FREE Shipping and Returns Worldwide

Watch Words


The following pages are a glossary of terms associated with horology, watches and watchmaking. Please click on one of the links or glossary terms below to learn more about them. Most of the terms are enhanced with detailed imagery. If you would like us to list any other words that you think may be helpful, please contact me direct We will update the glossary frequently.


Browse alphabetically:

‘I have been trawling the web learning everything I can about watches and CW represents the simplest most modern approach to selling that I have ever found…’

David Aldous, USA





Deck Watch

A large-sized ship’s chronometer.



Deployment Buckle

A deployant, or fold-over clasp, allows for perfect strap closures through interlocking metal pieces.

Below: Precision-engineered 316L stainless steel is used for the Bader buckle. The new deployment system uses the elongated mushroom-shaped pin as the “anchor” for the top locking clasp. Pushers at the side of the top clasp release the pin to permit the strap to be opened.


Bader deployment buckle



Depth Alarm

An alarm on a divers’ watch that sounds when the wearer exceeds a pre-set depth.



Depth Meter or Depth Sensor

A device on a divers’ watch that determines the wearer’s depth by measuring water pressure. It shows the depth either by analog hands and a scale on the watch face or through a digital display.




A progressive natural change of a watch’s rate with respect to objective time. In case of a watch’s faster rate, the deviation is defined positive, in the opposite case negative.




Face of a watch, on which time and further functions are displayed by markers, hands, discs or through windows. Normally it is made of brass – sometimes silver or gold. Dials come in an almost limitless variety of shapes, decorations and materials.



Digital Watch

Said of watches whose indications are displayed mostly inside an aperture or window on the dial.



Divers Watch

A diver’s watch is designed for underwater diving and will typically have a water resistance of around 200 to 300 m (660 to 980 ft). Dive watches will have a unidirectional rotating bezel with 15 or 20 minute markings and a screw-in crown and backplate.

Metal bracelets or rubber straps (not leather) are used as they are adequately water (pressure) resistant and able to endure the galvanic corrosiveness of seawater. Bracelets are often fitted with a divers extension deployment clasp by which the bracelet can be appropriately extended by approximately 20 mm to fit over a wetsuit.

Dive watches generally have a relatively thick sapphire crystal to enhance the pressure-resistance of the watch. Some watches intended for diving at great depths are fitted with a helium release or helium escape valve to prevent the crystal from being blown off by an internal build-up of helium pressure seeping into the watch case. This can happen when decompression stops during resurfacing are not long enough and a pressure difference builds up between the helium in the watch and the environment.

Below: Christopher Ward’s Sport/Dive Collection features the popular C60 Trident Pro Automatic and the C11 Titanium Elite Chronometer which boasts CW’s first-ever titanium case and a helium release valve.


CW Sport/Dive Collection


back to top