Know Your Language 

Riddle’s in house guide continues his journey through the byzantine world of watch terminology, G – L    

Article by John Galt Photography by Andy Barnham

Gear Train: The system of gears which transmits power from the mainspring to the escapement in movements.

Gold plating: A layer of gold that has been electro-deposited onto a metal; its thickness is measured in microns. Predominately used for cases and straps

Grande Sonnerie: A type of repeater that sounds a specific sound for the hours and quarter hours when the wearer pushes the button giving the wearer the time without actually reading the dial.

Guilloche: A style of intricate engraving that is popular on watch dials, usually very thin lines interwoven to create a surface texture.


Patek Philippe Dual Time Guilloché

High-Tech Ceramic: Used as a protective shield for spacecraft re-entering the earth’s atmosphere, high-tech ceramic is polished with diamond dust to create a highly polished finish. Because the ceramic can be injection molded, pieces can be contoured. It has a very smooth surface and is usually found in black, but can be produced in a spectrum of colours. Most recently used in the new Rolex Pepsi (see featured image).

Horology: The science of time measurement, including the art of designing and constructing timepieces including clocks and watches.

Index: An hour indicator on an analog watch dial, used instead of numerals keeping the dial clean.

Integrated Bracelet: A watch bracelet or strap that is integrated into the design of the case.


Patek Philippe Nautilus Integrated Bracelet

Jewels: Synthetic sapphires or rubies that acts as bearings for gears in the mechanical watch thus reducing friction.


Jaeger LeCoultre Duometre Jewels

Jump Hour Indicator: A jump hour indicator takes the place of an hour hand. It usually shows the hours by means of a numeral in a window so shows time with only one hand indicating minutes.

Lap Memory: The ability, in some quartz sport watches, to preserve in the watch’s memory the times of laps in a race that have been determined by the lap timer. The wearer can recall these times on a digital display by pushing a button.

Lap Timer: A chronograph function that lets the wearer time segments of a race. At the end of a lap, he/she stops the timer, which then returns to zero to begin timing the next lap.

Limited Editions: A watch style manufactured a specific amount, often numbered, and available in limited quantities. Limited editions are available from most fine watch manufacturers and are usually highly prized by collectors.

Limited Edition

Hublot Ferrari Limited Edition No13/50

Liquid-Crystal Display: A digital watch display that shows the time electronically by means of the liquid held in a thin layer between two transparent plates.

Lugs: The protruding part on the watch face to which the watch band/bracelet is attached. riddle_stop 2


Many thanks to Watches of Switzerland

Enquiries: Watches of Switzerland, 155 Regent Street, London W1B 4AD/ 020 7534 9810/

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