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Watch Glossary

  • GMT (Greenwich Mean Time)

    GMT (Greenwich Mean Time) is international time, the basis of the world time clock. It sets current time or official time around the globe. This time system divides the globe into 24 parts. Greenwich in London is longitude 0° 0' 0", which makes it the “0” point. So GMT marks the starting point of every time zone in the World. Others time zones are plus or minus GMT depending on their location and remoteness from Greenwich. GMT complications are probably the most useful and popular features on the designer watches produced by luxury watch brands. Most GMT high-end watches have two hands that display the time in a 12-hour format and one 24-hour hand. The last one is, usually, separately adjustable, but in the same time it can just indicate whether the time is AM or PM. Many of the luxury GMT watches additionally have a rotating 24-hour bezel. It can be decorated with diamonds or any other jewels. GMT high-end watches are used to show minimum two time zones at once. But if the dial is already equipped with the GMT scale, the rotating bezel can be used to track a third time zone. This function of the luxury watches is very useful especially for people who travel a lot or do business in different time zones.

  • Gold Plated

    Gold plating is a method of applying a thin layer of pure gold onto the top of another less expensive base metal by electroplating it. The metal that is often used below the gold is steel, copper or silver. Industry standards dictate that .15 to .25 mils of gold should be applied during the plating process. A good gold plated fine watch can actually appear to look like solid gold but at the same time the price of such an item is much lower. Many luxury watch brands use this method in producing designer watches because one of its biggest advantages is the fact that it is fairly strong. Such modern high-end watches will be very durable as the gold is plated over a stronger metal. Sometimes the gold can wear off, it depends on the thickness of the gold and how much the item is worn. However, gold plated luxury watches are very fashionable, especially when they are combined with jewels and other high-end complications. Gold plating can be in yellow, white, green and rose gold. Best watchmaking companies, usually, use 18 karat gold or even 24 karat pure gold that contains no alloys, but there can also be other variants. Without doubts, all gold -plated high and luxury watches are very desirable and a pleasure to wear. Moreover, the price on such designer watches is always very attractive.

  • Gold Watch

    Gold is one of the most precious metals. No doubt, it has its own unique, unbelievable power. It is the perfect and magnificent component of fine watches in the world today. Luxury watch brands use this material in designer watches in order to show a stunning combination of beauty and craftsmanship of a truly mesmeric product - a gold watch. Such high-end watches are, usually, presented with karat weights ranging from 14-24k. As pure gold is too soft for everyday wear, it is often alloyed with another stronger metal. It also gives an opportunity to create different colors of gold. So thanks to this method of production you can buy the watch in white, rose, yellow or even green gold combined with traditional gold. It is very important that luxury gold watches will not tarnish. They will hold their value the best over the years and can be passed down for generations. Such fine gold watches will always add a touch of luxury and sophistication to any of your looks. These items of exclusive jewelry decorated with diamonds or any other jewels will show your fashion-forward sense of style. Luxury gold watches from some of the most prestigious brands in the world are, of course, an exquisite piece of jewelry. Besides, a gold watch is always a good long-term investment.

  • Guilloche

    Guilloché (or guilloche) is a fine decorative technique of engraving the watch plate with a very precise and unique pattern. The repetitive fine drawing with a very precise pattern ornaments and beatifies the watch’s plate. Opposed to guilloche featured watches, the plain dial watches are more widespread and look like less time-consuming. Lot of luxury watches are created with a plain watch plate. For example, the Jaquet Droz luxury watch with ivory enameled plate is quite nice and can be an alternative to a Breguet designer watch with a high-quality guilloche decorated plate. It depends on the taste and preference of each watch connoisseur. The guilloche fine carving technic can be applied not only to the surface of designer watch. The other watch’s parts like bezel or the crown can be precisely carved and decorated. Ralph-Lauren Watch Company presents its sporting fine watch with guilloche ornamented bezel and dial. Tourby Guilloché 1 luxury watch is issued with precisely carved watch crown and guilloche garnished watch plate. François-Paul Journe created a luxury watch with a watch case in guilloche silver. This high end watch model is created with a movement that is protected by an impressive silver guilloche case back cover. Not only a wrist watch producers use the fine guilloche carving of their watches. The pocket luxury watches are also the items to be guilloche patterned. The Antique Swiss Pocket Watch from M.S. Rau Antiques is the example of the luxury pocket watch with seed pearls and with a merlot red guilloche enamel that cover the dial and back.

  • Hallmarks

    All luxury watch cases made of precious metals such as gold, silver, platinum or palladium, have some sort of important information. Such information about the specific timepiece engraved on its back plate, watch complication or bracelet is known as a hallmark. It is the guarantee of an independent body or authority that the timepiece meets all fineness standards. So the hallmark is an official mark or series of marks struck on high-end watches. It is an indication of metal content, a guarantee of purity or quality. It can look like symbols, for example head of a St. Bernhard dog, squirrel or duck, or it can be full words and sentences. Such marks on the luxury watches can contain the following information: who made the article, date letter depicting the year the article was hallmarked, traditional fineness symbols, the Assay Office mark, international convention marks and so on. You can also see terms like 916 for 22 karat gold, 750 for 18 karat gold, 925 for sterling silver, 999 for platinum, KGP for karat gold plated items or different odd shapes which are used to describe various features of the fine watches. Be sure that the hallmark will always provide a safeguard to the owner of the prestigious designer watch. And if you don’t understand the meaning of all the hallmarks, you can take your luxury watch to a serious watchmaker, who will know exactly what each symbol means.

  • Hand-Wound Movement

    Hand-wound movement of the high-end watches for men and women is also called hand-wound because this type of watch the wearer is forced to get up close and personal. This type of fine watches is the beloved one by the watch collectors because hand-wound movement makes sure you don’t neglect it. Before wearing this fine watch, you every time can check that the mainspring stays right keeping your watch accurate. This is a special relationship between you and your watch. A hand-wound mechanical watch is powered by winding the crown to wind up the mainspring. By the way, it is necessary to wind them up regularly ones a day. There were some models of the fine watches with hand-wound movement that needs to be wounded once every two or tree days. Very important thing is that hand-wound high-end watches should be wounded while worn. Moreover, one should be careful not to overwind the watch. The resistance while winding indicates that the spring has reached its maximum pull. Overwinding can cause breaking of the spring. Nowadays using hand-wound watches is the question of philosophy or horological principles. Many fine watch enthusiasts believe that there is a true beauty in the hand-wound watches because of the indispensable winding. There is unique and private value in that personal involvement in the work of high-end watches mechanism. By the way, the wearers of the best luxury watch with hand-wound mechanism tell that the watch tend to be thinner because of the thinner movement.

  • Hertz (Hz)

    Hertz or reciprocal second, abbreviated as Hz, is the unit of frequency of the high-end watch movement. It defines one cycle or a number of oscillations per second. So what does it mean? In the luxury watch movement, one swing of the balance wheel (let us say, clockwise) is a vibration. Two swings is an oscillation. Thus, a vibration means one-half of an oscillation. It is also called a semi-oscillation. So, hertz is calculated by dividing the number of oscillations by the period of time, in which they are measured. Frequency of the fine watch movement can also be expressed in VPH, which means vibrations per hour. If you want to get the vph, first of all you should double the hertz figure and then multiply that number by 3,600, which is the number of seconds in an hour. As an example, let’s take the Perrelet Turbine Snake A8001/1 Stainless Steel Automatic Watch model. This designer watch movement beats at a frequency of 4 Hz. It makes 4 oscillations or 8 vibrations (semi-oscillations) per second. If we multiply this number by 3,600, we’ll get the vph figure that is equal to 28,800. It is the most common frequency for modern luxury watch movements nowadays. Other acceptable frequencies used for the high-end watch movements are 2.5 Hz or 18,000 vph, 3 Hz or 21,600 vph and 5 Hz or 36,000 vph.

  • Horology

    The history of horology was started by the ancient Babylonians, who divided an hour into 60 minutes and a minute into 60 seconds. Since then there have been sundials, clepsydras, hour glasses, mechanical clocks, pendulums, electronic timepieces and even atomic clocks. So, as you have already understood, horology is the science of measuring time, as well as the art of constructing and designing luxury watches. It describes the theory and practice of watchmaking. Horology combines engineering, geometry and creativity. In other words, it is the scientific study of time, timekeeping and timekeepers. It also includes antique restoration and repair of timepieces, designer watch collecting and calendar development. People interested in horology are called horologists. They specialize in the learning and repairing of timekeeping devices such as high-end watches. These people should have an absolute attention to details, a good eye, a very steady hand and an impeccable taste in order to make high and luxury watches. Horology and horologists have numerous organizations, such as National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (USA), British Horological Institute (United Kingdom), Chronometrophilia (Switzerland) and others. They also have professional associations and scholarly societies. Famous luxury watch brands try to support these organizations in every way as the main aims of every horologist are to create the outstanding fine watch and to share his knowledge with the next generation.

  • Index Stick Markers

    The foundation of a watch dial is its hour markers that define the character of the timepiece. They are an important part or the dial aesthetic. Luxury watch brands use three main styles that you can find in high-end watches: Roman numerals, Arabic numerals and index stick markers. Such markers, also known as plain batons, are straight-line markers located in place of numerals on a designer watch dial. They are used to indicate hours. This style is an elegant compromise between traditions and innovations. It is commonly used by such luxury watch brands as Omega, Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Girard-Perregaux and many others. Quite often high-end watch manufacturers combine baton markers with Roman or Arabic numerals. As an example let’s take Malte collection by Vacheron Constantin. Designers used Roman numerals at the 12 and 6 o’clock positions and index stick markers for the other hours. As a result, it brought technical excellence and unique individuality to each of the fine watches. Another example is Radomir collection by Panerai. Watchmakers mixed Arabic numerals with baton markers. Most of the items of this collection have numbers at the 12, 3, 6 or 9 o’clock positions and stick markers at others. Thus, such a style made this new product line stylish and elegant in the same time. So, choosing a designer watch with index stick markers you will always be in trend anywhere and anytime.

  • Inlay

    Inlay is a one of the fabrication method for jewelry, in particular for the luxury watches. It means that stones or colored materials have been set into the surface, usually at the same level, to form a design. Materials for this process include valuable metals, for example, gold or silver, and different kinds of stones. Luxury watch brands often use very precious gemstones, such as diamonds, sapphires, rubies or emeralds. But sometimes they can also use semi-precious stones like citrines, turquoises, topazes, pearls, coral, lapis and others. To create inlaid designer watch, the watchmakers cut and fit the gemstones into the metallic channels, voids, shapes or holes of the case or bracelet. The shape of these channels matches the form of the gemstones. It requires great precision of cutting and design to avoid gaps. The main thing is to ensure that the stones are set for all time and safely. Polishing completes this process. As a result, all jewels are at the same level as the metal. To the touch, the item's surface is one and the same. It is flat, smooth and seamless. An ideal inlay demonstrates no distinguishable textural difference at the interface of the fine watch. Luxury watch manufacturers demonstrate a great mastery of stone inlay work. So such designer watches are real work of art.


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