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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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Device of the escapement transmitting part of the motive force to the balance, in order to maintain the amplitude of oscillations unchanged by freeing a tooth of the escape wheel at one time.

The pallets are set into each of the lever’s arms; one is the entrance pallet and the other the exit pallet.




Pillar-Plate or Main Plate

A metal platform having several tiers for the gear train. The base plate of a movement usually incorporates the dial and carries the bearings for the primary pinions of the “first floor” of a gear train.




Combines with a wheel and an arbor to form a gear. A pinion has less teeth than a wheel and transmits motive force to a wheel. Pinion teeth (normally 6 to 14) are highly polished to reduce friction to a minimum.




End of an arbor turning on a jewel support. As their shape and size can influence friction, the pivots of the balance-staff are particularly thin and, hence, fragile, so they are protected by a shockproof system.



Polished Finish

Brilliant metal surface obtained on the watch case with fine abrasive. Compare with brushed finish.



Power Reserve

Duration, in hours, of the residual functioning autonomy of a movement after it has reached the winding peak. The duration value is displayed by an instantaneous indicator: analogue (hand on a sector) or digital (through a window). The related mechanism is made up of a series of gears linking the winding barrel and hand. Recently, specific modules were introduced which may be combined with the most popular movements.

CW’s C90 Power Reserve watch incorporates the 45 hour power reserve meter which is the outward expression of the complex Valgranges ETA A07.161 Automatic movement.

Power Reserve




Accuracy rate of a watch, a term difficult to define exactly. Usually, a precision watch is a chronometer of which accuracy-standard is certified by an official watch-rating bureau.



Pusher, Push-Piece or Push Button

Mechanical element mounted on a case for the control of specific functions. Generally, pushers are used in chronographs, but also with other functions.




Abbreviation of Physical Vapour Deposition, a plating process consisting of the physical transfer of substance by bombardment of electrons. Though PVD coatings are typically only a few microns thick the molecules bond to the surface of the metal in such a way that they are nearly impossible to remove once applied. It reduces wear of bracelets, crowns, bezels and virtually eliminates reflective glare.

The high-tech C1000 Typhoon chronograph. The backplate, crown and twin pushers are IPK black-coated titanium.

C1000 Typhoon Chronograph


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