Watch Glossary

Watch Glossary

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Acetate
  • Acetate watches are made from a type of bio-friendly plastic-like material called Acetate. Acetate is made from polymers found in nature (wood, cotton, etc.). Acetate is a lightweight and versatile material that can be shaped, polished, and colored with a high quality finish, similar to ceramic in appearance.
Alarm
  • An audible alert that may be set to go off at a specific time.
Altimeter
  • A device that measures altitude by responding to changes in barometric pressure. This function is useful for hikers, pilots, and sailors.
Analog
  • An analog watch is the traditional type of watch with hour and minute hands and numbers or markers that show the twelve hour day. It is considered to be a formal watch and is perfect for work wear, dates and any kind of formal occasion.
Analog-Digital
  • A watch that displays both time in numerals as well as with minute and second hands.
Asymmetrical
  • A watch case that isn't symmetrical. For example, one side of the case might have more material or design than the other.
Automatic
  • A type of watch movement where the winding is powered by the motion of the wearers wrist.
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Bangle
  • Type of watch that has a bangle style bracelet instead of traditional links or straps. This provides a dressier style of watch.
Black PVD
  • Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) with a black tone. Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is steel with a layer of oxides, carbides or nitrides, deposited by ionic attraction in a vacuum. PVD watches have increased durability and reduced friction on metal components.
Bracelet
  • A style of bracelet that has links or materials resembling links.
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Calendar/Date
  • This function displays the date or day of the week, depending on your watch model.
Carbon Fiber
  • Carbon fiber watches have an extremely strong and light fiber-reinforced plastic which contains carbon fibers. Carbon fiber is created by thermally decomposing carbon into braided fibers and surrounding it by resin. It is sometimes used in combination with polymer for improved strength. Carbon fiber watches are tough, lightweight, and very contemporary in style.
Carre
  • French for "square", a carre watch case is square in shape. Carre cases may have rounded or blunt edges.
Casual
  • A style of watch that is more appropriate for everyday wear than special or sporty occasions.
Ceramic
  • Ceramic watches are durable, lightweight, and modern. Because ceramic must be fired at high temperatures and polished, ceramic watches are also highly scratch-resistant. In addition, they're hypoallergenic, making them a good choice for people allergic to metals or with sensitive skin.
Chronograph
  • A watch feature that measures an exact duration of time by pushing a button; a stopwatch. This feature is an independent function. Most chronograph watches have two or three subdials.
Cloth
  • Watch strap made out of fabric instead of metal or other material. These bands can be more comfortable than other styles of bands and come in a variety of colors. Cloth watch straps can be dirtied easier, however, and should be taken care of to prevent discoloration.
Compass
  • A watch function that allows you to determine your location and the direction north by a magnetic needle.
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Depth Measurement
  • The depth measurement is measured by water depth hand and indicates the current water depth. There may also be a maximum water depth hand which indicates the maximum depth during a measurement session.
Digital
  • Digital watches have a LCD or LED face that displays the time in numerals and are generally more casual or sporty compared to the formal analog watches. Digital watches run using a special watch battery.
Divers
  • A type of watch that is designed specifically for those who will wear it when diving. Diver watches must have a minimum ATM (atmosphere) of 10.
Dress
  • Watch style that is more appropriate for special occasions or business wear.
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GPS
  • A watch feature found on certain watch models that can receive any one of six time calibration signals around the globe with a receiver that acquires position and time information from GPS satellites.
Gold Plated
  • A non-precious base metal with a very thin layer of gold.
Gold Tone
  • A base metal coated with gold color with no real gold content. Gold tone items have no karat weight.
Gunmetal PVD
  • Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) with a gunmetal tone. Gunmetal toned items are a shade of grey similar to those similar to the metal used in firearms. Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is steel with a layer of oxides, carbides or nitrides, deposited by ionic attraction in a vacuum. PVD watches have increased durability and reduced friction on metal components.
Gunmetal Tone
  • Gunmetal toned items are coated in a shade of grey similar to that of the metal used in firearms.
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Heart Rate Monitor
  • Feature that continuously records the wearers heart beat.
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Ion Plated
  • Ion plating is one of the most advanced surface finishing processes in the trade. It involves adding a titanium nitride layer to the base metal, in a vapor form. Ion plating makes a harder and more durable surface which offers greater brightness and sheen than the traditional methods of plating. Also known as IP Plating.
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Leather
  • Leather watches are form-fitting, comfortable, and stylish. Leather bands have plenty of colors to choose from and different types of hides provide different textures. It is important to take care of your leather watch, as most leathers are not water resistant and will stain over time with wear. Leather is fairly easy to care for and generally does not require anything more than surface cleaning. Leather tends to look better as the material ages, so as along as you care for it, it will look better with time.
Luminous
  • Markers or numerals that are glow in the dark.
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Moon Phase Calendar
  • Feature that allows you to find out the lunar phase for any given month. Some watches will have a window on the face that shows which phase the moon is in.
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Nylon
  • Nylon watch straps are light, inexpensive and durable. Many nylon watch bands afford the wearer an additional layer of protection against loss: the design incorporates a one-piece loop that prevents a watch from detaching from the wrist even if a spring bar breaks or pops open. Like leather, fabric straps are not water resistant and will stain and wear out over time if not cared for.
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Oval
  • From the Latin word for "egg", oval watch cases are similar to the shape of an egg or an elongated circle.
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PVD
  • Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) is steel with a layer of oxides, carbides or nitrides, deposited by ionic attraction in a vacuum. PVD watches have increased durability and reduced friction on metal components.
Plastic
  • Watches made from plastic are lightweight and water resistant to a high degree. Due to the plastic being such high quality, many of these watches are scratch resistant as well. Plastic watches can be a more cost-friendly material as well.
Polyurethane
  • Polyurethane is a synthetic resin used to make tough resistant coatings and adhesives. They make to be a useful watch material because they are tough and provide a good coating for watch parts.
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Quartz
  • Most watches you see today are of this variety and are powered by a battery. The easiest way to tell if a watch is quartz is in the second hand Quartz watches are a type of analog watch and are powered by a vibrating, electrified quartz crystal.
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Rectangular
  • A four sided watch case where opposite sides of the case are parallel and of equal length.
Resin
  • Tough, durable and available in many colors, resin watch bands are a stylish and sporty look. Resin is a high-impact plastic that can be used on each watch bracelet link, or to create the complete watch band. Resin is easy to care for and will last a long time with proper care.
Rose Gold Tone
  • A base metal coated with rosy pink color with no real gold content.
Rotating Bezel
  • A type of rotating band that encircles the watch face and holds the crystal in place. Bezels may be decorative and feature embedded crystals or gemstones.
Round
  • Watch case that is circular in shape.
Rubber
  • Soft yet surprisingly durable, rubber watch bands are a great option for active people. Typically used with sport watches or for children's watches, rubber watch bands can be manufactured in a variety of colors and textures. Rubber watches are very durable and are generally a less expensive option for watch types.
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Screw-Down Crown
  • The button or tab used to wind and set a watch for time or date that ensures water-resistance by sealing the crown to the case of the watch.
Shock Resistant
  • This feature pertains to how well a watch is able to withstand damage from shock (physical impact).
Silicone
  • Silicone is a synthetic material used to make rubber, plastics, polishes, and lubricants. Silicone watches have the ability to maintain its properties within a wide range of temperatures. Silicone watch bands can be worn in all types of temperatures are very hardy watches. They are also very easy to clean in comparison with leather and cloth straps.
Silver Tone
  • Similar to gold tone, silver tone watches are base metal that are silver in color. They have the look of silver but contain no actual silver metal.
Solar
  • Type of watch that is powered by solar cells or panels on the watch face.
Sport
  • A more resilient style of watch made for those who will use it while exercising or working under harsh environments.
Square
  • A watch case that is square (four sides all with equal length).
Stainless Steel
  • Considered durable and long lasting, stainless steel watches are lightweight and highly corrosion resistant. Stainless steel items are made from iron-carbon alloy mixed with chromium and nickel. More affordable than other metals, stainless steel is a great option for both dressy and sporty watches.
Stopwatch
  • A function that serves as a way to measure time on a watch.
Strap
  • A type of watch that has a strap that is typically leather or canvas material.
Synthetic
  • These watch bands are from a variety of manufacturers and are made predominantly out of synthetic materials such as silicone, faux leather, etc. These are made to mimic other materials and are a more price friendly option.
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TR-90 Plastic
  • TR-90 plastic is a type of nylon material and can be found in a rubber-like texture, or a hard, plastic type texture. TR-90 is tough, yet flexible. TR-90’s flexibility and high resistance to cracking make it an excellent choice for watch band links.
Tachymeter
  • A watch function that measures the wearers speed.
Timer
  • A function that allows the wearer to count down a certain predetermined amount of time.
Titanium
  • Lightweight and tough, titanium is about half the weight of steel, but is almost 30 percent stronger. Titanium is a great metal for luxury sport and utility watches. Titanium is dent and corrosion-resistant, as well as hypoallergenic, so it is good for those with allergies to metals.
Tonneau
  • A watch case that is shaped similar to the profile of a barrel.
Touch Screen
  • Touch screen allows the face of the watch to be activated and responsive by use of the wearers fingertip.
Tungsten Carbide
  • A chemical compound containing equal parts of tungsten and carbon, tungsten carbide is popular due to its extreme hardness and high resistance to scratching. Tungsten carbide is roughly 10 times harder than 18k gold. Even with high-impact resistance, this extreme hardness also means that it can occasionally be shattered under certain circumstances.
Two-tone
  • Having two different shades. For example, a watch could be both gold and silver tone.
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Water Resistant
  • Water resistance in watches is measured in atmosphere (ATM) or "bar". These are the measurements that the watch industry uses to denote the amount of pressure that a watch can endure. One atmosphere is equal to about 10 meters or roughly 30 feet. So for example, if your watch is water resistant to 50 meters, it is referring to the amount of pressure the watch case can withstand, not the depth to which the watch can be worn.