Half-oscillations (also known as “beats” or “vibrations”) per hour. Two half-oscillations produce the familiar “tick-tock” of a mechanical watch. Together, two beats comprise one oscillation.
Display of the time by means of a pair of hands. The relative positions of the hour-hand and minute-hand combine to indicate the current time.
Two-armed connective lever between the gear-train and balance. The anchor conveys energy to the balance.
A watch whose mainspring is wound by the motions of the wearer’s arm. These motions cause an oscillating weight (rotor) to turn. The rotation of the rotor tightens the mainspring. Invented by Abraham L. Perrelet (circa 1770).
The balance works in combination with the balance-spring to regulate the rate of a mechanical watch. The precision of its construction decisively determines the precision of the timepiece. The annular balance can be defined as a statically poised “oscillating wheel.” In classical watch-movements, the balance oscillates at a pace of 5 beats per seconds (18,000 beats per hour). To improve the precision of the rate of modern wristwatches, the frequency of the balance has typically been increased to 19,800, 21,600, 28,800 or even 36,000 beats per hour. The speed of the balance’s rotations (at 28,800 beats per hour) corresponds to that achieved by the wheels of a locomotive travelling along a railroad track at a speed of approximately 140 km/h. A balance is used in all high-quality mechanical watches. Modern Glucydur (an alloy of copper and beryllium) balances have a hardness of 380 Vickers. This allows them to be excellently riveted, poised and finely regulated.
(Nivarox) The “soul” of a mechanical watch. This narrow, ribbon-shaped strip of metal helps to ensure that the balance swings to and fro at a regular rate. Lengthening or shortening the balance spring alters the duration of the balance’s beats.
Holes drilled to accept the pivots of the gear-train. In fine wristwatches and pocket-watches, as well as in larger clocks, the bearings are specially fitted with jewels to minimize the friction encountered by the pivots of rapidly turning organs such as wheels and pinions. Simple (and simpler) timepieces make do with simple holes drilled into the plates, bridges or cocks. Over time and lacking adequate lubrication, these holes can widen. In this case, watchmakers who are capable, willing and properly trained can install brass or bronze settings.
Ring affixed together with the inset watch-glass to the middle of a watch-case. Typically snapped on, the bezel is always screwed to the case in every Chronoswiss watch.
Bluing occurs when the surface of a steel component oxidizes upon exposure to heat. A dark blue color can be achieved at temperatures between 290º and 310º C.
A precious stone polished into a rounded shape but lacking facets.
An auxiliary mechanism, usually located directly beneath the dial, to support with watch’s chimes, calendar functions or chronograph functions.
A technical term designating the form and or size of a movement and usually also specifying the type of movement. The movement’s diameter is often expressed in lignes. One ligne (1’”) = 2.256 mm.
A unit of measurement specifying the amount of gold in an alloy. The carat scale ranges from zero to 24. Fine gold, which is nearly 100% pure, is described as 24 carat. The case of an 18-carat gold wristwatch has 750 parts per thousand of fine gold, together with various other metals mixed into the alloy (e.g. copper, brass, silver, etc.). A carat is also a unit of weight: one carat is 1/24th of a kilogram of fine gold, or 41.66 grams. The purity of the gold alloy is stamped into the surface of the case with a punch.
Central European Time. Germany and other Central European countries introduced CET on April 1, 1893. Time in this time zone is one hour ahead (+1) of word or universal time as defined by the mean solar time at zero degrees of longitude, the meridian which runs through Greenwich, England (Greenwich Mean Time).
Chamfered edges on the steel parts are characteristic of the finest watches. Chamfering is performed either mechanically with a pantograph or traditionally by hand with a file along the part’s edge. The angle of the chamfer is 45 degrees.
A watch with a stopwatch mechanism (start, stop, and return to zero).
= double-handed = fly-back. Chronoswiss also makes fly-back chronographs (patented construction).
A precision timekeeping instrument which has passed an official 15-day series of tests at an official testing site (C.O.S.C.). Its average daily rate must be between –4 and +6 seconds in five positions. Its daily deviation of rate must not exceed 2 seconds; its greatest daily deviation must not exceed 5 seconds. All would-be chronometers are tested at three temperatures: 20º, 4º and 36º Celsius. If the watch performs within the predefined tolerances, it earns the right to be designated as a chronometer and receives a rating-certificate (bulletin de marche).
Worldwide registered trademark. “Chrono” = mechanical watches; “Swiss” = all components are manufactured in Switzerland. Founded by Gerd-R. Lang in 1983.
Cocks are fitted with bearings in which the lever, balance or wheels pivot. A cock is affixed at only one point by means of so-called “feet.”
A button which can be turned to wind the watch, to adjust the positions of its hands, to adjust its date display, etc.