Watches Key Terms

Business.com / Industry / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Watches come in a variety of types and aesthetically-pleasing styles suitable for men, women and children. Whether you prefer an analog ...

Watches come in a variety of types and aesthetically-pleasing styles suitable for men, women and children. Whether you prefer an analog or digital watch display, or need a water-resistant or dual-time watch style, watches exist to meet your taste and budget.

Understanding the parts of a watch is important to maintain proper function of your timepiece and to choose the watch style that is suited for your needs. Become familiar with these watches key terms to ensure that you understand the basics of watches.

Analog display vs. digital display

A watch face with an analog display uses a dial numbered 1 to 12 and two watch hands to precisely show the time. Analog watches use wheels and springs to keep time. A digital display shows the exact time, often with seconds, and uses LED (light emitting diode) as a power source.

Quartz watch

A quartz watch is a type of mechanical watch that uses quartz to initiate time movement instead of a pendulum. Pressure is applied to the quartz which instigates movement.

Water-resistant watches

A water-resistant watch is a type of watch that repels water and can operate while wet. There are different types of water-resistant watches that perform well at different water depths.

Mainspring

The mainspring is the part of the watch that initiates movement and keeps accurate time.

Self-winding or automatic watches

A self-winding watch, also called an "automatic" watch, is a type of watch that requires no manual winding by the watch owner. The watch owner's arm motion initiates the mainspring in the watch to maintain active.

Hour wheel and minute wheel

The hour wheel and minute wheel are the wheels within the watch that drive the hour and minute hands. The minute wheel is powered by the canon pinion and in turn, drives the hour wheel.

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