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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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Water Resistant or Waterproof

The ability to withstand contact with water without suffering damage. Watches have various degrees of water resistance. Usually measured in increments of one atmosphere (ATM or bar, equal to 10 metres of water pressure) or metres and is often noted on the dial or case back.

A water resistance level of 30 metres means the watch can withstand splashes of water. A level of 50 metres means that it can be worn for swimming in shallow depths. A level of 100 metres means it can be worn snorkelling and a level of 300 metres or more means it can be worn scuba diving. The water resistance record is held by The Hydromax by Bell & Ross which was developed for professional deep sea diving and is resistant to 11,100 metres!






Watch WheelA circular component, mostly toothed, combines with an arbor and a pinion to make up a gear. The wheel rotates around an axis and its function is to transmit power or motion. Wheels are normally made of brass, while arbors and pinions are made of steel. The wheels between barrel and escapement make up the so-called train.



Winding Stem

Element transmitting motion from the crown to the gears governing manual winding and setting.




C9 Jumping Hour MKII WindowAperture in the dial, that allows reading the underlying indication, mainly the date, but also indications concerning a second zone’s time or jumping hour.

The dial of the C9 Harrison Jumping Hour MKII has an aperture cut out at 12 o’clock to display the hour underneath.



World Time

Additional feature of watches provided with a GMT function, displaying the 24 time zones on the dial or bezel, each zone referenced by a city name, providing instantaneous reading of the time of any country.


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