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Watch Glossary

  • Wheel Train

    In mechanical movement of high-end watches, the wheel train, or the so-called going train represents the system that transmits power from the mainspring to the escapement. A wheel train is the gear train of a mechanical watch. The wheel trains of many luxury watches have the same parts because movements of the timepieces are standardized. The big gears in fine watches are usually called wheels, the smaller gears are called pinions and the shafts that the wheels and pinions are mounted on are called arbors. The wheel train has two functions in prestige watches. It scales up the speed of rotation of the mainspring or the weight pulley. This allows the use of a strong mainspring that will run the watch for days or weeks. Besides, its gear ratios divide the rotation of the escape wheel into time units of seconds, minutes and hours to power the hands. In items of best luxury watches their arbors have jewel bearings. The wheel train in modern high-end luxury watches consists of: a great wheel, attached to the main spring, center or second wheel, which turns once per hour, third wheel, which drives the pinion of the fourth wheel, fourth wheel that turns once per minute and the escape wheel that keeps the balance swinging by giving it a small push each time it moves forward.

  • White Gold

    White gold in luxury watches is an alloy of gold and at least one white metal. To make the gold white, it is combined with metal alloys that are white in nature and plated with an extremely hard element called rhodium. Without the rhodium, white gold might be grey and dull brown. Despite the fact that rhodium is strong, it may wear away over time. Replating is a simple process that can be done to restore whiteness to rhodium-plated jewelry. White gold is a popular material for fine watches and is an alternative to yellow gold, silver or platinum. Some people prefer the silver color of white gold to the yellow color of normal gold. However, silver may be too soft or too easily glazed. White gold in prestige watches contains different amounts of gold that is always yellow, it also contains one or more white metals to lighten its color and add durability. Usually metals that form the white gold are nickel, palladium, platinum and manganese. Sometimes it can be copper and zinc. The purity of white gold in high-end watches is expressed in karats, the same as with yellow gold. White gold high-end luxury watches are usually made from a gold-palladium-silver alloy or gold-nickel-copper-zinc alloy that can cause a skin reaction. Sometimes people experience the reaction in the form of a skin rash. Some manufacturers of the best luxury watches do not add nickel to the alloy in order to make white gold less allergic.

  • Winding Stem

    The winding stem, also called the crown is the button on the end of the spindle that is used for adjusting the time and date on an analogue luxury watch. The crown winds timepieces with a manual wind mechanism and it stops the watch when pulled away from the face which helps the battery last longer. In older fine watches and pocket watches which are not powered by batteries it is also used to wind the spring of the timepiece to give it power. Usually the winding is done with the crown flush against the timepiece, pulled out once it adjusts the date and pulled out a second “click” it adjusts the time. The crown of high-end watches is usually round and ridged to provide grip on the finger. The crown of high-end luxury watches can be simple or plain. It cam match the color of the dial, or it can be a different color to match the fashion of the piece. The size of each crown in prestige watches can vary depending on the style of the watch and whether its function is strictly utility or fashion. There exist many types of watch crowns and they have different features. For example, in chronograph watches the crown can also be used to run the stopwatch, set the moon phase and other operations.

  • World Timer

    For those who travel a lot or who need to know the time in different time zones, the World Timer feature is created. The luxury watch with this feature is designed to show the time of up to 24 time zones around the world, and the high end watches with such extraordinary feature are called “World Timers.” The names of the cities are printed on the watch dial, making the time observing for the viewer more informative and visible. The hour hand points to a particular scale with the city written, matching the proper time of the time zone where the city is located. The minute hand traces in its ordinary way, matching the minute signs of the extra minute circle of the luxury watch's plate. The Vacheron Constantin luxury watch could be an example of a designer watch with Word Timer feature, showing the time in multiple locations all over the world. The three fine watch’s hands show the exact time, tracing around the two edges of the watch face. The outer edge of the high end watch is quite ordinary and is divided into 60 segments, representing seconds and minutes. The minute hand and second hand are pointing this edge. The main and more visible edge of the dial is for the hour hand. This main hour-edge is divided into 24 segments instead of the ordinary 12 segments as the viewer used to see. Under the 24-segmented edge about forty capitals of the different countries are scripted. The luxury watch with Word Timer feature can be more farraginous but more useful at the same time.

  • Wrist Size

    Obviously, it is much more convenient to measure the wrist size before buying the luxury watches or the watch strap. Someone can advise the way of checking the measurement when the finger fits within the strap of the fine watch. It can ease and improve the wearing of the watches. Anyway, it is the matter of each owner of the luxury watch and the model of watch. There are watch models that look quite nice when worn quite easily on the wrist and, at the same time, there are some watch pieces that bring pleasure of being worn tightly. Some watchmakers give an advice that works like this: if to hold the arm perpendicular to the ground, the watch should not spin around or face down the wrist. Measurement of the wrist is easy and not time-consuming. Just using the ribbon or any piece of string is quite enough to measure the wrist. After having wrapped the ribbon around the wrist, make a mark on the ribbon and then put the ribbon or piece of string along the ruler. The next step is measuring the luxury watch strap, considering the location of pinholes and the dimensions of the watch’s case. The watch straps usually come with a standard lengths. The typical strap size charts for the watches for men and watches for women differs. The ladies watch straps are divided into Short, Regular and Long lengths. The Typical Size Chart for watches for men has a strap length like Short, Regular, European Standard, Long, Extra Long and XX-Long.

  • Yacht Timer

    Yacht timers, or also called regatta timers, yachting chronographs, or sailing watches - are high-end watches specially designed and created for the countdown to the start of a sailing race. Luxury watches with yacht timers help to prepare for the start of a regatta. Unlike racing or sprinting, it is not possible to reach maximum speed on command in a yacht race. Therefore, the boats used in yacht races allow 5 or 10 minutes extra time to “get going” or pick up speed. At the start signal, the yachts don`t start sailing to the finish line as it could be expected, they sail to the actual start line. The boat only enters the race once it reaches the actual start line after the elapsed time and must reach the finish line quickly as possible. The yacht timer in fine watches helps to determine the start point by counting down 10 minutes, and emitting a beep for each minute that has elapsed. In the last 10 seconds before the end of the time, the item of high-end luxury watches beeps every second. As it is reaches zero, the piece of prestige watches emits three beeps to show the end of the 10 minute period. Over the centuries there have been a lot of yacht timers and specialized chronograph watches produced by the world`s watch brands. Perhaps, the most famous yachting timer nowadays is the Rolex YachtMaster but there are others created by Tutima, Atlantic, Omega and IWC.

  • Yellow Gold

    Yellow gold is a blending of gold, silver and copper. Gold and silver are both precious metals, but copper is not. It has a much lower value. Gold purity is measured. Yellow gold has many uses and is highly regarded. It is often used in jewelry, such as rings, necklaces and luxury watches. In fact, pure yellow gold is very soft- too soft to be used on its own. That is why it is combined with other metals, or alloys to make it harder-wearing. Common alloys include zinc and nickel. Gold is also one of the most drawling of all metals, which means that it is perfect for implementing into sophisticated design of high-end watches without putting too much stress on the metal. The percentage of gold in prestige watches varies and is referred to in karats or K for short. Pure gold is referred to as 24k gold. Yellow gold in high-end luxury watches is available in different tones and the exact yellow hint depends in the type of metal alloys used the percentage of each of them. Pure gold is a rich, shining yellow, full of gloss. 18k gold in a luxury watch is also an intense yellow but 14k gold may be a little diluted it tone compared to 18k or 24k gold because of the higher percentages of metal alloys that mute the brilliant gold color of some designer watches.

  • Zalium

    Zalium is a trademark of jeweler Harry Winston to describe an alloy of aluminum and zirconium used in the collection of luxury watches called the Project Z. Zalium was developed by Ronald Winston, a famous chemical engineer and a man who knew how to differ a perfect diamond from a nice one, just like his father, Harry Winston did. A zirconium-based alloy is also used in aeronautical engineering as well as for surgical implants and instruments. The hypo-allergenic and corrosive resistant properties of Zalium allow for the creation of high-end watches with ultimate durability and design. This ultra-light metal is known for its lustrous gunmetal finish. The unique chemical features of Zalium make it the ideal material for use in high-performance design of prestige watches. Harry Winston first used this material in 2001 as a part of its pioneering watch collections. Each luxury watch of the collection crafted using Zalium plates that have been treated at extreme temperatures to achieve a lustrous black finish that is scratch-resistant. After the heat treatment, the Zalium plates are precision-cut for the fit and finish. Finally the Zalium plates are handset within an 18k white gold bezel of the best luxury watches and accented with a diamond. The company created the Project Z6, the piece of designer watches that has a 44 mm Zalium case set on a rubber strap.

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