Types of WATCH

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Don't know your Seiko from your Seamaster?

Do mechanical watches wind you up? Look no further...

Here, we give a little guidance which we hope will put you in the picture...

The Mechanical Watch

A mechanical watch is a watch that uses a mechanical mechanism to measure the passage of time, as opposed to modern quartz watches which function electronically. It is driven by a spring which must be wound periodically. Its force is transmitted through a series of gears to power the balance wheel, a weighted wheel which oscillates back and forth at a constant rate. A device called an escapement releases the watch's wheels to move forward a small amount with each swing of the balance wheel, moving the watch's hands forward at a constant rate. This makes the 'ticking' sound characteristic of all mechanical watches. Mechanical watches evolved in Europe in the 17th century from spring powered clocks, which appeared in the 15th century. Mechanical watches, like any mechanical device, can vary greatly in their accuracy and reliability. They are typically not as accurate as modern quartz watches, but many are capable of high accuracy when properly regulated by a skilled watch maker. They are often worn for their aesthetic attributes, as a piece of jewellery and as a statement of one's personal style.

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The Chronograph Watch

A chronograph is a specific type of watch that is used as a stopwatch combined with a display watch. A basic chronograph has an independent sweep second hand; it can be started, stopped, and returned to zero by successive pressure on the stem.

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The Kinetic Watch

A kinetic watch uses a mechanical movement that is powered by a self-charging battery. Kinetic watches have a small mechanism on the back of the movement, which spins whenever the wearer moves their wrist. This movement is converted into electrical energy, and stored in a rechargeable battery.

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The Quartz Watch

A watch operated by vibrations of an electrically driven quartz crystal. Attracted by this significantly less expensive innovation, Seiko swiftly developed electronic watches, and on Christmas Day in 1969, the company unveiled the Astron wristwatch, the world's first quartz watch.

Playful Ways To Tell Time

The story of Citizen's rise is a fascinating one, from a small experimental producer of mechanical pocket watches to a primary player in the quartz-watch revolution that took the industry by storm in the 1970s and '80s, to the development of the Citizen Eco-Drive, a major force in the quartz watch revolution.

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The Solar Watch

A solar-powered watch or light-powered watch is a watch that is powered entirely or partly by a solar cell. Some of the early solar watches of the 1970s had innovative and unique designs to accommodate the array of photovoltaic solar cells needed to power them.

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The Automatic Watch

An automatic watch, also known as self-winding watch or simply automatic, is a mechanical watch in which the natural motion of the wearer provides energy to wind the mainspring, making manual winding unnecessary if worn enough.

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Crown and Stem
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Bezel
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Sub Dial

...and some general technical terms you may have heard!

Alarm: A device that sounds a signal at a predetermined time.

Altimeter: Altimeter watches use the atmospheric pressure as the method to modify the altitude up or down. Most current altimeter watch models track altitude changes in 3 ft. (1 meter) increments. The altimeter uses the changes in atmospheric pressure to determine the changes in altitude.

Analog Display: A display that shows the time by using hands and a dial.

Anti-Magnetic: A device that is not affected by magnetic fields.

Aperture: A small opening in the dial that displays certain information such as date, day, month or

moon-phase.

Automatic Winding: This referred to winding that occurs through motion on the wearer’s wrist, rather than through winding the watch manually. An automatic watch that isn’t worn for a couple days will need to be wound again to get started again.

Balance: The heart of a mechanical watch movement. The mainspring provides the energy and the balance (coupled with the hairspring) swings to divide time into equal parts.

Balance Spring: A balance spring, or hairspring, is a spring attached to the balance wheel in mechanical timepieces. It causes the balance wheel to oscillate with a resonant frequency when the timepiece is running, which controls the speed at which the wheels of the timepiece turn, thus the rate of movement of the hands.

Balance wheel: A part of a mechanical watch that oscillates and divides time into equal portions.

Bezel: The ring around the crystal on the top portion of a watch. It is usually made of metals such as gold, gold-plate, platinum or stainless steel. It holds the glass or crystal in place.

Button (crown) and Stem: The shaft that connects to the movement’s winding mechanism. The crown is fitted on the opposite end.

Calendar: A feature that shows the day of the month, and often the day of the week. Some calendar watches show the date on sub-dials while others use a scale on the outside edge of the watch dial.

Caseback: The underside of a watch that lies against the skin. Some casebacks are made of crystal allowing you to view the watch movement.

Chronometer: An instrument for measuring time very accurately. For a Swiss watch to be called a chronometer, it must meet very high standards set by the C.O.S.C. (Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometres). The requirements are 15 days and nights at five different positions and temperature changes.

Chronograph: A time that can be started and stopped to time and event.

Crown: A button, often fluted, on the outside of the watch case used to wind the mainspring in mechanical watches. It is also used to set the time, when pulled out, and for setting a watch calendar. A screw-down crown is used to make the watch more water resistant and to help keep out dust.

Crystal: A transparent cover that protects the watch dial. Crystals are made of glass, plastic or synthetic sapphire. Non-reflective coatings on some crystals prevents glare. (See also: Mineral Crystals, Plastic Crystals, Sapphire Crystals)

Day-Date: A watch that indicates the day of the week as well as the date. 

Escapement: A device in a mechanical watch that controls the motion of the hands by controlling wheel rotation.

ETA: The leading manufacturer in Switzerland for movements used in many Swiss brands.

Gasket: Most water-resistant watches are equipped with gaskets to seal the case-back, crystal and crown from water infiltration. Gaskets should be checked every couple of years to maintain water resistance.

Hand: The indicator that moves over the dial to point at the hour, minute or second. Watches generally have three hands to show the hours, minutes and seconds. Hands can have very different shapes: pear, Breguet, sword, skeleton, baton, arrow, etc.

Hand wind: Hand-winding is the ability to manually power your mechanical watch's movement by turning the crown, usually clockwise, which tightens the springs and allows your mechanical watch to run for longer. For some mechanical watches, this is the only way to power the movement.

Jewels (17, 21 etc): Sapphire or Rubies that reduce friction by acting as bearings for gears in a mechanical watch.

Kinetic: A kinetic watch uses a mechanical movement that is powered by a self-charging battery. Kinetic watches have a small mechanism on the back of the movement, which spins whenever the wearer moves their wrist. This movement is converted into electrical energy, and stored in a rechargeable battery.

Lugs: Sometimes referred to as horns, lugs are projections on the watch case. There is a spring bar between the the lugs that is used to fix the strap or bracelet to the case.

Mainspring: Contained in the barrel, the mainspring is the driving flat-coiled spring of a watch that supplies power.

Mechanical movement: A mechanical movement is powered by a main-spring and works with the balance wheel.

Mineral Crystals: Heat hardened glass about ten times harder than plastic. Extremely scratch resistant but must be replaced if they do scratch.

Movement: The inner mechanism of a watch that keeps time and powers the watch’s functions.

Power Reserve Indicator: A feature of a mechanical watch that shows the remaining power in a watch movement, indicating the length of time until the timepiece will need to be wound again.

Perpetual Calendar: A calendar complication that adjusts the watch’s calendar for the varying length of months as well as leap years.

Pusher: A pusher (also called a push piece or button) is used to activate an internal function in a watch, typically a chronograph. In chronograph watches, a "pusher" is the most common control mechanism. Typically extending out of the case at 2:00 and 4:00, the pushers start, stop, and reset the chronograph timing function.

Quartz Movement: A quartz movement utilizes a battery as its primary power source and is typically the type of movement that you will find in your standard, no-frills watch. To create power in quartz watch movements, a battery sends an electrical current through a small quartz crystal, electrifying the crystal to create vibrations.

Rattrapante: A watch that possesses two hands, one of which can be stopped to indicate an intermediate time while the other hand continues to run.

Sapphire Crystal Glass: The crystal of a watch — the clear cover that goes over the dial and protects it can be made of a variety of materials. Generally, there are three types of crystals used in watchmaking: sapphire crystals; mineral crystals; Plexiglas (often called plastic) or hesalite (acrylic) crystals. Depending on the cost of the watch, or the rugged functions of the watch, different crystals are used—influencing the price and value of the watch. Typically in the luxury watch field, sapphire crystals are preferred. Sapphire is extremely strong and scratch resistant – making it the top choice for a fine timepiece. While sapphire is the more expensive of the three crystal choices, it has its advantages due to the scratch and shatter resistance. In addition to being scratch resistant, a sapphire crystal has more ability to withstand cracks and breakage than glass or plastic.

Generally a mineral crystal is an ordinary glass crystal that has been heat treated or chemically treated to withstand scratches. While it is not as scratch-resistant as sapphire, it is more scratch-resistant than plastic. Under extreme hot or cold conditions – if the glass is bluntly hit on a certain angle – the glass can actually crack or shatter.

How to separate sapphire from mineral glasses?

1.Water drop, if you drop the water on sapphire glasses, the water will be flock together just like on lotus leaf, but the water will be divergent on the mineral glass.

2.Colour, the colour of sapphire is a little pink or milk white, and mineral glass often have blue colour.

3.Touch and feel, you will feel icy if touch the sapphire, and it is not for mineral.

4.You also can use professional machine to measure the density, luminousness, refractivity, hardness and some other technical information.

Shock Resistant/Anti Shock: Essentially, a watch is shock resistant if it can cope with shocks to the movement, especially to the delicate pivots that hold the balance wheel in place. In testing, a watch undergoing shock must keep its accuracy in the range of +/- 60 seconds/day.

Solar: A solar-powered watch or light-powered watch is a watch that is powered entirely or partly by a solar cell. Some of the early solar watches of the 1970s had innovative and unique designs to accommodate the array of photovoltaic solar cells needed to power them.

Splashproof/Water resistant: A watch stamped with "Water Resistant" means that it is humidity-protected. It can endure a bit of water splashes from washing your hands or being caught in the rain. However, water resistance does not mean you should swim or shower with your watch on.

Spring Bar: Spring bars are the tiny little bars that you use to hold watch straps in place. They have a tiny spring inside them and the ends are telescopic so you can push them in, put the strap into place, and then when you release the tension, they will spring out and they hold the watch strap back in place.

Sweeping seconds hand: A second hand that is mounted in the centre of the dial, instead of a sub-dial, and “sweeps” the entire dial of the watch.

Tachometer: A tachometer, also referred to as a tachymeter, is a graduation on dial of a chronograph which enables one to determine average speeds or hourly production on the basis of an observation period of under sixty seconds.

Tourbillon: A device that eliminates errors in timekeeping by balance the horizontal and vertical positions of the balance wheel.

Waterproof to...: The term "waterproof" implies that a watch can't leak under any circumstance—that no moisture will permeate the case and get into the movement. However, under certain circumstances anything can leak. Therefore, in the watch industry, we refer to a watch's ability to withstand water pressure as water resistance.

Water resistant: The ability of a watch to withstand (resist) splashes of water on the timepiece. This will indicate the depth that a watch can be worn underwater.

Wheel: Also referred to as a pinion, the wheel is a circular part that revolves around an axis to transmit power.

 

Winding: Winding is the action of tightening the mainspring of a watch. This is done by hand (turning the crown) or automatically (by the motion of the rotor).