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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.


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David Aldous, USA






Thin plate of glass or transparent synthetic material, for protecting the dial of the watch.




Bronze and beryllium alloy used for high-quality balances. This alloy assures high elasticity and hardness values; it is non-magnetic, rustproof and has a very reduced dilatation coefficient, which makes the balance very stable and assures high accuracy of the movement.




GMT, or Greenwich Mean Time, is based on the globe being divided into 24 time zones as established in the London Meridian Conference of 1884. The zero meridian runs through the Royal Observatory in the London suburb of Greenwich. In contemporary watch terminology, GMT is often used to describe a wristwatch that displays a second time zone or a 24hour indication.

Below: The table below can be used to calculate any time difference. The GMT/24hr hand with its triangular point on our C60 Trident GMT watch allows you to read the time back home at a glance on the 24-hour scale at the centre of the dial.


Greenwich Mean Time




Harmonic flattened bell in a steel alloy, generally positioned along the circumference of the movement and struck by hammers to indicate time by sounds. Size and thickness determine the resulting note and tone. In watches provided with minute-repeaters, there are often two gongs and the hammers strike one note to indicate hours, both notes together to indicate quarters and the other note for the remaining minutes. In more complex models, equipped also with en-passant sonnerie devices, there may be up to four gongs producing different notes and playing even simple melodies such as the chime of London's Westminster Clock Tower or 'Big Ben' as it is commonly known.




A surface decoration usually applied to the dial and the rotor using a grooving tool with a sharp tip, to cut an even pattern onto a level surface. The finished effect is guilloché.

Below: The galvanic sun-ray finish on the dial of the Belisama Collection and Christopher Ward’s first Jumping Hour watch.


C60 Trident Pro Bezel


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