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Watch Glossary

  • Jewels

    Jewels are precious stones used to decorate the designer watches. Such stones are typically set into precious metals (gold, silver, platinum or titanium). Exclusive timepieces adorned with beautiful gems are always very elegant and magnificent. The most famous gemstone used by luxury watch brands is diamond of course. Other jewels, such as emeralds, rubies or sapphires, are also commonly used by watch manufacturers. But when we talk about a high-end watch movement, jewels mean synthetic sapphires or rubies that act as bearings for gears in order to reduce friction. So what do they do in the fine watch mechanism? First of all, these stones have a very smooth surface that let the metal parts slide easily. Secondly, they are extremely hard to withstand high frequency of abrasion and wearing. They also resist temperature better than metal and hold lubricant much longer. Luxury watch movement should contain at least 17 jewels, but it can also be 21 jewels, or 25 jewels. The most common types of the jewels used in designer watch movement are whole jewels that fit over the gear axles, cap jewels placed on the ends of the axles, pallet jewels that are on the pallet fork and roller jewel placed on the large balance wheel. So the amount of jewels in a high-end watch movement is definitely an indicator of its quality.

  • Jumping Hours

    The circular motion of the hands is considered to be the most "natural" way to show the time, apparently because it recalls the moving of the planets, the Moon and the Sun. There are, however, luxury watches with other types of dials, one of them is a jumping display, which is usually used to show the hour. Instead of the hands such type of the dial features a disc with the hour indicators, resembling a calendar aperture. On each hour, the complicated mechanism causes the disc to jump forward and blocks its position until the following hour. Jumping hours are usually combined with retrograde minutes. This technically advanced mechanism, used in the top-choice fine watches, is becoming very popular nowadays, because it opens up a realm of possibilities for the talented craftsmen to show their inventiveness in cutting-edge dials. Although jump hours possess bold simplicity, their inner workings are extremely complicated. Because of their complexity, high end watches with jumping hours are offered by only the best luxury watch brands. As jump hours require more time to produce than standard fine watches, these masterpieces usually are quite expensive and rare. A. Lange & Söhne’s delicate Zeitwerk, for example, is so unusual and unique, that there is a waiting list of those who wishes to buy this watch. Among the companies that manufacture timepieces with jumping hours are Cartier, Harry Winston, Bulgari, Audemars Piguet and many others.

News/Blog

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