Tuesday, August 16, 2011

What do Different Watch Terms Mean?

Watch terminology may not be something that you are familiar with. That can make it hard to understand what is being described in any advertisement for a watch that you may be interested in. Taking the time to learn some of these basic terms, though, can help you to really understand the overall value of a particular brand and model.

The term “case” refers to the overall body of the watch. It houses the movements that make the timepiece work.  On top of the case, sits the “bezel.” It’s the ring that seals the window onto the case, offering additional layers of protection.  That window is called the “crystal.”  While some watches sport actual glass in lieu of crystal, the most common types of crystal are “sapphire crystal” and “mineral crystal.” Sapphire crystal is the most expensive and durable crystal.

The “dial” is the part of the watch where the hands are and the numbers. That is the part you use for reference to tell time. The elements that move for you to tell the hour and the minute are the hands of the watch. Sometimes these are referred to as “luminous,” which simply put means that the glow in dark spaces.

The “bracelet” or “strap” is the part that secures the watch in place. A bracelet band is not just for women!  Any metallic band with links would be classified as a bracelet.  You’ll want to make sure that the clasp securely closes so that you don’t lose your valuable timepiece.

A “strap” is made of leather, carbon fiber, cloth, rubber or Kevlar and serves the same purpose as the bracelet.

Sometimes it is necessary for the bracelet to be extended, for example, when the watch will be worn over a wetsuit by divers. This part is called the “diver’s extension” and it allows the watch to fit perfectly even when such an article of clothing is being worn.

If you look on the side of the case, you will see a round knob. This is called the “crown.” Many watches use this to allow you to adjust the hour, minute, date, etc. on the watch. Perhaps you are frequently late so you may do well to move it forward by 5 or 10 minutes to help out.

Many watches have a “hallmark” on them. This is some type of identification marker that has to do with the particular brand and model. The Omega Seamaster line, for example, all contain the Sea Monster logo on the back of the case.  It is there for recognition and it is also there to help cut down cheap replicas. Those cheap imitations can be made to look like the real thing, however, if you know what hallmark to look for, it is harder to be taken advantage of.

A “chronograph” is a set of subdials found on many sports watches.  The subdials keep vital information like split seconds, dates, 24-hour, or seconds.  If you have a sports watch, you are likely to have some variation of chronograph on your watch.

You should also be looking for the serial number on top-quality watches. This can help you to successfully register your watch. Each one will have a unique serial number for identification purposes. Should it be lost or stolen, this is a great way to prove it belonged to you. Now that you know what various common watch terms mean, you will find it is much easier to shop around for what you are looking for.

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