Anatomy of Fine Swiss Timepieces

Band

The strap, band, or bracelet that holds your watch to your wrist. Watches are typically sized to fit wrists from 8 to 10 inches. Most watches are easy to size to fit. If you have a leather band, simply cinch the band to fit the buckle hole that is most comfortable for your wrist. If you have a stainless steel bracelet band and you need additional links, contact the watch manufacturer directly using the phone number or e-mail address listed on your watch brand page.

Band Length

This is the length of the watch from tip to tip. On a watch with a stainless steel bracelet band, this measurement is the circumference of the inside of the band, or the area that would fit around the wrist. This measurement on most watches with metal bracelets is roughly 10 inches, and is designed to be shortened. When you buy this type of watch look to the owner’s guide for instruction on how to remove links so that your watch will fit properly.

Bezel

The area outside the face, which secures the crystal to the watch. Many watches have a uni- or multi-directional bezel that can twist one or both ways around the watch face. This type of bezel can be used to twist around to the minute hand to measure elapsed time. For divers who need to measure elapsed time underwater, a unidirectional bezel is useful because it is less likely to be accidentally hit and moved.

Bracelet Band

Any watchband made up of metal links. There are many different bracelet band styles, including bangle, solid, mesh, and more.

Case

The metal encasing the bezel and face. Watch cases are usually made of stainless steel. For a durable, ultra-light case, choose a watch with a titanium case.

Case Length

In inches, the approximate measurement of the case from one edge of the band to the other band edge.

Case Thickness

n inches, the approximate measurement of the case depth measured from the back to the front along the side of the watch.

Case Width

In inches, the approximate measurement from the tip of the crown horizontally across the watch to the other side.

Chronograph

A watch with timing functions that are displayed in subdials on the face of the watch. Most chronographs are comprised of three subdials, and measure fractions of seconds, minutes in increments other than 60, and hours in other than one-hour increments. Chronograph should not be confused with chronometer, which is a device which has accuracy so exact that it has met special time standards set by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (C.O.S.C.). (See image to the right.)

Clasp

The latching mechanism that closes to secure the watch band to your wrist. View the different types of watch clasps: Buckle, Deployment buckle, Bracelet clasp, Folding clasp, Hook buckle, Hidden watch clasp, Push-button hidden clasp.

Crown

Knob that is usually found on the middle right side of a watch. Pull the knob to set the watch time, then push it back in for the watch to begin keeping time again. Some watch knobs also allow you to control other special watch functions. (See image to the right.)

Date Window

A window on the watch face that displays the day of the month, and sometimes the day of the week as well.

Face

This refers to the area within the watch bezel, usually underneath the watch hands. (See image to the right.)

Markers

Visual marks on the watch that indicate minutes or hours. Many times these are illuminated, making it easier to tell the time in dim light.

Second Hand

This is the thinnest hand anchored in the center of the watch face. On quartz watches, this hand moves every second. On an automatic watch, this hand moves smoothly, sweeping by each second marker in second increments.

Subdial

A small dial on the watch face that displays elapsed durations of time. Subdials usually display the functions of the chronograph. Chronographs usually have three subdials on a watch face. (See image to the right.)

Tachymeter

A function of a watch chronograph similar to a stop watch feature that can measure the rate of speed traveled over a measured distance in a particular length of time. This is usually used to measure high rates of speed. For example, the user can start a timer, drive or fly a mile, and then stop the timer and the timer hand will point to the MPH traveled.

List courtesy of Zadok Jewelers.
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