Saturday, 29 September 2007

Glossary of terms (N-Z)

Oyster Case
Rolex watch with water-resistant case.

Literally "paved with", dial with precious stones.

Perpetual Calendar
Calendar mechanism with display, which automatically corrects for long and short months and leap years.

Precious silver-white metal heavier than gold and used for cases and bracelets in expensive models.

Quarter Repeater
Repeating mechanism that sounds hours and quarter hours.

Rock crystal of silicon dioxide that can be made to oscillate by electronic switching. Maintains constant frequency. Mostly synthetic crystals are used today.

Rolled Gold
Very thin sheet of gold is pressed onto another metal, usually double thickness.

Roman Numerals
Besides Arabic, the most common numerals on watch dials. IIII instead of IV.

In automatic watches, the rotor winds the mainspring. In quartz, it is a permanent rotating magnet in the step-switch motor.

This is in fact, corundum, a synthetic stone and used to reduce wear on certain pivots.

Glasses or crystals, scratch-proof and usually synthetic

A watch is classified shock-resistant when dropped onto a hardwood surface from a height of one metre and it doesn't stop, or its daily rate does not change by more than 60 seconds.

Signed Movement
The maker's signature on movement.

Skeleton Watch
The dial of a skeleton has a separate ring with interior cut away, leaving only numerals and exposing the wheels and mechanism of the movement. Back plate is also cut away and fitted with glass.

Split-second Chronograph
Watch with a sweep second hand, independent of chronograph hand.

The shaft connecting winding mechanism and crown on outside of case.

Subsidiary Dials
Smaller auxiliary dials showing elapsed minutes and running seconds.

A Swiss Federal government ordinance dating to 23 December 1971. Decrees that: (1) this expression can only be featured on a watch and used in connection with its marketing, only if at least 50% of the components, by value, excluding costs of assembly, are of Swiss manufacture; (2) it was assembled in Switzerland and was started and regulated by its manufacturer in Switzerland and; (3) is continuously subject to the legal obligation of technical inspection in Switzerland.

Speedometer or revolution recorder on bezel.

Tank Case
Original patent design by Cartier but today, it is used commonly to refer to a retangular case.

Case shape with wide centre and flat tapered ends.

Breguet invention for nullifying vertical position errors by means of a revolving platform which goes through all such positions, so that they neutralise each other.

Luminous paint for dials, hands and numerals.

Tuning Fork
A transistor continually switching between two small magnets to regulate smooth running, oscillating 360 times per second. The high frequency gives great precision in time-keeping. Bulova Accutron made the device famous but quartz ousted its popularity.

The expression "waterproof" is illegal in America. Sold as water-resistant, watches must be able to withstand water pressure at a depth of one metre for 30 minutes and thereafter for 90 seconds at 20 metres.

World-time Watch
A watch that depicts current time in any chosen city or zone.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Glossary of terms (A-M)

Time indication by hands and dial. The word means "corresponding" and was originally an electronic term, adopted by the watchmaking industry after the invention of quartz.

Refers to any watch with parts protected from all but the strongest magnetism. Quartz is inert to this force.

Applied Numerals
Raised metal characters attached to the watch dial.

A mechanical watch with a mainspring that is wound by the wearer's movements via a rotor. Invented by Abraham-Louis Perrelet in the 18th century.

Auxiliary Dial
Small dial showing seconds only, up to one minute, usually at the six o'clock position.

Back Winder
A flat crown set into the case back for setting time and winding.

Rectangular movement, with a length at least three times its width. A feature of Art Deco watches.

The running regulator of mechanical watches. It oscillates on its axis of rotation, the hair-spring making it swing to and fro as in "tick-tock".

A circular box housing the mainspring, with teeth attached at the edge drive gears.

Baton numberals
Undecorated non-numeral markers of hours, minutes and seconds.

Metal surround frame in which watch glass (crystal) is fitted.

Generally known as crown or winder.

Cabochon Crown
Crown set with a jewel.

Denotes type, whether lady's or man's, automatic, etc, and once used to denote the diameter of a watch movement. From the Latin "qua libra?" (of what weight?).

The housing of movement, dial and glass.

A watch that has an independent stopwatch for short interval timing. Common types are one-button, two-button or 12-hour with moonphase and split-second.

Ordinary watch that has passed stringent precision and reliability tests in an official observatory.

Complicated Watch
Refers to functions unrelated to the time of day - calendars, chronographs, moonphases, perpetual and repeaters.

Glass, plastic, sapphire or quartz crystal dial cover fitted into bezel.

Deployment Buckle
Two strips of hinged metal (curved to the wrist shape) on the watchband. Upon closing, one folds over the other to cover it. Reputedly invented by Cartier.

Face of a watch showing all details.

Duoplan or Duodial
Doctor's watch with a separate auxiliary seconds dial from the hours and minutes. For taking quick pulse reading.

Integral Bracelet
Strap designed as a natural extension of watch case.

Used as bearings at points of greatest friction in movements. Usually between 15 and 18 but are not indicative of quality or value of watch. Before, natural rubies and sapphires were used, but they are mostly synthetic today.

Part of watch case to which band or bracelet may be attached.

Principal spring in watch, a flat spring coiled in a barrel.

Mean Time
Average length of all solar days in one year, usual time shown by watches.

Minute Repeater
Chiming of the hours, quarters and minutes.

Month Aperture
Pierced window in a mechanical digital displaying the month.

Watch displaying phase of moon through 29 and a half days.

Complete mechanism of watch. 120 to 600 parts may be incorporated.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

How to spot a fake Cartier

Copies are usually much lighter because of the materials used, e.g. gold-plated brass, nickel, chromium.

Cartier watches are set with sapphire-quality, scratchproof glass, copies usually have mineral or organic glass.

Every Cartier watch has a cabochon stone on the winder, an individual serial number, the Cartier signature on the dial, on the back and on the deployant buckle which is in the shape of a C.

Most Cartier watches have blue steel sword-shaped hands and Roman numerals with a tiny Cartier signature on the X and the VII.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

How to spot a fake brand

  • Poor quality.

  • Improper markings.

  • Absence of an accompanying guarantee card which has been properly executed by an authorised dealer in the case of jewellery and leather goods.

  • Items that don't fit the image - Cartier toothbrushes, Dunhill compact discs.

  • The best advice is to purchase from the boutique; avoid street markets and be suspicious of huge discounts.
  • Tuesday, 25 September 2007

    Breitling Emergency

    Adventurous types who like to get outdoors and away from the maddening crowds may be interested in the Emergency watch, made by Breitling Montres SA of Grenchen, Switzerland. According to Breitling, the Emergency is the world's first chronograph watch with a built-in miniature transmitter. Its purpose is to help rescue personnel find individuals - hikers, mountain climbers, windsurfers, sky divers - who get lost on land or sea.

    Monday, 24 September 2007

    Patek Philippe's Gondolo

    Launched at the renowned annual European Watch, Clock and Jewellery Fair, or better known as Basel Fair 1995, Patek Philippe's Gondolo models are inspired by great impressions of the Art Deco period of the 20th century. The tonneau shaped wristwatch for men (Reference 5030) shows the Gondolo style in its purest form. It displays an 18K yellow gold case curving smoothly into a brown, crocodile-leather strap. Its silvered opaline dial has Breguet hands and 11 applied Breguet numerals made of yellow gold, and an exterior minute scale in gold pearls.

    Sunday, 23 September 2007

    Alfred Dunhill Londinium GMT

    International datelines, time differences and accuracy are all essential considerations for today's business travellers and the Alfred Dunhill Londinium GMT watch is designed to meet these requirements. Characterised by a Swiss automatic chronometer-rated movement visible through a sapphire case-back, a 24-hour uni-directional rotating bezel, as well as a date calendar at the 6 o'clock position, the bracelet models feature a push-button clasp for complete security while the leather strap models are fitted with a comfortable single-sided porte-feuille clasp.

    Saturday, 22 September 2007

    House of Mauboussin

    The House of Mauboussin created its initial watch in the 19th century, marrying the art of the jeweller with the skill of the watchmaker. A Mauboussin jewellery watch is unique, like the certified chronometer which has 156 grams of white gold set with 557 round diamonds (5.02 carats), 48 baguette diamonds (6.27 carats) and 176 cabochon sapphires, including an arabesque cut. Richly decorated in gold or precious stones and diamonds, Mauboussin watches retain their refinement and studied poise.

    Friday, 21 September 2007

    Corum Admiral's Cup "Anniversary"

    To mark the 40th anniversary of its founding (1955 - 1995), Corum brought out three versions of the Admiral's Cup "Anniversary" watch - in yellow, pink or white gold. The series comprises 100 of each and all the pieces are numbered. The words "Corum" and "Anniversary", as well as the number of the piece, are engraved on the bezel. A different maritime scene for each version has been hand-engraved on the solid gold dial, which bears nautical flags in stove-enamelled colours. The case has a transparent back that is protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal cover through which the mechanical movement is visible. The Admiral's Cup "Anniversary" is water-resistant to a depth of 30 metres and is available with a leather strap or a solid gold bracelet.

    Thursday, 20 September 2007

    Raymond Weil Integrated Parsifal

    The "Integrated Parsifal" by Raymond Weil features an 18K gold bezel, protected crown, ivory dial, gold-plated Roman numerals and a square steel case. The curved and tapered bracelet, made of 18K gold and steel links, blends perfectly with the design of the case. This quartz movement watch is water-resistant to 30 metres and the glass is made of sapphire crystal.

    Wednesday, 19 September 2007

    Chronoswiss Regulateur Automatique

    Chronoswiss, the dynamic Munich watch factory, provided a very aesthetic companion for the classical silver regulator dial of its "Regulateur Automatique". This companion has a refined, matt-black surface with white print. The delicate bomb-shaped steel hands are dyed white. This colour contrast makes it very easy to read. The best proof of this thesis is the fact that all professional aviator watches are equipped with black, non-reflecting dials.

    Tuesday, 18 September 2007

    Titoni Cosmo 2000 Multifunction

    After the successful introduction of the Cosmo 2000 line, Titoni presents the automatic Cosmo 2000 Multifunction model. This watch stands out for its sporty-classical styling and provides special functions, such as a second adjustable time zone and a power reserve indicator.

    Monday, 17 September 2007

    MCM 102

    Ever since they were launched, MCM watches have stood out through their original structural form. Round or rectangular, the easily recognisable watches are characterised by an aesthetic bias towards flowing, supple forms. The MCM 102 follows the same design concept. The pronounced overall curving is emphasized by the long lugs. By fitting snugly against the case, deep between the lugs, the bracelet contributes to the general harmony of the piece and stresses the exceptional banana shape of the watch. The concave lateral band of the case makes the watch slimmer, and is closed by a screwed case-back ensuring water-tightness to a depth of 30 metres.

    Sunday, 16 September 2007

    TAG Heuer Challenge S/el

    The TAG Heuer Challenge S/el limited edition sports watch is the result of a close collaboration when TAG Heuer and Chris Dickson agreed on a partnership for the 1995 America's Cup. Individually crafted from pure stainless steel, equipped with a high quality leather strap, the S/el watch represents the technical ingenuity, attention to detail, and the prestige of America's Cup yachts.

    A total of 1,000 TAG Heuer Challenge timepieces are available both in lady's and man's sizes. Each watch is numbered on the case and comes in a choice of two sophisticated colour combinations: a refined slate grey dial with a black leather strap, or a silver dial with a fine blue leather strap.

    Friday, 14 September 2007

    Omega: The Choice Of Champions

    Omega, the Swiss brand with a time-honoured tradition in the timing of the world's top sports events and in man's conquest of space (the one and only watch worn on the moon), became involved in golf with the launch of its international advertising campaign which features top players such as Ernie Els and Bernhard Langer.

    These "winning personalities" are chosen as they symbolise the accomplished and upcoming men of the nineties. The game of golf is closely linked to the notions of accuracy and refinement, gentility and luxury, much like Omega watches. It is also their quick decisions on and off the course that have made them the stars they are.

    When faced with a difficult ball, they have to decide how to play it and which club to use. Not just once, but constantly throughout all 18 holes. Being consistently reliable, on target, and making the right decisions have made them the golf champions that they are. They trust their judgment and have selected an Omega watch as their partner in play.

    The same goes to successful people in other fields, such as Cindy Crawford, Michael Schumacher, June Anderson and Bryn Terfel.

    Omega's message, "Outstanding personalities trust their judgment", is addressed to enthusiasts of the Swiss brand all over the world. Beyond this circle of convinced brand supporters, Omega is reaching out more specifically to a target public of young cosmopolitan consumers who can identify with super talents in fashion, sports and classical music.

    In short, the Omega collection offers "profiled" models for "profiled" people.

    The De Ville, in particular, is a classical and elegant watch that has won numerous design awards. Most notable are the six Diamonds International Awards, two City of Geneva Prizes and seven Golden Rose of Baden Baden Awards.

    Tuesday, 11 September 2007

    Nomos & Graf

    For those with discerning tastes, there is a small but high-quality mechanical watch range. Called Nomos (which means order or law in Greek), it aims to show that simplicity can be designed to be strikingly powerful. Based on four basic models, three circular watches named Tangente, Ludwig and Orion, and a square watch, called Tetra, the Nomos designs originate from designs made in the 1930s. Plain cases, small bezels and an exemplary clear layout of the dials are special design features of this watch brand. Depending on the model, movement parts are either gold-plated or rhodium-plated, carrying a cotes de Geneva finish on all surfaces or a vague de Geneva finish on the base plate. Despite the small bezel, the cases are water-resistant up to 30m. The leather straps come from Kaufmann, one of the most noted manufacturers of watch straps.

    Monday, 10 September 2007


    Jurgen Heinz's first big break in the watch industry was a range of handcrafted watches inspired by his love for golf. Called the Holborn collection, its distinctive characteristics is its dimpled bezel. With the ingenious blending of 18K gold with steel or solid gold, each watchcase is individually crafted out of a solid steel or gold block, and each dimple drilled manually. The watchcase is then combined with high value, handcrafted leather straps or hand-woven Milanese gold bracelets. Holborn is an excellent alternative to those who appreciate exclusivity and particularly those who would love a chance to go against the grain.

    Sunday, 9 September 2007

    Vacheron Constantin Complications

    A staggering amount of patience and work were put into each piece in this collection. The Vacheron Kallista required more than 6,000 hours of work and the competence of a team of the most gifted jewellers in the world. Behind its glittering, diamond-studded dial, bezel and strap, it bears the profiles of a man and a woman in close union.

    Saturday, 8 September 2007

    Jurgen Heinz

    Inspired by his great love for music, a young German designer in the watchmaking village of Pforzheim came up with the Jurgen Heinz collection. An admirable feat for someone who had risen from a trainee artisan to a high profile watch manufacturer, who created a stir in his booths in the 1994 and 1995 International Watch Fairs in Basel. His distinctive design features five different movements in steel and steel/gold.

    Friday, 7 September 2007

    Alfred Dunhill 1930 Octagonal Steel Centenary Watch

    A classic addition to the range fitted with mechanical, hand-wound movement and water-resistant to 30 metres. Grey dial with sunburst finish and sapphire crystal.

    Thursday, 6 September 2007

    Baume et Mercier Dual Time-Zone Hampton

    Curved rectangular polished steel case of the Hampton is water-resistant to 30m. Sapphire crystal protects two dials, on matte white or silvertone/coppertone dial and two ultra-thin quartz movement.

    Wednesday, 5 September 2007

    Patek Philippe Army Officer Campaign Watch

    Patek Philippe Army Officer's Campaign Watch Man's wristwatch in 18-carat gold or platinum with a mechanical movement and a small seconds hand. Bassine-style case with Louis XV winding crown. Breguet numerals and hands on porcelain-white dial marked with a railway track minute scale. The hinged back cover opens to reveal the dust cover, which is engraved with the movement number and a text commemorating Patek Philippe's 150th anniversary. Special period style gold screw pins hold the strap to the case, and the gold buckle to the strap.

    Tuesday, 4 September 2007

    Piaget Tanagra

    Although Piaget's bread and butter line is the Dancer watches, the Tanagra collection remains the most collectible. The hallmark of the company is integrating watchmaking with jewellery design. Always in 18-carat gold, enigmatic white or warm yellow. It's a dazzling range, on leather, with diamonds on bezel, case and bracelet. The diamond-studded models also come with matching jewellery.

    Monday, 3 September 2007

    TAG-Heuer 6000 Senna Limited Edition

    A rare and prestigious sports watch in three sizes that were issued in remembrance of Formula One World Champion, Ayrton Senna. Only 1000 of each size were made, crafted from stainless steel with the TAG-Heuer logo on the bezel and dial with addition of the Senna "S" on the lower case.

    Sunday, 2 September 2007

    Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Joaillerie

    The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso dating back to 1931 has remained an Art Deco classic. Today, in a new volte-face, the Reverso makes an entrance in its most captivating role - adorned in a splendour of diamonds, rubies and emeralds. Another model, on an ostrich strap, displays a silver dial with hand-turned guilloche finish, and an 18-carat gold case set with two columns of 26 diamonds.

    Saturday, 1 September 2007

    Cartier Santos & Tank

    The name has been synonymous with superb quality and style for more than a century and a generic for beautiful jewellery. The Cartier Santos that originated in 1904 has remained basically unchanged till today, except for different strap options. The classic Tank, designed for the US army, echoes military history. Both are supreme examples of collectibles.

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