Introduction to watch collecting: Know your vocabulary and how to communicate what you want.

As TimeCaptain (author from states “When a watch isn’t a watch”, then we have stepped into the realm of timepieces. Once you have determined that a watch isn’t just for telling time you have transcended to another plane of comprehension. A watch most often is one of the only pieces of jewelry men wear. This timepiece not only has function, but also form that is designed for specific purposes. There are watches created for extreme activities such as diving and flying, but also watches designed to fit comfortably under the cuff of your tuxedo.

Now to help you discuss watches comfortably amongst other horophiles it’s important you can clearly communicate with the correct vocabulary. Here is a quick guide to get you started on your journey of watch collecting and adoration (welcome to the asylum).

Case – This is the main outer component of the watch that houses the crystal, dial, movement, hands, crown and bezel. When referring to this as a complete unit it can be referred to as the watch head.

Movement – This is the main engine or heart of the watch.

Crystal – Can be Sapphire, mineral or acrylic but this is what protects the dial.

Dial – Base of the watch to which the hand point to the time.

Crown – On the side of the watch (traditionally) and is used to set the watch.

Bezel – This surrounds the crystal and may rotate depending on the watch.

Diameter – This is describes the width of the case.

Height – This describes the thickness of the case.

Lume – this is what makes the numbers or details on the dial glow in the dark.

Bracelet – Refers to a metal band that connects to the head.

Strap – This could be some sort of material other than a metal that straps the watch to your wrist.

Buckle or Clasp – Holds the strap or bracelet together at the base of your wrist.

Now we are on to complications – These are where watches become amazing works of mechanical art. Complications are the addition of a feature above and beyond telling time. I’m going to list a few of my favorites to get you started.

Chronograph – A function to time a specific event, such as a lap time.

Moon Phase – This tracks the changes in the moon from full to no moon.

Minute Repeater – Chimes to identify the time without needing to see the watch.

Retrograde – Refers to a function (Hour, minute, etc.) that follows a linear progression and once it reaches the end it snaps back to the beginning to begin recording again.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial so now you can communicate effectively with other watch nerds!!! Enjoy the pursuit of the perfect watch which can only be determined by you.

”Men Who Guide The Destinies Of The World Wear Rolex Watches” – Rolex (Hans Wildorf)



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