehensive glossary of luxury watch terms, your go-to resource for understanding the intricate world of horology. This glossary is designed to define the terminology used in the luxury watch industry, providing clear and concise definitions for a wide range of terms. Our glossary is organized into several sections, including General Terms, Watch Parts, Movement Types, Complications and Functions, Watch Styles and Types, Materials and Finishes, Watch Maintenance and Care, Collecting and Investing, Watch Design and Aesthetics, Timekeeping Standards, and Miscellaneous terms. Explore each section to enhance your knowledge and appreciation of these exquisite timepieces.

General Terms


The study and measurement of time and the art of making clocks and watches.


A craftsman who makes and repairs watches.


The mechanism of a watch that drives the hands and complications.


Any function of a watch beyond the simple display of hours and minutes, such as a chronograph, moon phase, or perpetual calendar.


A specific model of a movement, often denoted by a number or name.


The mechanism in a mechanical watch that regulates the release of energy from the mainspring to the gear train.

Balance Wheel

The oscillating wheel in a mechanical watch that helps regulate timekeeping accuracy.

Watch Parts


The enclosure that houses the movement and dial of a watch.


A knob on the side of the watch case used to set the time and wind the movement.


The ring surrounding the watch dial, sometimes holding the crystal in place.


The transparent cover over the watch dial, made from materials like sapphire, mineral glass, or acrylic.


The face of the watch where the time is displayed.


The pointers that indicate the time on the dial.


The protruding parts of the watch case where the strap or bracelet is attached.


A semi-circular weight that winds the mainspring in an automatic movement.


A smaller dial within the main dial that displays additional information such as seconds, minutes, or other complications.

Chapter Ring

The ring on the dial where the hour markers are located.

Exhibition Case Back

A transparent case back that allows the wearer to see the movement inside the watch.


The metal band that attaches the watch to the wrist, often made of stainless steel or other metals.


A band made of leather, rubber, fabric, or other materials that secures the watch to the wrist.

Movement Types

Mechanical Movement

A movement powered by a mainspring and regulated by a balance wheel.

Automatic Movement

A mechanical movement that winds itself using the motion of the wearer’s wrist.

Manual Movement

A mechanical movement that requires manual winding.

Quartz Movement

A movement powered by a battery and regulated by a quartz crystal.

Solar Movement

A quartz movement powered by light energy, typically from the sun.

Kinetic Movement

A movement that converts the wearer’s motion into electrical energy to power a quartz movement.

Complications and Functions


A watch function that operates as a stopwatch in addition to the standard timekeeping.


A scale on the bezel or dial used to measure speed over a known distance.

Perpetual Calendar

A complication that displays the date, day, month, and year and accounts for leap years.


A rotating cage containing the escapement and balance wheel, designed to counteract the effects of gravity on accuracy.

Moon Phase

A complication that displays the current phase of the moon.


A function that displays a second time zone, often using an additional hour hand.

Power Reserve Indicator

A display showing the remaining energy in the watch’s mainspring.

Minute Repeater

A complication that chimes the time on demand, typically by activating a slide lever on the case.


A function where the hands move in a sweeping motion, then jump back to the starting position.

Split-Seconds Chronograph

A chronograph that can time two events simultaneously with two separate second hands.

Annual Calendar

A complication that displays the date, day, and month, but requires manual adjustment once a year.

Equation of Time

A complication that shows the difference between mean solar time and true solar time.

Watch Styles and Types

Dress Watch

A watch designed for formal occasions, usually simple and elegant.

Diver’s Watch

A watch designed for underwater use, typically featuring high water resistance and a rotating bezel.

Pilot’s Watch

A watch designed for aviation, often featuring large dials and additional timekeeping functions.

Field Watch

A durable and easily readable watch designed for outdoor activities.

Racing Watch

A watch designed for motorsport enthusiasts, often featuring a chronograph and tachymeter.


A digital watch with advanced features such as notifications, fitness tracking, and apps.

Skeleton Watch

A watch with a dial that exposes the movement, showcasing the intricate mechanics.


A watch case shape that is barrel-shaped, with rounded edges and a curved profile.

Regulator Watch

A watch where the hour, minute, and second hands are on separate subdials.

Materials and Finishes

Stainless Steel

A common material used in watch cases and bracelets due to its durability and resistance to corrosion.


A lightweight, strong, and hypoallergenic material used in watch cases and bracelets.


A scratch-resistant material used in watch cases and bezels.

PVD Coating

Physical Vapor Deposition, a process used to apply a hard, durable coating to watch cases and bracelets.

Sapphire Crystal

A synthetic crystal used for watch faces, known for its scratch resistance.


Luminescent material applied to watch hands and markers to enhance readability in low light conditions.


A precious metal often used in luxury watches, available in yellow, white, and rose gold variants.


A rare and durable precious metal used in high-end luxury watches.

Carbon Fiber

A lightweight and strong material used in some modern and sporty watches.

Mother of Pearl

A natural material used for watch dials, known for its iridescent appearance.

Watch Maintenance and Care

Water Resistance

A rating that indicates how well a watch can withstand water exposure.

Service Interval

The recommended period between professional maintenance checks for a watch.


The process of removing scratches and restoring the shine of a watch case or bracelet.


The adjustment of a watch’s accuracy by modifying the balance wheel and escapement.


The act of turning the crown to wind the mainspring of a mechanical watch.


The effect of magnetic fields on a watch movement, which can affect its accuracy.


The process of removing magnetism from a watch to restore its accuracy.


A term often used interchangeably with water resistance, though true waterproofing is rare and not guaranteed.

Antireflective Coating

A coating applied to the crystal to reduce glare and improve readability.

Collecting and Investing

Limited Edition

A watch produced in a limited quantity, often more valuable to collectors.


A watch that is typically older than 20-30 years and is sought after for its historical value.


The history of ownership and origin of a watch, often important for determining its value.


Parts or modifications not made by the original manufacturer, often affecting the watch’s value.

NOS (New Old Stock)

A watch that is old but has never been sold or worn, typically in its original packaging.

Certificate of Authenticity

A document verifying the authenticity of a watch, often provided by the manufacturer or a reputable dealer.


The natural aging and discoloration of materials such as metal or lume, often valued by collectors.


A method of selling watches where potential buyers bid against each other.

Boutique Edition

A special edition watch sold exclusively through a brand’s boutique stores.

Serial Number

A unique number assigned to each watch by the manufacturer, used for identification and authenticity verification.

Watch Design and Aesthetics


A decorative technique that involves engraving intricate patterns on the dial.

Sunburst Dial

A dial finish that radiates from the center, giving a sunburst effect.

Enamel Dial

A dial made using enamel, known for its vibrant colors and durability.


The process of removing material from a watch movement to expose its inner workings.

Clous de Paris

A decorative dial pattern made up of small, pyramid-shaped studs.

Breguet Hands

A style of watch hands with a distinctive loop near the tip, named after watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet.


A dial finishing technique involving engraving followed by enamel coating.

Timekeeping Standards

COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres)

The Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute, which certifies the accuracy and precision of Swiss watches.

METAS (Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology)

An institute that certifies the accuracy and performance of watches, including magnetic resistance tests.


A highly accurate timepiece that has passed stringent testing and certification, often by COSC.

ISO 6425

The international standard for dive watches, specifying criteria for water resistance, luminosity, and other features.


Tonneau Case

A barrel-shaped watch case with rounded edges.

Cushion Case

A square watch case with rounded corners.

Square Case

A watch case with four equal sides and 90-degree angles.

World Timer

A watch complication that displays the time in multiple time zones simultaneously.

Regatta Timer

A chronograph function specifically designed for timing yacht races.

Flyback Chronograph

A chronograph that can be reset and restarted with a single button press.

Big Date

A date display that uses larger numerals for improved readability.

Jumping Hour

A complication where the hour hand jumps to the next hour precisely at the 60-minute mark.

Deadbeat Seconds

A complication where the second hand moves in one-second increments, similar to a quartz watch.


The coiled spring that provides the energy to power a mechanical watch.

Gear Train

The series of gears that transmit energy from the mainspring to the escapement.

Pallet Fork

A component of the escapement that interacts with the escape wheel to regulate the release of energy.

Balance Spring

Also known as a hairspring, it regulates the oscillations of the balance wheel.

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