Home Continuing Series Historical Horology Historical Horology: Explaining Watch Terms

Historical Horology: Explaining Watch Terms




When it comes to you, dear reader, I tend to make the assumption that you have a more than passing knowledge of watches, with an idea of at least some of the components that make up a watch, be it quartz or mechanically-driven. That said, I realize that some of our past posts in the Historical Horology line have focused in on some of the minutia of a watch. To that end, I think it’s time to ensure we’re all on the same page.


Now, we all know things like what a crown is, or where the lugs on a watch are located. But do you know the difference between an annual calendar and a perpetual one? When it comes to a movement, do you know your balance from your bridge, your hairspring from the escapement? Perhaps the difference between a chronograph and a chronometer trips you up (I know when I was starting out it did trip me up).


To help us all in this regard, I ran across a very handy glossary over at Crown & Caliber. It’s by no means exhaustive, but it should definitely help you out getting some of these terms set straight in your mind (or serve as a quick reference down the line). You can find the glossary here. Once you’ve gone through it, let us know in the comments if there are any other terms that it didn’t cover that you’d like an answer to. Perhaps if we have enough questions, we can come up with our own dictionary here on WWR.

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