Guide for Buying Watches & Jewelry

Common terms associated with buying watches and jewelry

Analog: Refers to the use of hour and minute hands to show time.

Automatic movement: A self winding device in some watches that uses energy created by the action of the wearer's arm. Arm movement makes a weight (rotor) oscillate and triggers the mainspring to wind the watch. No battery is needed. Originally invented in Switzerland by Abraham Louis Perrelet in the 18th century

Bezel: The edge that surrounds the dial of a watch and secures its crystal.usually made of precious metals like gold, platinum or stainless steel A unidirectional rotating bezel can be used for measuring elapsed time or viewing two different time zones. Commonly used in most sport and diving watches

Bracelet, watch: Watch band or strap made of metal, leather or other material.

Carat: A unit of weight for a diamond, equivalent to 200 milligrams, or 0.2 grams.

Chronograph: A watch which provides exact time measurement in different increments to an elapsed time. The time measurements can range from a 10th of a second to 24 hours. Chronograph watches typically have 3 sub dials for these functions.

Chronometer: Swiss term for a superior mechanical movement.

Crown: Also called a stem or pin a knurled knob located on the outside of a watch case and in mechanical watches used for winding the mainspring. In this case it is also called a "winding stem". A crown is also used for setting the hands to the right time and for correcting the calendar indicationsor.

Crystal: The face of a watch. (see mineral crystal, sapphire crystal).

Dial: The inside face of the watch usually containing the hour markers.

Gold: Gold has been used to create jewelry for centuries. Though it is very strong, gold is the most malleable of all metals. It will never tarnish, rust, or corrode.

Jewels: This indicates that inside the watch, durable jewels like synthetic sapphires or rubies are used as mechanical parts because of their resistance to wear due to friction. (i.e.) "17 Jewels" engraved on the back of a watch case.

Mineral crystal: This watch crystal, or dial face, is made of a mineral substance that is harder and more durable than an acrylic watch crystal.

Mother of pearl: The iridescent lining of an oyster shell, often used as a nucleus for a cultured pearl.

Movement: Refers to the inner workings of the watch. The two basic movements available in most watches are mechanical and quartz.

Natural pearl: A pearl that forms naturally when a grain of sand or other small object enters the oyster. If the oyster is unable to eject the object, it will coat the object with layers of nacre to form a pearl. Because here is no way to determine if an oyster contains a pearl, the culturing process was invented for a more dependable pearl supply.

Overtone: A hint of a secondary color that has tones of pink, silver, or blue.

Pearl size: The diameter of a pearl measured in millimeters. The most important characteristic in determining price.

Perpetual calendar: A watch calendar that automatically adjusts for the different lengths of months and leap year.

Quartz movement: Watch movement that is powered by a miniature battery, so there is no need to wind the watch. Watches with quartz movement can gain or loose as little as a few seconds per year.

Sapphire crystal: The most durable watch crystal or dial face, made from synthetic sapphires and only another sapphire or diamond can scratch its surface.

Sapphlex crystal: A watch crystal made from a mixture of synthetic sapphire and mineral.

Screw-Down type crown: A watch crown that can be screwed down to make it water tight.

Stainless steel: A durable metal typically used in creating watch cases and watch bands. A key element to look for when selecting water sports watches.

Sterling silver: Sterling silver is most likely the most popular, affordable, durable jewelry metals.

Table: The largest facet of a gemstone, located on the top of the gemstone, through which refracted light escapes as brilliance.

Tachymeter: A feature found in some chronograph watches that lets you measure the rate of speed traveled over a measured distance in a particular length of time.

Tahitian pearls: Pearls grown mostly in French Polynesia and known for their beautiful colors, ranging from silver-gray to purple-black.

Titanium: An ultra-light metal sometimes used to create watch cases and bands, making them some of the lightest watches available. It is stronger and lighter than steel and is resistant to salt water corrosion.

Water resistance: The ability of a watch to resist penetration by water. Most watches are water resistant, and some are resistant to higher pressures experienced at under water depths. ATM is the measurement oftentimes referred to. Be careful as many watches that are marked "water resistant" are not necessarily "water proof".

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