Watch Glossary

  • Main Plate

    Every device has a foundation, on which the mechanism is built. The main plate is the biggest element of the watch mechanism and other details are fixed on it. Moreover, the shape of an example of luxury watches depends on the main plate. The bridges and the props of watch wheels always mounted in it. The size of the main plate usually characterized by the caliber. Usually, the main plate and bridges are made of brass, they are golden in the mechanism of many items of fine watches, and if it is the main plate of an exclusive model of prestige watches, it is probably accomplished of transparent synthetic sapphire. The ruby bearings or stones provide the reliable fixation of all the details of the main plate and bridges. Nowadays the producers of high-end watches employ synthetic ruby. The method of synthesis of this stone was invented in the late XIX century by the French scientist Auguste Verneuil. The mechanism of the old pocket watch consists of two plates and it is not so easy to put them together and make it work; it was necessary to find another way to create the watch mechanism. The French watchmaker Jean-Antoine Lepine decided to split the plate and make several bridges for the mechanism of luxury watch in 1770. His invention became a magnificent solution and rescue for the manufacturer of the items of luxury watches. Nowadays, the timepieces are more subtle due to this dazzling invention of talented watchmaker.

  • Main Spring

    A mainspring is a metal principal spiral twisted spring, which is used as a power source in clockwork mechanisms, in particular in mechanical watches produced by luxury watch brands. A high-end watch mainspring is a long strip, usually, made of steel. It is about 20–30 cm long and 0.05-0.2 mm thick. Mechanical movements with a mainspring can be manual or automatic. The main idea for both of them is the following: when you turn the knob or crown, the kinetic energy from the winding is sent to the coil formed mainspring causing it to store energy. The gear train then transmits this energy to the escapement, which distributes the energy into equal, regulated parts. The balance wheel begins to beat and meters the energy to the hands of the luxury watch, making them move. In other words, this energy turns the watch's wheels by uncoiling. This process occurs until the next winding is necessary. Designer watches with automatic movements have the same parts, but with the additional component - a rotor. It is connected by a series of gears to the mainspring that allows it to swing freely in 360 degrees as the wrist moves. When the rotor turns, it winds the mainspring and thus powers the fine watch. Such a movement is the oldest and most popular type of watch movement, that’s why it is, usually, found in high and luxury watches.

  • Manual Movement

    The movement of the best luxury watches that needs to be manually wounded by use of a crown or key and spring system. This type of watches is less accurate that quartz or automatic watches, but these are the rarest fine watches and most traditional type of the movements. The movement calls manual or hand winding because the wearer must turn the special detail ‘crown' periodically, often daily for storing energy to run the watch. The wearer must do it right till the next winding. Manual luxury watches are often loved by their beautiful display of the watch movement, which can, usually, be seen through the case-back. The most important feature of the high-end watches with mechanical movement is that is the mainspring that must be manually rotated to stock potential energy. This mainspring unwinds slowly remitting energy to move the gears that inspire the watch's time study functions. Winding intervals for the fine watches with manual movement depend on the power saved a capacity of the movement, which could be 24 hours to five days or more. For example, the high-end luxury watch from Panerai Luminor 1950 GMT has an eight-day power reserve it only needs to be wound nearly every eight days. There are cases when wearers of a manual wind watch used to wind their watch every time they put it on.

  • Manufacturer

    Luxury watch manufacturers (or brands) merely assemble components made by others to produce fine watches. Brands can sometimes be a simple marketing organization that has nothing to do with the process of production of the fine watches. Some brands simply collaborate with the watchmakers and put their name on the ready products. Watchmaking companies produce high end watches as well as in-house movements. The Swiss watchmaking companies are considered to be the best in the world. Such companies as Rolex, Breitling, Baume et Mercier, Patek Philippe and many others create a great variety of fascinating luxury timepieces for men and women that fit every occasion and tastes. A Swiss watch is something every collector would love to possess, as it's an exclusive creation designed for the most elegant clientèle. As well-known companies have a long and impressive history, each of them has developed its unique style, personality and heritage. It's almost impossible to choose which company is the all-time best. The most popular manufacturers are probably Rolex and Omega. Their fine watches are admired all across the globe and have achieved cult status. However, there are manufacturers that belong to the high-end spheres of horology. The most elite watch brands design timepieces for royalty and the richest people in the world. Patek Philippe, for example, creates the most expensive, technically advanced watches. This company is known for the establishing of the groundbreaking technologies that turned the watch industry upside down.

  • Mechanical Movement

    The most traditional and the oldest type of a movement in the best luxury watches is mechanical movement. Mechanical watch with manual monument differs from the normal quartz watch in that fact that it uses merely mechanical components to keep time. Mechanical watch with a manual movement can run for 40 hours on a full winding. There are few designs of the best luxury watches that are available to work up to 8 or even ten days. The fundamental design of the mechanical watches has not changed that much in the past last fifty years. By the time, it has appeared modern design and high technologies in the manufacture of fine watches. Therefore, mechanical watches of the popular luxury brands of watches are now a prerogative of watch enthusiasts and collectors of the high-end watches. Nowadays the vast majority of the high-end mechanical watches are furnished with automatic movements. The hand wound mechanical movement is very small percent of most companies’ total production. Mechanical movements of the luxury watches can get or lose a few minutes over a month, that’s why the wearer of this type of fine watch must set the time regularly to ensure the accuracy. Mechanical watches are crafted just as their forerunners were before the age of battery power. If someone appreciates the European tradition of designing fine timekeeping instruments, he or she may prefer watches with mechanical movements because well-constructed high-end watches for men and women can last for generations.

  • Meteo

    Meteometer is a complication that determines the weather forecast or temperature by measuring the atmospheric pressure. To put it simply, it's just a barometer, embedded in the luxury watch. Of course, there are hardly many people who use this complication, as well as such fancy features like moon-phase indicator or rattrapante, but it actually can be very useful in professional activities. Pilots, for example, can determine weather conditions relying on the readout of the barometer. Owners of fine watches with barometers often have difficulty with forecasting the weather. The rule is that if the air pressure decreases, it usually brings clouds and precipitation. Increasing air pressure, on the other hand, indicates clearing or fair weather. Meteometer is a delicate complication that requires much time and skills to manufacture, so fine watches with meteo are usually expensive and rare. One of the luxury watch brands that produce timepieces with meteometer is a Swiss company Tissot. Tissot Women's T047.220.46.126.00 is an amazing ladies watch that sports such features as chronograph, altimeter, thermometer, compass, and, of course, meteometer. Tissot T-Touch Expert Mens Watch T013.420.11.057.00 is a stunning Swiss watch for men which feature altimeter and barometer. TISSOT - T33.7.888.92 is another representative of the high end watches. This exclusive timepiece is made of platinum and boasts chronograph, altimeter, thermometer, compass and meteometer. Travelers can feel secure wearing this fascinating horological device.

  • Minute Repeater

    A minute repeater is a complication of luxury watches, which can identify the time due to the sounds of various modes. The given function is usually activated by pressing a special button. This device consists of two springs of circular cross-spring. Moreover, a minute repeater is an irreplaceable complication in the night, because this watch honks and it is not necessary to eye a dial. In general, the items of fine watches with the given complication are rather rare and expensive, because it is very original and interesting addition. Nowadays, there are no many trademarks of Swiss watches, which produce the watch with a minute repeater. The Breguet was the first luxury watch company, which started to produce the wrist timepieces with minute repeater. Then, the Zenith, Audemars Piguet, Corum, Patek Philippe and Breitling brands followed this lead. A minute repeater is a delicate singularity of any item of high-end watches, it is intended for people who appreciate various interesting and unusual details. The Breitling J28362 Bentley Flying B 18k White Gold Diamond Watch is extremely attractive example of the best luxury watches for men, which has a set of useful functions. A minute repeater is one of the complications of this blazing diamond timepiece, which has a case of white gold. Moreover, this manly vivid accessory is equipped with a date window on the position of 12 o’clock.

  • Moon Phase Watches

    Moon phase watches are one of the most popular complicated fine watches nowadays. Although the moon phase complication can be quite useful and practical (mostly in professional affairs), for the majority of watch enthusiasts it remains a pretty and eye-catching feature. The high end watches that are equipped with the moon phase indicator have a rotating disc that presents the illuminated portion of the Moon. Some luxury watch brands pay much attention to the design of their moon phase watches and use various creative ways to display the phases, others just make a simple-looking display with the Moon. The most famous brands have moon phase watches in their collections. Swiss manufacturer Patek Philippe, which is well-known for its delicate and unique complications, created its Perpetual Calendar Moon Phase model. Besides the moon-phase aperture, this masterpiece of haute horlogerie boasts day, month and leap year indicators. Patek Philippe is extremely popular when it comes to moon phase complications. Annual Calendar Moon Phase is another luxury watch from the Complication collection, featuring day, month, moon-phase and power reserve displays. Swiss brands have always been at the forefront of watchmaking industry, and Jaeger-LeCoultre is not an exception. Its Master Calendar Swiss watch features fascinating moon phase indicator which organically fits in the overall look. Among other brands producing moon phase fine watches are Audemars Piguet, Girard Perregaux, Roger Dubuis, Zenith, Breitling, etc.

  • Mother of Pearl

    Mother of Pearl represents an inner solid and iridescent layer of some shells, for example oysters or mussels. Mother of Pearl consists of thin layers of calcium carbonate. For centuries, it has been widely used in jewelry. Many watch manufacturers use Mother of Pearl for their luxury watches. This glimmering material is not easy to work with. As it is ultra thin, it can be easy broken. Depending on the complicacy of the dial, the production can take over four or six weeks. Mother of Pearl is full of surprises. Depending on the part of the shell, from which it was derived, it can be pink, white, black or yellow. The Mother of Pearl dials of high-end watches are not artificially colored. It takes a lot of effort to improve its natural beauty and to keep its original hints. All prestige watches with Mother of Pearl dials are exclusive pieces. Due to the latest technologies, the manufacturers of fine watches create Mother of Pearl of various colors, from snow-white to dark blue. The best luxury watches with Mother of Pearl dials from famous brands are preferred by representatives of the jet set. Although this material has never been the most expensive one, it has always been very popular. That is because the genuine beauty cannot be measured with money. Nowadays many watchmakers complement compositions of precious stones in their famous designer watches with the inimitable Mother of Pearl.

  • Movement

    A watch movement is a heart and a driving force of any luxury watch. A mechanical movement releases its energy from the mainspring where it constantly stores its energy charge. This stored energy is being released by repeated bursts and is under control by such devices as escapement and regulator. The bursting energy, coming from a mainspring, moves the watch hands around the dial by means of transmission wheels. This energy appears by winding the mainspring by hand, in case of manual-winding. Automatic winding transforms the energy from a hand’s shaking during the process of designer watch owner's walking or running. The mechanical movement consists of many complicated parts like gears, springs, wheels, screws and many others. Many years the watchmakers improved, complicated and puzzled their complex watch mechanisms of transmission the energy to the watch's hand. Today there is a great variety of high end watch movements, and every device is very much unique and original. The quartz luxury watch movement is a complex mechanism that gets the energy from a quartz crystal. The power provided from a battery or capacitor flows to quartz crystal that oscillates and moves the watch hands. It is considered that the quartz luxury watch movement is more accurate than a mechanical one, but, of course, it depends of the high end watch producer. The quartz and mechanical movements are under the measuring of performance and accuracy. Mechanical movement’s accuracy can be -4/+6 seconds per day, when quartz movement’s accuracy can be expected as +/-0.2 seconds per day.

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