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Watch Glossary

  • Vibration

    In the movement of high-end watches with a balance wheel, one vibration is a single swing of the balance wheel. A vibration is a one-half of an oscillation, or a semi-oscillation. The frequency of a luxury watch movement is expressed in Hertz or in vibrations per hour (vph). The frequency in Hertz is the quantity of oscillations per second. The most usual frequency for contemporary mechanical fine watches is 4 Hz, or 28,800 vph. The number of hourly vibrations corresponds to the frequency of the movement of the timepiece, determined by the mass and diameter of a balance and the elastic force of the balance spring. The quantity of vibrations per hour defines the break up of time. Until the 1950`s, high-end luxury watches worked at frequency of 18,000 vph; later, higher frequencies were developed to produce a lower percentage of irregularities to the rate. Prestige watches ticking at 4Hz makes 4 oscillations per second, or 8 semi-oscillations per second. There are 60 seconds in a minute, so these timepieces would tick at 480 semi-oscillations per minute. 480 vibrations per minute by the 60 minutes in an hour is approximately 28,000 vph. Since this timepiece ticks 8 times per second, chronograph watches in a 28,000 vph are able to time events to the nearest 1/8 of a second. A timepiece with a rate of 2.5 Hz or 18,000 vph can time events to 1/5 of a second.

  • Vintage

    Usually, describing vintage records, vintage cars, or any other kind of vintage collectible we mean that a thing is old, but cool. An item of luxury watches is considered to be vintage if it is al least 30 years old. Vintage high-end watches are too old to be considered modern, but not so old to be considered antique. Vintage can also be a euphemism for “heavily used” piece. Fine watches with a mark “vintage” are appreciated among the collectors because they are rare, especially ones in a good condition. Vintage timepieces have a nice story and a historical significance. These watches were often made for the pilots, astronauts, doctors and racecar drivers. The vintage high-end luxury watches tend to be a healthy asset to have and enjoy and they are highly sought-after. The number of collectors of the best luxury watches is growing and the demand of vintage timepieces is increasing. Their historical significance plays a huge role for the collectors. In vintage fine watches many of the iconic models have a really nice story associated with their development and their influence over the industry. This is the main reason why we see many collections that include vintage watches, as they can tell a powerful story of the past with them adding to their value in the eyes of watch enthusiasts. The term “vintage” is also used to describe pieces for sale online such as ebay auctions.


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