Horology Glossary

automatic watch – a watch which has a spring which is wound automatically by the natural movement of a person.

chronometer – a watch with a certification for the highest standards of timekeeping.

complication – any mechanical features beyond that of timekeeping. Common complications are day/date, automatic winding and chronograph.

COSC – (see chronometer).

ETA – The main maker of movements in Switzerland.

horology – the study of timekeeping.

jewel – a mineral material used to maintain smooth operation of the movement.

manual watch – a watch which has a spring which needs to be hand wound .

mechanical watch – a manual or automatic watch.

movement – the mechanics of a watch. Today, movements are classified by the maker and designated serial numbers. For example, the 2892 movement is an ETA movement used in many high-end watches.

quartz crisis – the rise of quartz watch technology in the 1970s which saw the decline of the Swiss watchmaking industry.

quartz watch – a watch which has a battery as its energy source and a vibrating quartz crystal to keep time.

watch, mechanism of – a mechanical watch has five main parts – a mainspring, gear chain, balance wheel, escapement and face. The mainspring is the energy source. The gear chain is keeps the time by transmitting energy to the balance wheel and by keeping the count. The balance wheel is the mechanism which oscillates at a regular interval. The escapement allows regulates the balance wheel oscillation and also move the hands forward. The face is the visual plate to show you the time.