Watch j argon: a b luffer’s g uide
Don’t know your horological arm from your elbow? Master the basics first
1/ Mechanical movements These come in two varieties: self-winding and automatic. Auto ones sport a weighted rotor that spins when you move, keeping the watch permanently wound.
2/ Electronic movements These have very few moving parts. Instead, an electric pulse is passed through a small quartz crystal inside to drive the hands or digital display.
3/ Escapement This is what creates the ticking sound. Unique to mechanical watches, it comprises a toothed “escape” wheel and an anchor or lever that permits the gradual release of stored energy.
4/ Jewel bearings Smooth jewels, such as rubies, garnets and diamonds, provide ideal non-friction surfaces for a watch’s many moving parts. Since 1902 it’s more usual to find synthetic jewels used.
5/ Tourbillon This attempts to counter the effects of gravity by placing the escapement and balance wheel inside a rotating cage. With today’s watch accuracy it’s no longer necessary, but does look fancy.
6/ Complication Refers to any watch movement beyond the simple tracking of hours, minutes and seconds. The more complications, the more parts. It takes up to 250 parts to display the date and time.