GLOSSARY MATWATCHES

A

A.N.O.R.A.A

The “ASSOCIATION NATIONALE DES OFFICIERS DE RESERVE DE L’ARMEE DE L’AIR”, the association of national reserve air force officers, was founded in 1926 to encourage, promote or implement all initiatives or measures that would help develop, improve and if need be create the various aspects of a policy favourable to French national defence in general, and to the French air force in particular.

Application

Decoration, monogram or coats of arms on the outside of the casing.

Axis

An ideal line around which a body or figure rotates. In geometry, also the straight line around which a surface or part revolves. The physical component forming the axle of a cogwheel or balance wheel is called an arbor.

B

Balance Arbor

Arbor on which the balance is mounted. Its job is to hold the lever disk and the balance spring cylinder, to set the internal extremity of the balance spring.

Balance Screw

Term for the adjustment screw for fine tuning the balance wheel.

Balancing

Balancing is a check followed by a clearance of balancing faults in the balance wheels during a full service of a mechanical watch.

Balance spring

A small spring considered to be the core of a mechanical watch. One end is attached to the balance and the other to the balance cock. Because of its flexibility, the balance spring allows the balance to oscillate regularly.

Balance wheel poising device

Watchmaking device for checking the static equilibrium of the balance wheel.

Balance wheel

A moving part, usually circular, which oscillates within its axis of rotation. The spring attached to it gives it a backwards and forwards movement, dividing the time into strictly equal portions. Each of these backward and forward “tick-tocks” is called oscillation. Oscillation is divided into two beats.

Balance cock

A part for protection, bearing the upper pivot of the balance.

Bottom plate

The plate bearing the various movement components, particularly the bridges. The dial is generally attached to the underside of the bottom plate. The bottom plate is pierced by many holes to receive screws and has cavities formed in it for fixing the rubies on which the gears pivot.

Barrel

Cylindrical casing containing the motor spring, also called the mainspring, fixed to the inside by a central post.

Bezel

Ring fitted onto the top of the watch case, holding the crystal

Bridge

A part holding one or more movement mechanismarborsto the bottom plate.

Bruce Dickinson

Bruce Dickinson was born on 7 August 1958 and is a British singer, composer, airline pilot, fencing enthusiast, radio presenter and former marketing director, famous for being the vocalist of the Iron Maiden heavy metal group.

C

Caliber

Means a type of movement in watchmaking.Originally it was synonymous with size for a clockwork movement.

Cambering

In watchmaking, watch crystals are cambered to make them more stable. The metal plates of the outsides of the cases are also arched, with this shape being achieved by hammering; the endstones have one flat surface and one cambered surface.

Case-Back

The back of the watch is the part located on the underside. In MATWATCHES watches, the backs are screwed on to make them as waterproof as possible.

Casing-in

Casing-in is a key stage in the manufacture of a watch, and consists of placing and fixing the movement, the dial, and the hands inside the case.

Cogwheel

A circular disk or knob with a centre and spokes, with an array of equal-sized teeth on its diameter, set at regular intervals. This wheel pivots on an axis and, when it engages with another wheel of the same type, transmits the rotational movement. Toothed cog wheels are fundamental components of mechanical movements.

Chronograph

A chronograph is a time measuring instrument that measures the length of an event. Quite commonly, the term chronometer is wrongly used to mean chronograph. The name derives from the Greek “chronos” which means time. Chronographs are most often operated by push-buttons that start the time count, stop it, or reset it to zero. In mechanical movements, a mechanism that has this function counts as a complication.

Complications

Additional functions added to the basic calibre: chronograph, chimes, alarm, perpetual calendar, tourbillon, etc. A watch with complications is a timepiece that provides functions other than just telling the time. Chronograph watches, and watches with chimes, repeater functions, large date, continuous day and date function, etc. are examples of complications. It is often said that one or more complications will be found in a watch.

Cut-out

Cut-out means the action of cutting the components for the watch out of steel or brass plates.

D

Date Display

The fact that the watch shows the day’s date, either by analogue means with the hand on the main staff or on a separate sub-dial, or digitally with an aperture displaying a number set in a rotating disc. On wristwatches, these are often found at the “3 o’clock” position.

Direct drive seconds hand

The seconds hand when it moves in small jerks.

Drum

Term sometimes used to refer to the barrel casing (barrel drum).

Date Calendar

Calendar showing the month and the date in the month.

E

Escapement wheel

This is the last wheel in the mechanism of a mechanical watch. This wheel is directly connected to the escapement.

Escapement

A mechanism located between the gears and the timekeeping mechanism found in most timekeeping instruments. The purpose of the escapement is to maintain the oscillations of the timing mechanism, balance wheel or pendulum. Clockmakers have thought up a great many escapement systems, but only a very few are still in use today.

Ebauche

An ebauche is considered to be a movement, a case, or a dial, usually finished. An ebauche is usually the beginning of the creation of a watch.

F

Frequency

Frequency is the number of oscillations during a given unit of time.

Friction

Friction is a negative interaction between two components. (for example between two hands)

G

Grub screw

A screw with a hollow end, acting as a socket for an arbor.

Gears

All the cogs and pinions in a self-winding mechanical watch. It transmits the energy produced by the main spring unwinding or the weight of the escapement wheel, transforming it into a slight acceleration of the movement.

GIPN

Groupesd’Intervention de la Police Nationale (GIPN), French national police intervention groups are elite units of the French national police, located in the French overseas territories. There were three GIPN groups in 2015, to intervene in situations of extreme violence or high risk, such as hostage taking, acts of terrorism, prison riots or bringing in dangerous or radicalised individuals. GIPN groups are manned by police officers recruited on very selective criteria, issued with top-of-the-range equipment and carrying out continuous and rigorous training. They could be defined as groups of police officers at the service of other police officers. Before April 2015, the name GIPN was also given to 7 regional units located in metropolitan France, in Lille, Rennes, Bordeaux, Marseille, Nice, Lyon and Strasbourg. They became local outposts of the RAID special police enforcement unit.

GMT

Greenwich Mean Time. Mean time at the Greenwich Observatory meridian, the meridian used throughout the world. This an official time standard, with the count starting from midnight.

Guilloche

An engraving style. Decoration engraved into a surface, cutting pecked or wavy lines, inter-twining or not.

Guilloching

Guilloche involves engraving the cases, and also dials, with criss-crossing curved lines of ultra-precise depth and distance. Guilloche decoration is used in some of our watches (AG6 1 Bomb Squad)

H

Hand

Analogue display component rotating around the dial. Clocks and watches usually have three hands: one for the hours, one for the minutes and, one for the seconds. But they are also used for calendar data, and on chronographs. Minute and second hands became steadily more common from the 17th century onwards. The speed of each hand is determined by the motion work. There are a large number of hand variants, due to the wide range of functions they perform and due to fashion trends.

Hours tube

Small hollow cylinder attached to the hours wheel, which supports the hours hand.

Hours wheel

Toothed wheel attached to the minute wheel arbor, extended by the bottom plate, which engages with the minute wheel pinion. It does one rotation every 12 hours.

24-hour clock

This involves dividing the length of a day (day and night) at any one time into 24 hours of equal length.

I

Intermediate wheel

In mechanical watches, the intermediate wheel is a toothed wheel sitting between the minutes wheel and the seconds wheel. It is used to transmit energy and reduce the number of turns. It is the third wheel in the mechanism of a mechanical watch.

J

K

L

Letting Down

The word letting down is used by watchmakers when doing repairs. Before opening the case and diving straight into the movement, it is important to unwind the spring, to “let it down”.

Lever escapement

Part made up of several components. It has a dual role: on the one hand, to transmit the power of the gears to the balance wheel to maintain the oscillations and, on the other hand, to prevent the uncontrolled movement of the rewound gears.

Local time

Local time is the mean time for a specific place based on the meridian on which it stands.

M

Main wheel

The main wheel comprises all the movement’s toothed cog wheels

Minutes wheel

This is the second toothed wheel located on the central post of the movement of a mechanical watch. It usually has 80 teeth, and rotates once every hour.

Movement blank

Term also used to describe a very rough and incomplete ebauche comprising the bottom plate, the bridges, the barrel and sometimes the spiral spring. Step before the ebauche.

N

O

Operating Time

Operating Time is the time for which the watch should run from its spring being fully wound through to it being fully unwound. The operating time for a self-winding mechanical watch made by MATWATCHES is around 42 hours.

P

Pillars

On a watch movement, the term means the pillars that hold and keep the front and rear plates apart.

Power reserve

Displays the number of hours or days for which the watch will operate before the mainspring runs out of power completely.

Presentation Box

Presentation Box is a term used to describe the very elegant box in which the timepiece is sold.

Q

R

RAID

‘RAID’ is an elite enforcement unit of the French national police. The name was chosen by reference to the word “raid” meaning a military raid, but by reverse acronym its full name is “Research, Assistance, Intervention, Deterrence”.

The unit was formed in 1985, by Robert Broussard and Ange Mancini in particular, and it was involved throughout France in countering criminality and organised crime of all types. RAID operates under the direct authority of the Director General of the National Police. Its function is to intervene during serious events, needing the use of specific techniques and resources to neutralise dangerous individuals, either by negotiation or through action. Its particular role is to act in crisis situations, such as hostage taking, cornering fanatics or arresting high-risk criminals (organised crime), while also contributing to combating terrorism by providing support to the UCLAT anti-terrorist coordination unit, and to other specialist units. It helps them with surveillance, observation, the provision of information and the arrest individuals or groups likely to become involved in terrorist activities in France. The unit is based in Bièvres, and has its headquarters in the Domaine de Bel-Air, in the Essonne region. In addition, it also has seven outposts throughout France, in Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Rennes and Strasbourg. Its watchword is: “Unfaltering service”.

Repeater

A watch with a striking mechanism, which sounds the hours when a push-button or slider is operated. There are several sorts of repeaters: quartz repeaters, minute repeaters, etc.

Rotating bezel

On wrist watches, a rotating auxiliary ring, outside the dial, on the side of the case, with distinctive etchings and marks to be matched up to figures on the dial, for instance on dive watches or universal watches.

Rubies

Very hard and robust precious stones, red in colour. Rubies are used as stones for the pivots of arbors to rotate on at high speed, such as those of the balance, the escapement and the seconds wheels. Most watchmakers today use synthetic stones in their designs, because they are cheaper.

S

Sapphire glass

A watch glass that is ultra-resistant to wear and scratching because it is so very hard. Our watchmaking firm uses it in all its watches.

Second

The second is the smallest unit of measurement of time that is perceptible to and distinguishable by human kind.

Split seconds chronograph

Chronograph with two seconds hands; the first is the hand usually found in chronographs, the other is the split seconds hand. It is used to measure the time of several events starting at the same time but not lasting the same length of time.

Stainless steel

This is a family of types of steel, alloys of iron and carbon, to which essentially is added chrome which, above 10.5% in solution (depending on its carbon content) in the matrix, results in the formation of a protective layer of chrome oxide that makes these steels stainless. They are often used for watch cases.

Split-seconds hand

Second hand of a chronograph with a split-seconds hand; this is driven by the chronograph hand, and can be stopped independently of it to measure intermediate intervals.

Standard time

Standard time is the time chosen for a region of the world or a country. It corresponds to your time zone time.

Steel

Alloy made up of iron and up to 1.5% carbon. Steel can be forged: this is one of the most important materials in many technical fields, and particularly in watchmaking. Steel has a very wide variety of uses: its properties depend essentially on the proportion and structure of the carbon added to it. The higher the carbon content, the harder the steel. In watchmaking, steel is also used in many alloys, for instance stainless steel for watch cases.

Stem

Part of the crown winder assembly.

Slow

If a mechanically wound watch goes slow, that means the time it shows is behind the true time.

Seconds wheel

This is the fourth cogwheel on a mechanical watch if you take the mainspring wheel into account. It usually has 70 teeth and rotates once every 60 seconds.

T

Teeth

Teeth are the projecting points on the outside edge of a wheel inside a movement.

Timepiece

Word commonly used in top-of-the-range watchmaking for mechanical watches.

U

UTC

COORDINATED UNIVERSAL TIME: Coordinated Universal Time is the mean solar time at the Greenwich meridian. This is the time standard adopted as the basis for international civil time by most countries around the world.

Unit of measure of oscillations

The number of oscillations during a unit of time. It is expressed as beats per minute in mechanical watches.

V

Vibration frequency

The travelof a pendulum or oscillating body that is limited by two consecutive positions at either end. The balance wheel of a mechanical watch usually has a vibration frequency of five beats per second, equating to 18,000 per hour. The oscillation (“tick-tock”) is made up of two beats (the word oscillation is sometimes wrongly used to describe the vibration rate).

Valjoux

Valjoux is a manufacturer of Swiss movements founded in 1901. It is a company specialising in the manufacture of top-of-the-range chronograph movements.

W

Waterproof

The word waterproof means “something that does not let water in”. The joints and fastenings on the case are designed to stop water, dust and other extraneous material entering the case. All MATWATCHES watches are checked and certified waterproof to 100 m or 300 m depending on the model.

Winding

Means the process of winding a new motor-spring into the barrel. For the most powerful springs, a special device is needed.

Winding crown

Knob that comes in various shapes, often fluted, for rewinding the watch by hand.

X

Y

Z

Zenith

The highest point in the sky, determined from vertically above the observer’s position.

Zinc

In its natural state, this metal is blue-green in colour, shiny, malleable and rust resistant. It is used in alloys to make brass, tombac, nickel silver and also for the coatings used when galvanising iron and steel.