Quartz movements. Automatically movements. Mechanically movements. Chronographs. Certified chronometers. Tourbillons. What walk it every mean!?

Being the dapper other that girlfriend are, you recognize that a clock is critical item to own. No doubt you have one or an ext in your arsenal already.

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But what are the differences between watches, particularly those that make one an ext expensive than another? What maintenance is associated to keep your watch at the best? What need to you know when shopping because that a new timepiece?


Our thorough watch ar shall aid you in all different facets of watches, so you deserve to be a an ext informed guy (or woman) in the wonderful civilization of horology (which is the art and also science of measure time, through the way).

We’ve be separate this post into the 5 sections listed below for less complicated navigation. Usage the links below to “jump” to learn about:


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Outer Watch part Basics 101.

Before us go over any type of movement options, let’s begin with a rudimentary breakdown of a watch’s parts. The graphic listed below shows the elements that nearly every watch will certainly have.




The situation holds the inner working parts of the watch. Depending upon the layout of the watch, the situation is usually made the stainless steel, due to the fact that steel is resilient, handles irradiate shocks the the watch can receive, and also doesn’t tarnish. Cases can also be make of precious metals like gold or platinum, and also can also be make of plastic in sports watches.

The instance can also come in various finishes like high-polish, smooth, matte, or a mix of any of those. The case also contains the motion itself, it is in it electronic (quartz) or automatically (self-winding). We’ll cover much more on activities later.


The lugs room where the instance of the watch connects to the strap or steel bracelet the the watch, by use of steel spring bars.


The crown is what is used to adjust the time. Part watches sell a date home window and a secs indicator, i m sorry are involved by pulling the crown out. Crowns ~ above water-resistant watches screw down right into the case. The crown deserve to have embellishments like valuable stones, to indicate luxury and attention to detail.

Strap / Buckle

The strap/buckle secures the watch to her wrist and also there are a number of materials typically used for these parts. Animal leather straps selection from calfskin come lizard and an ext exotic offerings favor ostrich, alligator, crocodile, and also even toad. Rather of a strap, a steel bracelet is a popular option. Other options are nylon straps (for sportiness), satin straps (for dressiness), and rubber straps (for diving/watersports). Many watches permit straps and also bracelets come be interchangeable interchangeable so you have the right to dress it increase or down as soon as you want to adjust the look at of your watch. We have several short articles on watch straps which deserve to be uncovered here.


The hands, usually damaged down into hours and also minutes, show the time. The hour hand is usually shorter in size than the minute hand. The hands can likewise have a slight design to them.

Other more complicated watches, such together chronographs (stop city hall / timers), may have additional hands for their various other functions, well-known as “complications”.


The bezel is the external ring that the situation that connects to the lugs. It is commonly a flat-edged surface, however can additionally be rounded. The bezel can likewise have embellishments, like priceless gemstones in upscale watches, and also may be a different metal 보다 the situation itself, as in part two-tone watches.


The above pictures present three different kinds of watch bezels. The one ~ above the left rotates, permitting the user to “set” a different time zone. When the other two room fixed, such as the “fluted” bezel ~ above the middle Rolex watch, and also rounded one top top the right Jaeger-LeCoultre perpetual calendar timepiece.

Looking come learn more about bezels and their scales? Head come our specialized watch bezel guide!


The crystal protects the dial and hands indigenous dust and also dirt, enabling the time to it is in visible. Although the is termed a crystal, it may NOT it is in made of actual crystal, however plastic. Modern times have made sapphire crystal an extremely popular together it is more scratch-resistant and also durable.

Dial / Face

The dial is whereby the watch deserve to be the most expressive. It is the flat surface ar beneath the crystal, and can come in many shade options, textures, and materials. Dials can use roman numerals, Arabic numbers, or even more simple stick bar markers to indicate the time.

Watch complications (Additional Functions)

The most basic watch role is whereby it tells the time only. These kinds of watches are considered the many “dressy” / official of all watch types.

Anything in addition to the moment is taken into consideration an added “complication” come the city hall function, and also thus the term. Below you’ll uncover some of the most famous watch complications and what they mean.

AM/PM Indicator

This clues on the dial can likewise be described as the day/night indicator. This enables you to check out what time of job it is, based turn off of photo of the sun and moon. This role is especially helpful when discovered on a dual-timezone watch together you will have the ability to see the time in a various timezone and constantly know the time of day.

There are also some 24 hour activities (where the hour hand only rotates once per day), such as the one seen below in the vintage WWII Bulova watch.


Annual Calendar

This calendar function displays the day, date and month, and also typically likewise includes the year. Uneven the Perpetual Calendar, this function needs come be adjusted at the end of February, together it does no account for leap years.

Read much more about these varieties of movements with our guide to yearly calendar watches.

Battery reserve (End of Life) Indicator

Found ~ above a quartz watch, the 2nd hand commonly will jump in 2 to 4 minute intervals fairly than every second. This function will alarm you before the watch loser power.


A standard Calendar function, rather than an annual Calendar or Perpetual Calendar, will present you the date and the month depending on the intricacy of the movement. Occasionally, more complex movements will likewise show the work of the week.


A chronograph makes it possible to measure constant or discontinuous intervals of time. Generally a chronograph records native a portion of a second, approximately 12-24 hours. These are commonly recorded in three sundials and are commonly operated through two extr pushers bordering the crown, but can additionally be discovered in a solitary pusher.

To learn much more about the different species and how they can be used, head to our thorough chronograph guide.

Depth Alarm

This role is primarily found on dive watches. When a diver will a preset depth, one alarm sound or vibrates.

Date Window

Considered part of the calendar family, a date home window will it is in the just numbers found associated with the date. Famous places to discover the date window are: 3 o’clock, 12 o’clock and 5 o’clock.


Dual Time

A useful complication because that those who like to travel or have family located in a different timezone, this procedures both the existing local time and also typically at least one other time zone . This can be found in a 2nd dial, one extra hand, or in a subdial.

Dual time can also be referred to as a “world time” function. You’ll learn everything you should know about this motion with our people time watch guide.


GMT Time

GMT stands for Greenwich median Time, which is the worldwide standard the time the the human being is collection to. Comparable to twin time, a GMT role is primarily discovered as a 2nd hand and reads in a 24-hour mode to identify day native night. A secondary collection of number is discovered in the bezel or roughly the outer rim the the dial relying on the model.

Although sometimes confused with human being time watches, this are somewhat different. Learn an ext about them v our GMT clock guide.

Grand + Petite Sonnerie

This beautiful duty refers come a watch the strikes a bell to chime the time. This function happens instantly like a grandfather clock or a large clock in a town center. A Grand Sonnerie strikes the hour, 4 minutes 1 hour and minutes. A Petite Sonnerie strikes the hours only. Our alarm watches guide will teach you every little thing you must know.

Helium to escape Valve

Found as a component of diving watches that have the right to dive deep into the ocean, a helium escape valve releases press that exist in excessive depths that the ocean. This stays clear of damaging the watch or popping the crystal as result of excessive pressure.

Minute Repeater

Unlike a grand or Petite Sonnerie, a minute repeater chimes the hours, quarts and minutes in ~ the press of a button. Bespoke Unit master a comprehensive guide come minute repeater watches.

Moon Phase

Shown in a home window on the face of the dial, a moon phase function will display the waxing and waning of the moon together it one the earth. This permits you to clock the different phases of the moon both in the sky and on her wrist.


Discover moonphase watches through our full, detailed guide.

Perpetual Calendar

This facility calendar duty takes right into account the various lengths that the month, consisting of February, and is accurate until year 2100 . This shows the day, date and also month, but additionally includes the moon phase and year as added functions.

Learn more in our overview to perpetual calendar watches.

Power Reserve

Similar come the finish of life indicator ~ above a quartz watch, the strength reserve indicator will display the remaining time till the watch stops running and when it will need an ext winding. This is uncovered on manual-wind watches primarily, but can also be discovered on an automatic, self-winding watch. One more name for a strength reserve is the make reservation de Marche.

Sun / Moon Indicator

This additional complication reflects the sun and also the moon rotating ~ above a disc, visible v a tiny window, mirroring the various time of the work in relationship to the sunrise and sunset. A 24-hour dial or 2 tone bezel can also show turn off the various times the day.

Tachymeter (Tachometer)

Found in addition to a chronograph, a tachymeter measures the speed over a details fixed distance, such as a mile. Check out our full guide come tachymeters to learn how one works and how to usage it.


Invented in 1801, a tourbillon to be designed to remove errors in watches when watches readjust position in relationship to the wrist movement. This consists of a cage surrounding the components of an escapement, with the balance wheel at the center. A tourbillon is generally found together a cut-out ~ above the dial which allows for the town hall of the movement.

Parts the a watch Movement

For a much more in-depth look in ~ the three varieties of clock movements, check out our simple break down of watch movements. If you have a quartz watch and need to readjust the battery, see our overview on an altering a watch battery.

Below we’ve extended the major working elements / terms of a watches inside workings.

Balance spring / Hairspring

The balance feather is a really fine spring in a mechanically watch that causes the balance wheel come recoil. The feather coils and also recoils come swing the balance wheel which climate regulates time.

Balance Wheel

The balance wheel is the second element to control time and is attached come the balance spring. As the balance feather coils, the wheel oscillates and divides time right into equal segments. This mechanism regulates the accuracy and works the same means as a pendulum.


Affecting the size of the power reserve on a watch, the barrel is a north which homes the Mainspring. Some watches feature a double barrel which create an extra-long power reserve.



A leg is addressed to the main plate, thus developing the frame of a watch movement which residences all various other parts.

Calibre / Caliber

Originally, the caliber denoted the position and also size that its components. Today, a caliber refers to the motion number, origins or the manufacturer.


An escapement is just one of the most important parts of any type of watch. This item maintains the oscillations the the balance wheel, i beg your pardon then allows the wheels and hands revolve.


A gasket is a tiny ring offered to develop an air-tight seal. These rings room located approximately the caseback, crystal and also crown to protect versus water. Gaskets are typically rubber and should be checked every couple of years to preserve water resistance as the rubber have the right to wear the end over time.

Geneva Seal

While no a physical component of the clock movement, the Geneva Seal is a rubber stamp on the movement. This seal is awarded by an independent office in Geneva. Each movement that is submitted to the bureau undergoes 12 various tests regarded the quality, finish and also materials. These motions must additionally be manufactured in Geneva.


A brand term referring to the shock-absorbing mechanism, this little piece is offered in mechanically watches. The Incabloc stays clear of damage to perceptible parts during a fall.


A jewel is a genuine ruby, or a man-made gemstone, the reduces friction in the gear trains. This helps to maintain accurate timekeeping while greatly reducing the wear on parts, thus increasing the longevity of the watch itself.

Main key / basic Plate

The key plate is the main piece of metal that holds all the various other parts of a motion together. Each component is placed into the key plate.


The mainspring is a coiled spring providing power come the gear train. This tightens and also unwinds to produce movement.


A repeater is a complication the strikes prefer a gong. This can strike the hours, 4 minutes 1 hours and minutes using a gong. This complication is frequently started utilizing a button or on slide on the case to activate.


The rotor is the oscillating component of an automatic watch. This moving part winds the mainspring, which allows a clock to it is in wound automatically, quite than manually together the wearer moved.


Shock Absorber

The shock absorber records the shock from the balance staff, protecting pivots from being damaged within the movement. This is especially important on sporting activities models.


A tourbillion is produced when the balance wheel and also escapement are an installed inside a rotating cage. This two components of the movement deserve to then rotate fully to avoid errors resulted in by the rotation of one’s arm.

The tourbillion frequently rotates as soon as per minute, yet some manufactures create them with four or 6 minute rotations. This is an extremely complicated movement, i beg your pardon is hard to produce.

Parts of watch Bands and Bracelets

Bands (Straps)


Adjustment Holes

What you usage to change the dimension of the strap when inserting the buckle arm.

Band / Strap

The band, likewise known together a clock strap is what stop the watch to her wrist. A strap have the right to be developed from many materials including, however not limited to:




To nearby the strap and hold it around the wrist, over there is a buckle. Various buckles include a tang buckle, which looks prefer a belt buckle or a deployment or urgent buckle.

Free Loop

The cost-free loop is the extra loop found on a strap beside the solved loop. The totally free loop can be moved approximately the tape of the watch. Both loops are supplied to fasten the excess tape to the wrist.


The loops the you pass the strap with to “keep” her strap / band in place.

Lug Hole

A lug feet is wherein you insert the spring bar to fix a strap or bracelet come the watch. Each lug has actually holes wherein a spring bar will fit. To affix or detach a feather bar, a tool will be needed.



Bracelets room made native metal, and also are commonly made to it is in “flush” with the city hall case and also lugs.


Deployment Buckle

A deployment buckle is a tri-folding buckle that has actually pushers to release the clasp. Depending upon the format of the bracelet, this deserve to be a covert buckle or similar to a folding buckle.

Note – this type of buckle can additionally be discovered on straps, especially greater end ones, as it saves on wear and tear of the product used because that the strap.

Folding Buckle

A folding buckle, like the deployment style, is tri-folding. This buckle does not have actually pushers to release the clasp, yet rather, generally features a urgently bar to organize in place.


A metal bracelet is created using links organized together. These links can be added or removed to develop the perfect sizing that a metal bracelet.


Similar come a link, a milanese layout bracelet is a steel bracelet. To create this style, little metal pieces are looped with each other to develop a mesh. This mesh was originally designed to have the look and also feel of leather while being breathable. This layout was initially designed in Milan, i m sorry is whereby the surname Milanese is derived.

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Stephen’s historical Insights

Horology, which is both the thoughtful study the time and also the useful art of maintaining it, has actually long lent credence to disagreements for the visibility of God.