I'm collecting definitions
of all the slang, jargon and technical terms you may find when you're
among watch collectors. If you have an additional term you'd
like to add, please email it to me at Dan.the.WIS@gmail.com.
- A watch is 'adjusted in 5 positions' if it has been rated
in at least 5 positions.
watch - a
watch which sets itself automatically via a radio signal from a
centralized time keeping point
or auto - a mechanical watch which automatically winds when
worn via a weighted rotor
Beast - Orient
M-Force 200m diver
- Junky watch or much-abused daily-wear watch.
- in all watches, the rim around the crystal that holds the crystal
in. A rotating bezel is marked with
information, such as time, world time cities, compass headings, or a
slide rule, and does not function to hold the crystal. A
rotating bezel can be external or internal.
- Flashy or jeweled.
- a term used to describe British military watches. It dates back to
British history where all Government or military property was marked
with an arrowhead design such as the following: /!\
- Blinged up beyond all recognition
seconds - a hand indicating seconds which rotates about the
same axis as the minute and hour hands.
ring - a ring around the outside of the dial on which the
hour and minute markings are printed or engraved.
- a watch which includes a time counting function separate from the
regular time, which can be started, stopped and reset at will.
- The contemporary use of this word generally indicates a watch whose
movement has received a rating certificate from a Swiss
observatory. Earlier use of the word indicated a large, boxed
marine timepiece which had a particular type of escapement and was very
- a watch function which is in addition to regular time
keeping. Technically a second hand is considered a
complication, but since they are so ubiquitous, we usually don't
consider them as such. Popular complications include
chronograph, alarm, second time zone, and power reserve.
Diver - a dive watch that is worn to the office and never
used for diving
- a movement in a rough, unfinished state. In the 19th
century it referred to a movement provided to a watchmaker which was
incomplete and needed to be finished. The word later took on
the meaning of a finished movement provided to a watchmaker by a
company specializing in movement manufacture.
- Citizen Watches name for their solar powered watches.
- a Citizen 300M Professional dive watch that looks is about the size
of a Hockey Puck
- one of the major Swiss makers of mechanical and quartz watch movements
spring bars - spring bars that are permanently
attached to the watch lugs. Generally used for military
watches. You can only attach one-piece straps such as Natos
or Zulus, or straps with snaps or tabs to fold over the spring bar.
- WIS one-night stand, aka WIS catch-n-release
- Asian watch with dubious German provenance
Watch - The single watch that a WIS aspires to, chases after,
and seeks to own, above all others, i.e. a "Holy Grail".
- a mechanical movement that needs to be manually wound to keep
- pivot points in a watch made from synthetic sapphire. Prevents wear
at the pivot points
- A favorite watch that will be kept, not traded or sold.
- Luminosity; various materials i.e. tritium, luminova used to make
watch faces "glow in the dark".
- a watch movement that keeps time with the power of a spring driving
- term used to describe watches that have a utilitarian purpose such as
those issued by various military forces. Generally have a dual time
dial (12 and 24 hour)or Government specification dial, superiour lume,
hand wind, quartz or automatic.
(Slang - Min tee )a term used by sellers who know little about watches
except that it appears to be in very good to excellent condition.
- the division of the Citizen watch company that makes movements, both
automatic and quartz.
dial that originated with the Omega Seamaster 300 to fit a British
Military specification. Generally is distinguished by a number of broad
markers with a large triangle at the 12 o'clock. Currently used on the
CWC Royal Navy issue watch.
- Seiko model SKX781
(orange) or SKX779 (black)
- a 4 ring strap designed to retain a watch if a spring bar breaks or
that fits military watches with fixed spring bars. Used to define a
strap that is built to NATO specifications for military watch bands.
- a watch with subseconds at 9:00
an acronym for New Old Stock. Generally describes a watch that has been
tucked away in some jewelers cupboard for years and years after the
company that produces the model has gone out of business or no longer
produces it in their model line-up.
Nirvana (or "OWN") - A condition occuring when a WIS wears
only one favorite watch.
- colloquial term for a Seiko Prospex dive watch
that has a large shroud around it
- a watch that uses electricity and a quartz crystal to keep time.
Usually battery powered.
Rayla - a
Far Eastern version of a Ruhla dive watch. Quite good value but poor
crown - a crown which threads onto the crown tube and
securely screws onto it. Offers excellent water resistance
for the crown.
Six-eater - a watch with
subseconds at 6:00
quartz watch which is powered by a solar cell in the dial.
Luminova - a luminous material with strong lume properties
and very long lasting. See Lumibrite (Seiko)
- a hand indicating seconds which is in a small subdial separate from
the main minute and hour hands.
Casio Watches name for their solar powered watches
- a luminous material that is mildly radioactive
and is being replaced worldwide by Luminova.
- a paint that is supposed to be luminous
- "Wear And Break In". Visible scuffs, scratches,
dirt, on a used watch.
WISease - a chronic disorder which strikes all who love
watches. If you are not sure you have this, check
the following to see if you can relate. If you can answer yes
to at least two questions, you need to seek help!
you have multiple windows open that are watch related?
you have accounts at auction sniper websites?
you tracking more than one incoming package at the same time?
you opened a secret bank account?
you gotten a post office box no one knows about?
your family seen nothing but the back of your head in the last three
you Made a fool of yourself straining to see another person's
you had to quickly close a watch-related website window (at work, etc)
because "eyes" were walking by you?
you ever made a statement such as "Naw, I've had this watch for a long
you spend time typing silly stuff such as this?
there is no known cure, there is Rx which keeps this enjoyable disorder
treatments include straps, bracelets, horo tools, modifications,
cameras, and trades to mention a few.
there is almost always a relapse. This is chiefly the fault
of watch manufacturers and forums. Say you are
doing fine, haven't bought a watch in six months, then someone posts a
"Wow! Have you seen this new model?"
of people on this planet do NOT understand ... but to a WIS, it's pure