Essential Watch Terminology

Whether you are a longtime lover of luxury watches or new to the market, you know that there are countless brands, styles, and features available. With seemingly endless luxury watch terminology to learn, it is all too easy to become overwhelmed. That’s why, as luxury watch experts, we have compiled a comprehensive guide to essential luxury watch terminology. From luxury watch components to styles, movements, and much more, keep reading to learn our list of essential luxury watch terminology.

essential watch terminology

Essential Watch Terminology:

What Are The Different Watch Parts?

Luxury watches are comprised of hundreds of parts that maintain the watch’s accuracy, durability and style. Below are the most essential luxury watch components:

  • Aperture: A window on the dial that displays information such as the date, month, and year.
  • Bezel: The top ring that encircles the dial; certain bezels display additional information such as GMT time.
  • Bracelet: A metal band that wraps around the wrist to keep the watch in position.
  • Case: The body of the watch that protects the movement from dust, moisture, and shock.
  • Crown: A device on the side of the case used to wind the watch, set complications such as the date, and protect the movement.
  • Crystal: A transparent cover that protects the dial.
  • Dial: The face of the watch below the crystal.
  • Hands: Indicate the time on the dial.
  • Helium Escape Valve: Found on diving watches, helium escape valves release pressure in the watch when it is at depth.
  • Lugs: Metal bars that connect the case to the bracelet/strap.
  • Movement: Also known as the caliber, the movement powers the watch and drives all timekeeping functions.
  • Pusher: A button on the side of the watch that activates a complication, such as a chronograph.
  • Strap: A leather or rubber band that wraps around the wrist to keep the watch in position.
  • Subdial: A smaller dial on the main dial that displays additional information, such as a chronograph’s recorded time.

Luxury Watch Glossary

What Are The Different Type Of Watch Movements?

There are three major luxury watch movements:

  1. Manual: A mechanical movement that is powered by regularly winding the watch’s crown.
  2. Automatic: Also known as a self-winding watch, this mechanical movement is powered by the natural motion of the wearer’s wrist.
  3. Quartz: A battery-operated movement that does not need to be wound. Quartz-powered watches are typically less expensive than manual and automatic watches.

What Are The Different Types Of Watch Complications?

Complications are any function on a watch other than timekeeping that tells the hours, minutes, and seconds. Below is a selection of the most popular and useful complications:

  • Annual Calendar: Displays the day, date, and month but does not account for leap years.
  • Chronograph: A stopwatch function that records elapsed time.
  • Date Window: Displays the date.
  • Dual Time: Displays local time and an additional time zone.
  • Minute Repeater: Chimes the time when activated, with different tones for the hours, quarters, and minutes.
  • Moon Phase: Displays the phases of the moon.
  • Perpetual Calendar: Displays the day, date, and month while accounting for leap years.
  • Power Reserve: Indicates the amount of power the watch has reserved before it needs to be wound.
  • Tachymeter: Measures speed over a fixed distance.
  • World Time Zone: Displays 24 time zones with corresponding major cities, enabling the wearer to tell the time from anywhere in the world.

What Are The Different Types Of Luxury Watches?

Luxury watches can be broken down into four categories with specific designs and features:

  • Dress Watches: Elegant and minimalistic watches with streamlined profiles, dress watches are the perfect accessory to business suits, evening wear, or other sophisticated attire.
  • Sports Watches:Robust, water-resistant watches with sturdy cases, sports watches can endure rugged conditions and still maintain precise timekeeping.
  • Pilot Watches: Originally designed for aviators with larger cases and easy-to-read dials, pilot watches typically provide additional timekeeping complications such as elapsed time.
  • Diving Watches: The ultimate timekeeping device for divers, these watches have sturdy cases that can withstand deep sea depths and often include complications to help divers time their oxygen supply.

Top Luxury Watch Brands

Of the dozens of luxury watch brands, 10 brands stand above the rest with their masterfully crafted timepieces, complex movements, enduring style, and demand among collectors:

  1. Patek Philippe
  2. Rolex
  3. Audemars Piguet
  4. Vacheron Constantin
  5. Cartier
  6. Jaeger-LeCoultre
  7. A. Lange & Sohne
  8. IWC Schaffhausen
  9. Breitling
  10. Omega

Where To Sell Luxury Watches

As a luxury watch enthusiast, you may be looking to sell a watch you no longer wear . . . or perhaps trade it in on another model. At myGemma, we buy a wide range of luxury watches and always provide our clients with honest and competitive payments. Our team of horologists have decades of experience and a rich understanding of the pre-owned luxury watch market.

Sell your watch to myGemma

With our streamlined selling process, we buy your watch outright, which means that you never have to sit through long auctions, go through a middleman, or wait to get paid. In as little as 24 hours, you can receive full cash payment OR 10 percent more on your offer in store credit with our watch store partner and shop a wide range of luxury watches at prices below retail. It is easy to see why we have an A+ rating with the BBB and hundreds of outstanding customer reviews.

How it works:

  1. Complete our simple online form with information about your watch.
  2. Receive a price quote.
  3. To get your final offer, you can either schedule an appointment at one of our offices across the world or request a free, insured, overnight and trackable shipping label.
  4. Once our horologists evaluate your watch in person, we will provide you with our final offer which you can accept by cash (in person appointments only), check, wire OR 10 percent more in store credit to spend at our watch store partner.

Click the button below to see how much you can get paid for your luxury watch from the experts.