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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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Nivarox balance springTrade name (from the producer’s name) of a nickel iron alloy, resisting magnetization, used for modern self-compensating balance springs. The level of this material is indicated by the numeral following the name in decreasing value from 1 to 5.

As a trade name, Nivarox is a German acronym for “Nicht variabel oxydfest” (G.) or “Non-Variable Non-Oxidizing” (E.). The Nivarox alloy is a used mainly in the watch industry, but also in certain medical equipment and surgical instruments.

Right: Most balance springs in mechanical watches are made of the Nivarox metallic alloy.