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FAQs. General Information
What do you call the art of watchmaking?
The art of watchmaking is called horology.
What are the main parts of a watch?
A watch is made up of:
a calibre/movement (can be in-house, factory made or ebauched)
a case to hold the movement (can be made of steel, gold, platinum, titanium, bronze, wood etc)
a case front (can be sapphire crystal or acrylic or mineral glass) and a case back (can also be any of the afore-mentioned or solid metal so it isn’t see through)
a dial or face to display the time (and other complications)
a band (NB the bits that stick out of a case to secure a band are called ‘lugs’)
What is a watch movement or calibre?
A movement (or calibre) in is the mechanism inside the watch case that measures the passage of time (and possibly other information including date, month and day). Movements may be entirely mechanical (with moving parts), entirely electronic (potentially with no moving parts), or a blend of the two.
What is a Complication?
A complication refers to an additional feature of a watch movement beyond the standard time-telling functions ie hours, minutes.
Examples of complications include: day/date, perpetual calendars, moon phase displays, alarms, repeating mechanisms, power reserve indicators, quarter strikes as well as stop/start chronograph functions.
What is the normal deviation in rate of a mechanical watch per day?
The daily deviation in rate of a mechanical watch depends on several important factors. This includes the quality of the movement, the wearing habits of the owner and the influence of extreme temperature differences. However, a quality watch that is in good shape may run up to 10 seconds fast per day.
What is a chronometer?
Chronometer is a Greek word meaning “timekeeper”. Today, only precision watches with a high level of accuracy may call themselves a chronometer, a designation that is subject to strict international test conditions. The independent Swiss monitoring organisation Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC) tests watches for 15 days in five different positions and at three temperature levels.
What is a chronograph?
Chronograph literally means “time writer”. You can both tell the time with a chronograph and use it to measure intervals of time.
How long is my watch water-resistant?
A watch is considered to be water-resistant when the seals on the glass, crown and case back are able to protect the fine high-precision movement inside from moisture and water. Water-resistant watches that are regularly exposed to water should have their seals checked at least once every two years at an authorised specialist retailer. The elasticity of the seals may start to deteriorate after two years. External elements such as hand lotion, perfume and soap may also weaken the seals.
What do the water resistant numbers on a watch mean?
When do I have to get my watch serviced?
All machines require care and maintenance, even very small ones like watches. A watch movement, a fine machine consisting of up to few hundred individual components, is lightly oiled and greased in certain parts. This small amount of oil and grease dries out or is used up by the running of the watch movement. If the movement gets dirty and dry, the accuracy and/or power reserve of the watch may suffer. These are the first signs that maintenance may be necessary. Treat your mechanical or electronic watch to professional servicing every four to six years so that it keeps displaying the hours, minutes and seconds accurately again.
Can sapphire glass be scratched?
Yes, even sapphire glass can be scratched. Sapphire ranks as a 9 on a hardness scale ranging from 1 to 10. Only diamonds, ranking at 10, are harder. This means that sapphire glass can be scratched by a diamond or by an equally hard material. Concrete, for example, contains corundum, which also ranks as a 9 on the hardness scale, meaning it can also cause damage to sapphire glass.
What should I do if I notice condensation or water under the watch glass?
Please contact an authorised specialist retailer immediately. They can dry out your watch on site and determine whether the moisture or water has already caused damage to the movement.
Does an automatic watch have to be wound?
If an automatic watch is worn every day and subject to an average amount of hand motion, it will not need to also be wound manually. However, if you are preparing an automatic watch to be worn again after it has been left in storage for some time, simply shaking and setting it will not suffice. We therefore recommend that you wind the crown of your automatic wristwatch several times to support power supply before wearing it again.