The Watch Dictionary (A – E)

Haute horology is defined as the high art of watchmaking and here at Laings we are extremely proud of our portfolio of prestigious watch brands, all of which we consider to be high art! The world of watches is extremely extensive and sometimes it can be difficult to understand the ABC’s of it. Here we have the very first instalment to a series of blogs, the Watch Dictionary. Throughout the series we will help you to understand different terminologies, horology houses and watch models. 

Our watch dictionary start with the A to E of watches…

Here we’ll look at one of our favourite watch models, one particular feature of timepieces, as well as explaining what a certain watch word means. We’ll also focus on a distinctive range of watches and what sets them apart and last, but not least, a tribute to one of the world’s most well-known Swiss watch houses.

Watch Dictionary
The Aquanaut

A for Aquanaut

The Aquanaut is a one of the most recognisable timepiece collections by Patek Philippe, who are considered to be a highly prestigious watch house. The infamous Aquanaut features a rounded octagonal, almost cushion-shaped case that is unique to Patek Philippe. This distinctive design means that the exquisite timepiece is instantly identifiable to watch lovers. This is also a collection that was made for adventurers. Every timepiece is crafted to the highest Swiss standards and is built to withstand wear, salt water and UV radiation. Despite its modern aesthetic the Aquanaut was actually introduced in 1997 and over the years it has become a style worth investing in.

Discover more about our Patek Philippe collection by contacting our Glasgow Flagship store or our Southampton store here.

B for Bezel

Watch Dictionary
Breitling Avenger II GMT

The bezel is part of the watch case and is the ring that surrounds the glass covering the dial. As simple as that sounds the bezel can actually be a more complicated feature and different collections have different bezels which can transform the function of the timepiece. For example, dress watches are more likely to have a plain, smooth bezel which gives the watch an ultra-sleek look. On the other hand, sports models often have functional bezels which can be rotated for different purposes.

Divers watches, such as the Tudor Black Bay Burgundy, may have a uni-directional turning bezel designed with minute markers. This function allows the sea-explorer to monitor the amount of time spent under water and acts as a reminder to return to the surface before oxygen runs low.

A turning bezel is also often found on pilot watches, such as the Breitling Avenger II GMT . GMT is an abbreviation for Greenwich Mean Time and this indicates that the watch will have a 24 hour marker on the bezel. This then allows the watch to show a second time zone, so is a particularly useful for travellers and pilots.

You can also find a “Tachymetre” on the bezel of timepieces which have been inspired by motor racing, such as the TAG Heuer Carrera . With the use of this tool, users are able to calculate time, speed and distance.

Watch Dictionary
Rolex Chronometer Oyster Perpetual 39

C for Chronometer

If you have been looking at watches for a while you may have noticed that on some timepieces it will indicate “Chronometer” or “COSC Certified” within the dial. This means that the mechanical timepiece has been tested to be accurate within the limit of +6 seconds or -4 seconds per day. Whilst this may seem strange that it is not entirely accurate this is actually incredibly precise timing, bear in mind the elaborate design and tiny pieces within a watch that keep it moving at the correct speed. For each timepiece to be certified as a chronometer it will have to undergo a strict series of tests to certify its precision.

Sine our timepieces are crafted by the world’s best watchmakers, most of our collection are chronometers. Some particular models go one step further, for example Rolex regard their movements as Superlative Chronometer and operate to +2 or -2 seconds per day! Such excellence can only be found in the very best.

D for Divers

Watch Dictionary
Pre-Owned Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea

Diver’s watches often have similar characteristics and it is these individual features that makes them the most suitable for under-water activities.

As mentioned above, diving watches often have a un-directional bezel with a 60 minute marker to keep track of time spent diving. They will also usually have a minimum water resistance of up to 200 metres, but very often you will find that this extends to much greater depths. For example, the legendary diving watch, the Rolex Deepsea, is water resistant to 3900m!

Helium escape valves often feature on watches with extremely high water resistance. As the name suggests, it allows the helium gas to exit the case to avoid it being trapped. If the helium gas did become trapped within the case it would build up until the glass and the case would bend due to pressure.

Wetsuits also tend to expand and the clasps of diver’s wristwatches allow for extra space. They are often equipped with a clasp that allows for quick, minor adjustments without having to use any tools.

Watch Dictionary
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16

E for Edouard Heuer

If the surname of Edouard hasn’t given it away, he is founder of TAG Heuer. Edouard established the Swiss watchmaking company in 1860 and his skills and determination have shaped watchmaking as we know it today! His pioneering spirit in the craft of watchmaking led to many successes and nine short years after opening his first workshop he had developed the technology for TAG Heuer’s first patent. Heuer then patented his first chronograph in 1882 and his oscillating pinion in 1887, which is still used today.

His determination to constantly develop and tackle whatever challenges he faced allowed TAG Heuer to become the watch house that they are today.


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