A watch feature that sounds an alarm at a pre-set time, or at regular intervals.

Analogue Watch

A watch with a dial, hands, and numbers or markers that display a 12-hour time span.

Atmosphere (ATM)

Unit of pressure used to indicate water-resistance. One ATM is equivalent to 10 metres or 33 feet.

Automatic watch

A watch whose mainspring is wound by the movements or accelerations of the wearer's arm. On the basis of the principle of terrestrial attraction, a rotor turns and transmits its energy to the spring by means of an appropriate mechanism.


The strap, band, or bracelet that holds your watch to your wrist. A watch band can be made of leather, metal, silicone, rubber or fabric.


The surface ring on the watch face that surrounds and holds the crystal in place. Many watches have a uni- or multi-directional bezel that can twist clockwise or anticlockwise. This type of bezel can assist in calculations for elapsed time.

Cabochon Crown

A rounded semi-precious stone of synthetic material, usually black, fitted into the watch’s crown as an ornament.


The metal encasing the bezel and face. Stainless steel is the most typical metal used, but titanium, gold, silver, and platinum are also common.


A multi-functional sports watch with a stopwatch function. Most chronographs have two or three sub-dials (or mini-dials) for measuring fractions of seconds, minutes in increments other than 60, and hours in larger increments.


The latching mechanism that connects the two ends of the watch bracelet around the wrist. There are different types of watch clasps, such as the tongue buckle, folding clasp, deployment buckle, hidden watch clasp, and the push-button hidden clasp.


The end of life of a battery in a quartz movement watch is indicated by the second hand jumping every four seconds, or by a flashing digital display.


This refers to the visible area of the watch within the watch bezel where the dial is contained.


A knob that is usually found on the middle-right side of a watch that is used to set the time, date, etc. Most pull out to set the time. In water resistant styles, the crowns should screw down.

Day/Date Window

A window on the watch face that displays the day or date of the month.


The watch face. The numerals, indices, and surface design are usually set, though some are printed on.


A type of dial with intricate engraving, usually very thin lines interwoven to create a surface texture.


The pointing devices anchored at the centre of the dial and circling around to indicate the hour, minute, second, and any other special feature of the watch.


The science of time measurement, including the art of designing and constructing timepieces.


Synthetic sapphires or rubies that are used as bearings for gears of a mechanical watch. A quality hand-wound or automatic mechanical watch contains at least 17 jewels.


Extensions on either side of the bezel where the bracelet or strap is attached.


The iridescent, milky interior shell of a fresh water mollusc that is sliced thin and used in watch dials. Mother-of-Pearl dials usually come in a milky white lustre but can also come in colours such as silvery grey, grey blue, pink, and salmon.

Mineral Crystal

Watch crystal made from what is essentially a form of glass. While more scratch resistant than acrylic, a mineral crystal is however still susceptible to scratches and is extremely difficult to polish.


Shiny, stainless steel used in many fashion timepieces.

Power Reserve

A feature of a mechanical watch that shows how much longer the watch will operate before it must be wound again.

Quartz Movement

A movement powered by a quartz crystal, which are known to be very accurate. They can be mass produced which makes them less expensive than most mechanical movements, which require a higher degree craftsmanship.


The part of an automatic (or self-winding) mechanical watch that winds the movement's mainspring. It is a flat piece of metal, usually shaped like a semicircle, that swivels on a pivot with the motion of the wearer's arm.


Used to describe a pointer hand on a watch dial (often a sub-dial), which returns to zero at the end of a prescribed period. For example, a watch may have a retrograde date – in this case the hand moves up a scale a day at a time, pointing to the current date, and when it reaches 31, it will spring back to 1.

Sapphire Crystal

A crystal (the cover that protects the watch’s face) made of synthetic sapphire with a hardness second only to a diamond. It is transparent and scratch-resistant.

Screw-Lock Crown

A crown that can be screwed into the case to make the watch watertight.

Skeleton Case

A transparent front or back that permits one to view the inner workings of the watch.


A small dial on a watch face used for any of several purposes, such as keeping track of elapsed minutes or hours on a chronograph or indicating the date.

Water Resistant

Ability to resist damage caused by exposure to water.