Watch Term Glossary | Lapizta Racing Watches and Luxury Sports Watches

Watch Term Glossary

Watch Term Glossary

Horologists thrive on discussing the manufacturing and repair of timepieces. Watches or clocks are keepers of time and they should be understood for the art that they are. Watch enthusiasts may seem to be talking in a type of code, but you will be able to decipher their language by knowing some of the words below. From luxury racing watches to luxury divers watches, the internal mechanisms of prized timepieces are open to discussion. When you step into a retail space, make sure you have some knowledge to talk shop. You do not need to make flashcards, but know enough so you know what you want and can communicate your watch fluency.


Analog-hands and dial with a twelve-hour number or a marker display

Automatic-a watch that requires a daily winding via the wearer’s kinetic movements


Barrel- cylindrical and thin box holding the mainspring of a watch

Bezel- ring located on the upper part of the watch body, outside the crystal makes timekeeping easier


Chronograph- measures and shows time, long or short, via mechanisms

Crown – metal cap that is round in shape used to wind and set the time/calendar of a watch


Dial- disk that serves as the watch face consisting of numerals and indicators

Dimaskeening- etchings marking some watch movements in a decorative manner


Ebauche- components of a watch that will be assembled elsewhere

Escapement- energy distributing unit


Face- the visible side portion of a watch, also called a dial

Fob- the chain of a watch


Gasket- a rubber that ensures a water-resistant seal

Gilt- gold plated


Horology- manufacturing or repairing watch with the understanding that it is an art form


Isochronism- a watch that runs smoothly whether or not it is wound

Jewel- bearings for the gear trains


Karat- a measurement of gold alloy purity


Lugs- what the band/bracelet is attached to


Luminous – a type of paint that allows a wearer to tell the time off the face of the watch despite lighting situations


Mainspring- a coiled strip of metal with a cross-section that is rectangular

Moon phase- window that shows the phases of the moon


O-ring- another name for a gasket


Pendant- neck of a pocket watch

Platinum- metal that is resists wear and tarnish thus classifying it as precious


Quartz- watch movement generated by a battery and maintains time accuracy via the vibrations generated by a miniscule quartz crystal


Rotor- a swinging weight that is home in automatic watches


Staff- part of the watch that balances the axle component of a watch

Strap- material that encases a watch wear’s wrist to keep the timepiece in place



Learn the basics of watch terminology and the world expands. Despite the digital advancements, watches are still valued for their connection to history and mankind. Stop and appreciate the timepieces that are carried throughout the day. Be able to hold your own at a cocktail party or simple on a boat or mountainside appreciate the finer things in life like your timepiece. Time stand still when you understand the timelessness of a watch.

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