Selling Terms, Part II

June 1999

Timepieces:Data & Statistics

Selling Terms, Part II

New behind the watch counter? This series of basic definitions is designed especially for you

In this monthly series we define basic watch terminology from A to Z. The series began in the May issue (p. 120) and continues here with "digital watch." The definitions are a 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,

Digital Watch: A watch that displays the time by numbers – or digits – instead of hands.

Escapement: Device in a mechanical watch that controls the rotation of the wheels and the motion of the hands.

Fly-Back Function: An extra second-hand is superimposed on a chronograph's main second-hand and is commanded by an additional push-button. To read an intermediate time duration, the fly-back hand is stopped and then made to "fly back" to rejoin the main second-hand.

Guilloche (gi-LO- SH or ge--YO- SH): A type of engraving in which thin lines are interwoven, creating a patterned surface. This is seen mostly on high-end dials.

Index: A design used to mark a period of time on a dial, usually the hours, the minutes and the seconds. Markers can be used also to indicate the remaining hours on a power reserve indicator or the heartbeats on a pulsimeter. Indexes are used in place of numbers on the dial.

Jewels: Synthetic rubies or sapphires used as bearings to reduce friction between watch parts. They also have the capacity to retain lubricants by capillary action, releasing them little by little. Many watches have 17 of them, though the number can go up to more than 60 on collector masterpieces.

Jumping Hour: One of the earliest digital displays. The hour is shown with a numeral through a window instead of an hour hand. It is called "jumping hour" because the numeral changes suddenly on the hour instead of gradually as with an hour hand.

Lugs: Projections on the dial to which the watch band or bracelet is attached.

Mechanical Repeater: A very sophisticated device that chimes a different note for each hour, quarter-hour and minute, depending on the type. Some even chime the half quarter-hours (71/2 minutes). The minute repeater was invented to accommodate people who, for one reason or another, needed to know the time in the dark before the advent of luminous paint.

Mechanical Movement

1. Barrel/Mainspring

2. Gear Train

3. Escapement

4. Balance Wheel & Hairspring

5a. Winding Stem

5b. Oscillating Weight

6. Dial Train




Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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