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.
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.
Jewels: Synthetic sapphires or rubies that acts as bearings for gears in the mechanical watch thus reducing friction.
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.
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.
Many thanks to Watches of Switzerland
Enquiries: Watches of Switzerland, 155 Regent Street, London W1B 4AD/ 020 7534 9810/ www.watches-of-switzerland.co.uk