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Glossary (dictionary) Of Watch Terms And Stuff...

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Definitions and terms.

· 2824-2 ETA automatic date movement

· 2836-2 ETA automatic day/date movement

· 2892A2 – ETA automatic movement with date. One of the best movements made, thinner than a similar Rolex model, strong rotor bearing that doesn’t have rubbing problems (which the Rolex has), and smooth sweep seconds. Costs less than $200, Rolex model is in the thousands…

· 2893-2 – ETA automatic movement with date and GMT function. Based on the 2892A2 with added gears to make it into a GMT model.

· 6497-1 ETA handwind movement, found in the large PAM watches

· 7750 - Chrono movement, can be Swiss or Asian, has 3 subdials in addition to the normal hands, 30 minute counter, 12 hour counter, and running seconds. A true 7750 has subdials at 12 (30 minute counter) 9 (running seconds) and 6 (12 hour counter). Any different subdial layout, and it’s not a 7750.

· 7753 – ETA Chrono movement, subdials at 9-6-3. Has quick set date pusher at the 11 o’clock position on the movement. There is no quickset date change via the crown.

· 8215 – a Miyota automatic movement. A genuine one does NOT Hack.

· Accuracy – mechanical watches are anywhere from a few seconds a day to a minute a day fast or slow, this is normal

· Asian movement – Chinese copy of a Swiss movement. Most Swiss parts are NOT interchangeable with the Asian copies of the same movement. Generally, Asian copies are great value for the money, and well made and dependable.

· Asian movements and parts – there are no parts available for Asian movements, not even for Miyota

· Automatic – Movement that winds as you wear it.

· Balance wheel – the most fragile part of the movement, and the part that breaks if you drop the watch. It swings back like the pendulum in a grandfather clock.

· Beat – the adjustment of the position of the balance wheel, pallet arm, and escape wheel. A watch is said to be in “Beat” when all three are aligned, and the balance swings the same amount in each direction (see Swing)

· Bezel – a metal ring around the crystal attached to the case. It can have numbers on it and rotate around, as in the case of a Rolex Submariner, or Omega Seamaster. Or it can be fixed and not moveable, as in a Rolex DateJust. Normally a separate piece from the case itself. It is held in place with a spring or a compression ring.

· Bi-Directional winding – an automatic movement that winds when the rotor turns clockwise, or counterclockwise, examples are ETA 2836-2, 2892A2, etc.

· BPH – Beats Per Hour – how fast the watch runs. A manual wind 6497-1 runs at 18,000 BPH (18,000 Ticks and Tocks each hour). A 2836-2 runs at 28,800 BPH. More BPH is equal to a smoother sweep of the seconds hand on the dial face. 18,000 BPH is 2.5 “Ticks and Tocks” per second, 28,800 BPH is 8 Ticks and Tocks per second. Speeds are 18,000, 21,600, and 28,800.

· Bridge – part of a movement that is held in place at more than one end, the part over the mainspring is normally a bridge.

· Cap Jewels – two piece jewels found on the top and bottom pivots of the balance wheel. They are the only 2 piece jewels in the watch, and are taken apart to oil them.

· Case – what the movement and dial are inserted into, normally made of stainless steel

· Caseback – the back of the watch that is screwed into the case and seals the watch, normally there is a rubber ring in the caseback to dust and water proof the watch

· CG Lever – on PAM watches, it’s the small lever that closes shut over the crown

· Chrono (chronograph) stopwatch type of movement, has sub-dials

· Chrono Center Seconds – the seconds hand in the center of the movement, which only works when the chrono is activated.

· Chronometer – a movement that meets the accuracy standards set out in the COSC rules, accurate to –4 to +6 seconds per 24 hours.

· Click – as applied to the mainspring of the watch, the small spring or tab that ratchets as the mainspring is wound up. It is the “click, click, click” you can hear on some watches when you wind them

· Click Wheels – on automatic movements, click wheels are the small wheels that act as clutches and allow the watch to be hand wound, without turning the rotor. They are very fragile and prone to damage if the watch is hand wound too often or too fast.

· [censored] – part of a movement that is only secured at one end, the balance is held in place with a [censored].

· Compression Ring – used to hold mineral or sapphire crystals in place in the case. A crystal press is needed when installing the crystal and the compression ring compresses during installation, and secures the crystal in place

· Crown – the part that you use to wind the watch, set the time or date

· Crown (Screw Down) – found on many watches, is used for water proofing. The crown is screwed down towards the case and seals up against o’rings.

· Crown Guard’s (CG) – the part of the watch case that is next to the crown. On a PAM model, it’s a separate part with a lever attached to it. On most Rolex models, it’s part of the case and projects on each side of the crown, to protect it in case of impact. Rep CG’s can be too thick or the wrong shape, and are sometimes filed down to make them look more realistic.

· Crown Positions – either 2 or 3 positions depending on the movement type. If the watch has a day/date function, there are 3 positions, 1st position is the one with the crown closest to the case, this is the winding position, farthest out position (3rd or 2nd depending on the model) is the time setting position, the center or 2nd position is used to set the date, day, or GMT hand.

· Crown Tube – the small tube attached to the case, that the crown fits into

· Crown up, Crown Down, Dial Up, Down, etc (CU, CD, DU, DD)… Position of storing the watch, the watch runs faster in positions other than the dial up and dial down ones, due to side loads on the pivots

· Crystal – the glass on the watch through which you see the dial. Most are made of Sapphire an extremely hard mineral (only thing harder is diamonds), but they can be Mineral (glass) or plastic

· Cyclops – a small magnifier that is glued to the crystal and sits over the date window. It magnifies the date so older people can tell what day of the week it is

· Date-wheel overlay – a decal put on over an ETA movement date-wheel to simulate the position of the date-wheel on a genuine Rolex.

· Daytona – type of Rolex Chrono model. Two versions, a pre-2000 with running seconds at 9, and a post-2000 version with running seconds at 6. The ones with running seconds at 6 are problematic due to the modification on the movement.

· Dial Feet – small posts attached to the bottom of the dial, used to secure the dial to the movement. The dial feet (2 of them) are specific to the type of movement in the watch, and are not in the same location on all watch models.

· Dial pads or tape – small double-sided sticky dots used to secure the dial to the movement, if the dial feet don’t line up. A perfectly acceptable way of securing a dial to the movement.

· Dial washer – a small spring washer made of brass, it fits over the hour wheel (the gear that the hour hand fits onto). When the dial is installed on the movement, the backside of the dial presses against the washer, and this holds the hour wheel in place and engaged into the minute gear. A missing dial washer will cause the hour hand to slip out of engagement when the watch is turned upside down.

· Direct Center Seconds – most Swiss models have the Second wheel (the first one after the escape wheel) in the center of the movement and driving the seconds hand directly, this produces a much smoother look to the seconds hand

· DRSD Double Red Sea Dweller – type of old Rolex

· End links (bracelet) – the part of the bracelet where the watch case and the bracelet meet.

· Escape wheel – a special wheel with strange shaped teeth, that allows one tooth of the wheel to “Escape” every time the pallet stones move out of the way

· ETA – Swiss type of watch movement, very good quality

· Fine Rate Adjuster – a small arm or screw on the balance [censored] with a + - markings and indices. It is used for fine adjustments to the rate of the watch. The general rule of thumb is that each index represents about 5-10 seconds a day adjustment.

· GMT watch – a watch with a 4th hand that does one turn around the dial face for every 24 hours. The hand is set independent of the time.

· Hacking – Something that happens if you smoke too much. On a watch, pulling the crown out to the time setting position, and causing the seconds hand to stop running is called Hacking the movement. This allows the time to be set exactly to the second.

· Hacking lever – the small lever that moves and touches the balance wheel, thereby stopping the watch from running.

· Hairspring – a very small fragile spring attached to the balance

· Hands – Swiss hands are mostly the same size between like models. For example, most automatic Swiss movements have hands 0.25mm for seconds, 0.90mm for minute, and 1.50mm for hour. Asian models will have 0.17mm for seconds, 1.00mm for minute, and 1.55mm for hour hands, on their automatic models. This is a general rule of thumb, unless the movement is identical, the hands are not interchangeable most times

· Impulse Jewel – the small post like sapphire jewel on the bottom of the balance wheel that the pallet arm fork hits and imparts an “impulse” to, causing the balance to swing around.

· Incablock – type of shock absorber and spring, looks like the letter “H”

· Indirect center seconds drive – on most Asian automatic movements (including the Miyota), the center seconds hand is driven by a wheel turning a pivot, this causes some “jumpiness” of the seconds hand, especially in the downward direction with gravity, in the upward direction, the hand will be smooth as gravity takes up the slack in the gears

· Interchangeability – Swiss and Asian parts are not interchangeable.

· Jewels – an automatic watch will normally have 25 jewels, a manual one – 17 jewels. Jewels are made of sapphire (Ruby) and installed in the various plates and bridges. The jewels are press fitted (35 lbs pressure needed to insert them) into the bridges into precision holes reamed 0.01mm smaller than the jewel diameter. The jewels have small holes in them for the pivots of the gears to sit in and turn on. Oiling the watch requires perfectly clean jewel holes and gear pivots, and application of the correct amount of oil. The oil is held in place by capillary action. On the escape wheel, the oil needed is about the size of the point of a pin. Jewels are used to reduce friction in the watch.

· Keyless works – old term going back to when pocket watches used “keys”. Refers to the part of the watch that the crown and stem are attached to. It winds, and sets the time or date on the watch.

· KIF – type of shock absorber spring, looks like a triangle

· Mainplate – the basic large piece of the movement, sort of like an engine block. The mainplate and various bridges and cocks are normally made of brass, and nickel or gold plated.

· Mainspring – the large spring in the movement that makes the watch run, most watches run for 36-52 hours with a full wind

· MBW – highly specialized Rolex copy, accepts genuine parts and is a direct copy of a genuine Rolex

· Miyota – Asian movement made by Citizen. Automatic, date, very reliable

· Motion works – the part of the watch that starts at the mainspring, and ends at the escape wheel, it’s the gears that make up the motion from the mainspring to the escape wheel. Gears are named in the order found from the pallet arm: Escape wheel, 2nd wheel, 3rd wheel, 4th (or Great) wheel, and then there is the mainspring barrel.

· O’Rings – o’rings are found on the caseback, and crown, they keep water and dust out of the watch

· Oiling a watch – taking a watch completely apart, cleaning each and every part, then assembling the watch, and “oiling” each pivot point with the correct type and quantity of oil.

· Open 6’s and 9’s – older Rolex date-wheels had open 6’s and 9’s (meaning the circle on the 6 or 9 was not touching the other side, there is a gap in the loop).

· Overwinding a watch – a misnomer, as there is no way to overwind a watch (see Winding)

· Pallet arm and stones – a small “T” shaped part that has square stones at the top of the “T” part and a small notch at the other end. The pallet stones are connected to the escape wheel, and as the watch runs, each pallet stone allows one tooth of the escape wheel to come free each time the pallet arm moves from one side to the other. As the pallet arm moves, the escape wheel provides an “impulse” to the Pallet arm, which is connected to the balance wheel, this in turn, causes the balance wheel to swing back and forth… The engaging and disengaging of the pallet stones to the escape wheel, are what makes the “tic/toc” you hear.

· Pinion – the small part of the gear in the movement, think of it as the part of the bicycle that is attached to the front forks

· Pivot – the small ends of the watch gears that sit in jewels and are oiled during servicing

· Plastic Crystal – installed with a special tool that compresses the crystal, then after it’s inserted into the case, is released and the crystal expands and locks in place

· Pusher – on a chrono model, a small post or lever above and below the crown, used to Start/Stop/and Reset the chrono.

· Quick date change – a movement that switches the date instantly at midnight.

· Rate – how fast or slow a watch runs, any more than a minute a day either way, and the watch needs to be serviced

· Rehaut – the small ring between the bottom of the crystal and the dial face. Normally silver in colour, it can be polished or brushed. On some models, the depth of the “rehuat” is too shallow and a dead giveaway that the watch is a replica.

· Rotor – the part of an automatic movement that moves around and winds the watch

· Running seconds – means the seconds hand that is always “running” when the watch is working. On a Chrono model, it’s normally in the 9 o’clock position, or the 6 O’clock one.

· SEL’s – Solid End Link’s – same as End Links, only not hollow but solid metal. Found on more modern Rolex models.

· Shock absorber – the balance cap jewels are installed and held in place with small springs that act as shock absorbers, since the balance is the most prone to damage due to shock. Reason that the balance is prone to damage more than the rest of the parts, is due to two things: 1. the balance pivots are smaller than a human hair, and 2. the balance has a lot of weight around it’s outer edge, so that it will keep on ticking…if the watch is dropped, this weight will come to bear on the tiny pivots and they will break off.

· Singer Dial – Company that makes dials for Rolex, the back of the dial has “Singer” engraved in it.

· Spring bars – small tubes with posts on them, that are inserted into the bracelet end links and hold the bracelet to the watch

· Stem – the part of the watch that the crown screws into and that activates the keyless works

· Subdial – a small dial on the main dial of the watch. It is normally found on chrono movements, and could be at the 12, 9, 6, or 3 o’clock location on the dial.

· Sweep – the motion of the seconds hand around the dial, it can be smooth or jerky. The faster the movement beats, the smoother the “sweep” of the seconds hand.

· Swing – a normal balance should swing about 270 degrees in each direction. From the neutral position, the balance will swing Clockwise 270 Degrees (1 ¾ Turns), come to a stop, return to the neutral position, then do the same thing in the Counterclockwise direction. It swings due to the “Impulse” it gets from the pallet arm.

· Tritium – a radioactive glow in the dark substance used on some dials and hands

· Uni-Directional winding – an automatic movement that winds in one direction only, it free wheels in the other direction. If you swirl the watch in your palm, you can feel the rotor swinging in the free direction. Examples are most Asian movements, (Miyota 8215), and all 7750 movements and their variants whether Swiss or Asian made (i.e. 7753).

· UV Glue – a special type of glue used to secure the Cyclops to the crystal, or to secure the crystal to the case (plastic crystals). It cures only when exposed to UV light.

· Wheel – the large part of a gear in the movement, think of the wheel as a bicycle rim and tire

· Winding – an automatic watch can’t be overwound, there is a clutch that protects the watch from being overwound. A hand wind cant’ be overwound either, you wind it until it reaches the stop and you can wind it anymore. Spring breakage is very rare in modern watches.

Edited by The Zigmeister
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You forgot one

Zigmeister: Tireless toiler in the world of replica watch and watch movement repair and servicing.

Thanks for providing serious collectors with a place to go for maintainance and service without having to beg the haughty high and mighty "swiss trained" to work on their lowly reps. We (and you), know how good these things are and how much they are loved, valued and appreciated. Thanks Rob. :3a:

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You forgot one

Zigmeister: Tireless toiler in the world of replica watch and watch movement repair and servicing.

Thanks for providing serious collectors with a place to go for maintainance and service without having to beg the haughty high and mighty "swiss trained" to work on their lowly reps. We (and you), know how good these things are and how much they are loved, valued and appreciated. Thanks Rob. :3a:

Seconded. Fantastic work again Rob!

This should be pinned.

Edited by baltic
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Thank you for the kind words. Simply my way of giving back to the forum that has helped me so much...

Funny that your comments are exactly how I feel towards these so called "Replica" watches. If you look past the "Fake" and other derogitory terms from those that think they know better, you see a high quality product, with good attention to detail, quality workmanship, and no reason to dismiss their value to those that own them. Once the caseback comes off, a watch is a watch is a watch...there is little difference to be seen or noted, so what if it's an ETA and not a genuine movement...I love my reps, no question about it.

The high and mighty swiss trained snobs are so uninformed and short sighted...but probably have no problem driving a "Kit" (FAKE) car that is put on an old VW bug chassis, especially if it's a car they cherish...funny how things are acceptable if you are the one that wants it, but can't afford or are not willing to pay the price.

Porsche Speedser Kit car on a VW is acceptable, Rolex copy with an ETA inside - is a crime and all should be burned at the stake for not thinking so...strange world...

Thankfully we know better.


I am a little late, but thanks for this. Informative as always.

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Oh SNAP! This is just what I have been looking for, this will save me a lot of google-time. I'll copy this to word myself, and use a format so it's easier to read..

..unless you feel like attaching the word-document to a post so we all can download, The Zigmeister.. :)

This should be compulsory reading for every new guy who pops his head in here, and some mid-timers too! Even I get some PM's asking about the rep-jargon..

(Though most are "Who is that girl in your signature?! She's hot!")

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Maybe the meaning of PVD could be added in there?

I found an explanation on ebay, you tell me if it's right:

PVD stands for Physical Vapor Deposition. A material is selected to coat a base metal or substrate surface.

That material is vaporized and deposited on the base or substrate material, bonding molecularly with the base material.

PVD is very durable and attractive as a watch case and bracelet finish.

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Great stuff as always Rob; really like it in laymans terms, some of the others around are just too stuffy!

Another valuable resource from Ziggy, you guys just don't know how lucky you are to have these sort of people around.


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