Watch Terminology

Watches Terminology

Helpful Watch Terminology

12-hour recorder

A sub-dial on a chronograph that can time periods of up to 12 hours.

30-minute recorder

A sub-dial on a chronograph that can time periods of up to 30 minutes.


A device that sounds a signal at a pre-set time.


A device that determines altitude by responding to changes in barometric pressure.

Analog display

A display that shows the time by means of hands and a dial.

Arabic Numerals

Numbers on a watch dial that are written the way we typically write numbers.

ATM (atmosphere)

One atmosphere equals 33 feet. 1 ATM = 33 feet or 10 meters. 3.3 feet = 1 meter.

Auto repeat countdown timer

A countdown timer that resets itself as soon as the pre-set time has elapsed and starts the countdown again. It repeats the countdown continuously until the wearer pushes the stop button.

Automatic winding

(Also called "self-winding") Winding that occurs through the motion of the wearer's arm rather than through turning the winding stem. It works by means of a rotor that turns in response to motion, thereby winding up the watch's mainspring. An automatic watch that is not worn for a day or two will wind down and will need to be wound by hand to get it started again.

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