Most high-end watches are automatic meaning they do not use a battery
at all rather they are powered off the motion of the wearer. Automatic
watches generally feature a power reserve of
36 hours. A distinct advantage is the fact that automatic watches
never need battery changes.
The “bezel” refers to the ring around the crystal that is seen
when looking directly at the face of the watch. On many luxury
watches, the bezel contains diamonds or gemstones while on sportier
model watches the bezel may contain calibrated markings for timing
events. The bezels on the sport watches can turn in one direction, or
occasionally, in either direction (see unidirectional bezel).
A bracelet is a strap, which uses links that are gold, silver,
stainless steel, or a combination of all or any two of these
materials. Bracelets generally allow for better breathing for the
The “case” protects the inner workings of the watch from shock and
exposure to the elements. The serial number and model number are
usually listed on the back of the case. A typical watchcase is made
out of stainless steel but can also be gold, silver, or titanium.
The “chronograph” is a feature which allows the wearer to time
specific events. A chronograph will typically contain timers for
seconds, minutes, and hours. When used in conjunction with calibrated
markings on the dial, chronographs can also measure speed and
This refers to a watch that has undergone a series of precision tests
to verify that the automatic movement keeps proper time and
doesn't’t fluctuate, with either plus or minus, more than an
allotted time within a 24-hour interval. The testes are performed in a
variety of weather conditions and various positions of normal use.
Performed by the C.O.S.C. in Switzerland. Such watches contain a
certificate attesting to this from the institute.
The “crown” refers to the knob on the outside of the watchcase,
which is used to wind the watch. The crown is also used to set the
time and calendar date. On many sport model watches, the crown may
screw down into the casing of the watch to insure waterproofing.
This refers to a buckle that connects the two ends of the watchband at
all times. The wearer deploys the buckle to put the watch on and then
fastens it securely onto the wrist. When the clasp is fastened, the
buckle hides the deployment mechanism.
The “dial” refers to the face of the watch and is a term usually
used when referencing the color. A dial may contain smaller
“sub-dials” for seconds, minutes, or hours (see chronograph).
End of Battery Life Indicator
This feature warns the wearer that the battery is running low and
should be replaced. The indicator varies among different manufacturers
but the most common one is on quartz watches. The second hand will
start ticking in 5 second increments instead of the normal one second
at a time.
The “links” are the individual pieces which connect to form the
The movement refers to how the watch operates. The movement
is the mechanism that keeps the time running. Movements are either
quartz or automatic.
Quartz movement watches operate off a battery. Most standard
watches use quartz technology. The average life span of a battery is
The “crystal” is the covering on the face of the watch.
Sapphire crystals are scratch resistant and are less prone to breaking
then standard plastic crystals. In general, luxury watches contain the
more expensive, sapphire crystal.
A strap refers to a watchband made of leather, plastic, or a
This bezel can move in one direction and is used for mathematical and
time past uses.
Unless otherwise specified, water resistant watches can safely
withstand minimal contact with water (i.e. getting splashed from the
sink faucet). Most watches contain this feature.
Some watches will specify that they are water resistant up to 30
meters and some may go up to 1000 meters. This means that the watch
can be completely submerged up to the stated depth without damage.