Watch Glossary

  • 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.

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