Watch j ar­gon: a b luffer’s g uide

Don’t know your horo­log­i­cal arm from your el­bow? Mas­ter the ba­sics first

Australian T3 - - THE LORDS OF TIME -

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.

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