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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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Observatory Chronometer

An observatory-tested precision watch that obtained the relevant rating chronometer certificate.




OscillationComplete oscillation or rotation movement of the balance, formed by two vibrations. When a pendulum or balance oscillates it moves between two extreme positions (A' and A''). The movement from one of these positions to the other and back equals one oscillation. Usually a balance produces 9,000 oscillations an hour, equivalent to 18,000 vibrations.

1 oscillation = 2 vibrations


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