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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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Lap Timer

A chronograph function that lets the wearer time segments of a race. At the end of a lap, the timer can be stopped, which then returns to zero to begin timing the next lap.



Leap-Year Cycle

Leap or bissextile years have 366 days and occur every 4 years (with some exceptions, Calendar, Gregorian). Some watches display this datum.




Ancient French measuring unit maintained in horology to indicate the diameter of a movement. A line equals 2.255mm. Lines are not divided into decimals; therefore, to indicate measurements inferior to the unit, fractions are used.



Liquid Crystal Display or LCD

A digital watch display that shows the time electronically by means of a liquid held in a thin layer between two transparent plates. All LCD watches have quartz movements.




To reduce friction caused by the running of wheels and other parts. There are points to be lubricated with specific low-density oils such as the pivots turning inside jewels, the sliding areas between levers, and the spring inside the barrel which requires special grease, as well as numerous other parts of a movement.




Double extension of the case middle by which a strap or bracelet is attached. Normally, straps and bracelets are attached with removable spring bars.

Below: Illustration showing the lugs found on the C900 Single Pusher Chronograph.




Luminescent or Luminous

Having the property to emit light rays. Christopher Ward watches use Super-LumiNova®, a photo-luminescent non-radioactive material with a long period of phosphorescence. It reaches up to 100 times the brightness of Tritium. Tritium was the original, radioactive, substance used to coat hands, numerals and hour markers on watch dials to make reading the time in the dark possible. This type of phosphorescent pigment, often called lume, operates like a light battery. After sufficient activation by sunlight or artificial light, they glow in the dark for hours. This activation and subsequent light emission process can be repeated again and again, and the material does not suffer any practical aging.

LumiNova® is a registered trademark of Nemoto and Co. Ltd.

Below: Super-LumiNova pigments in the dark and the lume applied to the Trident Pro diver’s watch to make it readable in low light conditions.

Super-Luminova Luminescent Pigment


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