Watch Dictionary: For Dummies & Beginners

Watch Dictionary: For Dummies & Beginners

I'm not trying to call myself out or anything, but until recently, the only thing I knew about watches is that they told time and that there were thousands of brands and styles. Now that I have joined the watch industry/ community, I have the privilege of learning the coveted watch dictionary. If you are interested in immersing yourself in watch culture but are unsure where to begin, then I am here to help!

Let's begin with the most basic definition:

Horology is known as the science and study behind the measurement of time. However, the term also refers to the art of producing watches.

Below is a diagram of the most basic features:

Interestingly enough, despite technological advances, there is still a career built solely around this. Horologists don't just fix watches; they also design and create them. Since watch parts are delicate and tiny, a horologist must have sharp eyesight and impeccable hand coordination.

Next, we will delve into the more complicated terms. There is a debate about the difference between the words Chronometer & Chronograph. For our purposes, a Chronometer tells you about the watch's performance. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, it's "a piece of equipment that measures time very accurately." It's a watch that's so precise it must be certified and tested by a watch organization like COSC (The Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute) in order to be called a chronometer. A Chronograph, on the other hand, tells you about the watch's functions and features (more specifically measuring short amounts of time).

That wasn't so bad, was it? While we are on discussing watch features, I must mention what a complication is. A Complication refers to the extra features a watch can do (besides displaying seconds, minutes, and hours). So just to make sure we are on the same page here, something like the date would be considered a complication.

The calibre/movement is the timepiece and watches face, not including the case which protects it. Interestingly enough, calibers are used in firearms as well. With firearms, the calibre refers to a bullet's diameter. Originally the caliber referred to the watch's dimensions as well. However, over time it just became known the movement itself.

If you want to start a luxury watch collection but don't quite know where to begin, let's go through some typical starter watches to kickoff your watch journey! But, before you buy, make sure you think about the kind of watches you want to be collecting. If you will be collecting a specific type of watch movement, you should make sure your first watch reflects those goals. Otherwise, it's a matter of personal preferences like brand, shape, size, color, etc.

I think a first watch purchase should be a black/white dial watch, or something rather neutral. You want your first watch to work with every outfit and occasion. With that said, here's 3 of the most classic, Swiss-made, starter luxury watches, all available on Jomashop now!

Rolex Submariner Automatic Chronometer Black Dial Men's Watch

Rolex always takes the cake. Made with stainless steel, it has a uni-directional rotating stainless steel bezel with a black ceramic ring. Some other details include:

  1. Dial Type: Analog
  2. Rolex Calibre 3230 automatic movement
  3. Contains 31 Jewels, bitting at 28800 vph
  4. Power reserve: 70 hours.
  5. Water-resistant at 300 meters / 1000 feet.
  6. Case size: 41 mm, and the case thickness: 12.5 mm.  
  7. Functions: hour, minute, second, chronometer.
  8. Item Variations: M124060-0001, 124060ln.

This watch also has a 2-year jomashop warranty, and we have a preowned option as well! Be sure to check out all Rolex Submariners HERE.

Omega Seamaster Automatic Black Dial Men's Watch

Omega is a solid alternative for those with a lower budget. It has a stainless steel case with a black rubber strap and a uni-directional rotating stainless steel bezel with a black ceramic (count-up elapsed time) ring.

  1. Dial Type: Analog
  2. Omega Calibre 8800 automatic movement
  3. Contains 35 Jewels, bitting at 25200 vph
  4. Power reserve: 55 hours
  5. Water-resistant at 300 meters / 1000 feet.
  6. Case size: 42 mm, the case thickness: 11 mm, and the band width: 20 mm
  7. Functions: date, hour, minute, second

This classic dive watch would be a great starter watch for price, function, and style. Now 20% off at Jomashop, it doesn't get much better than this!

Tag Heuer Carrera Chronograph Automatic Batman Bezel Men's Watch

Lastly, on our list, we have the Tag Heuer Carrera. This sports watch has several noteworthy features, making it a fan favorite! Firstly, appearance-wise, it has a unique skeleton dial and fixed stainless steel bezel with a black and blue ceramic (Batman) ring.

  1. Dial Type: Analog
  2. Chronograph - three sub-dials displaying: 60 seconds, 30 minutes, and 12 hours.
  3. Tag Heuer calibre 02 automatic movement
  4. Contains 35 Jewels, bitting at 25200 vph
  5. Power reserve: 80-hours
  6. Water-resistant at 100 meters / 330 feet.
  7. Case size: 45 mm, and the band width: 22 mm
  8. Functions: chronograph, date, hour, minute, second

So now it's up to you! Are you looking to start a collection? What is your goal for this watch purchase? Do you have a specific brand preference? Do you want a new watch or a preowned one? Ultimately, while these details seem small, these factors play a major role in horology!