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August 1999

Timepieces:Data & Statistics

Selling Terms, Part IV

Our series on timepiece definitions continues as a teaching tool for new sales associates and a review for longtimers

In this monthly series of timepiece facts, begun in May, we define basic watch terminology from A to Z. The series is our reminder that product knowledge is a key ingredient to successful watch sales.

All terms and diagrams can be found in The Complete Guide to Watch Distribution and Service,available from the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, Rochelle Park, NJ; (201) 291-8811,

Quartz Movement: A movement powered by a quartz crystal and a battery. This synthetic crystal oscillates 32,768 times per second. See drawing at right.

Rotating Bezel: A bezel that can be turned. There are two variations. A unidirectional bezel in diver watches rotates only counterclockwise for safety. The bidirectional bezel is used on pilot watches as part of a slide rule for many computations, such as fuel weight and consumption.

Rotor: The part of an automatic watch that winds the movement's mainspring. It is a flat piece of metal, usually shaped like a semicircle, that swivels with the motion of the wearer's wrist.

Sapphire Crystal: A transparent, shock-resistant and scratch-resistant synthetic sapphire covering that's used to protect the face of a watch. It's often found in watches of higher quality.

Screw-Lock Crown: A crown that has to be unscrewed before winding the mainspring or setting the time or date. This device, coupled with a ring around the winding stem inside the case, contributes to the water resistance of the watch.

The gear train conveys movement to the hands through the dial train. The analog dial displays the time of day.
Second Time-Zone Indicator: A subdial with only an hour hand that can be set to indicate the time in another location of the world. Only the hour hand is necessary because the minutes do not change: if it's 1:08 p.m. in New York, it's 7:08 p.m. in Paris (Daylight Savings Time notwithstanding).

Split-second chronograph: A chronograph with two seconds hands, allowing you to time two events that start simultaneously but end at different times. The first hand is started, stopped and reset with one push-button. The other hand has its own button. When the chronograph is started – at the beginning of a race, for example – both hands start simultaneously, one on top of the other. When the first competitor passes the finish line, you push the button of the split seconds hand and it stops; the other seconds hand keeps going. The first competitor's time is recorded. When the split seconds hand is restarted, it catches up with the regular hand. When the second competitor passes the finish line, the operation is repeated, and so on.


Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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