The greatest angular displacement a balance moves – measured from the zero or rest Position to position of maximum displacement, expressed in degrees.
Horology, or the study of time, has evolved with its own terminology over the millennia.
For example, the Tourbillon (French for “whirlwind”) is designed to increase a watch’s accuracy. Patented in 1801 by French-Swiss watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, it’s essentially a rotating carriage device making one rotation per minute. When the watch’s balance, pallet and escape wheel are mounted in the tourbillon, the device averages any errors in the vertical positions.
For today’s customers having a watch serviced or expertly repaired, please ask us if about any terms you may not understand. We’ll gladly explain.
Here’s a small sampling of common terms you may hear in a discussion with one of our Timekeepers or Watchmakers.
A watch with hands that display hours, minutes and seconds, together with an additional mechanism for measuring continuous or interrupted periods of time and set to zero independently of the watch movement.
A watch that has obtained a certificate from an official neutral testing center such as “COSC” (Controle Officiel Swiss des Chronometres) or “SOCC” (Swiss office for chronometric controls) after having passed strict precision tests for accuracy. These tests are performed in a laboratory over a minimum 15-day period. They test the movement alone, using successive daily rate figures at different temperatures and with the movement in different positions.
French term for a movement blank, i.e. an incomplete watch movement which is sold as a set of loose parts, comprising the main plate, the bridges, the train, the winding and setting mechanism and the regulator. The timing system, the escapement and the mainspring, however, are NOT parts of the “ébauche”.
A nickel, steel alloy containing other additions such as chromium, manganese, titanium, tungsten or beryllium, which has a very low thermoelastic coefficient over the range of temperatures commonly encountered by a watch. Used in modern balances and springs, derived from the words “elasticity” and “invariable”.
With an a Master of Fine Arts diploma in one hand and an Anthropology PhD in the other, William Thompson discovered a way to parlay his passion for mountaineering into a fascinating career as a photojournalist – using the camera lens as his ultimate “paintbrush.”
Thompson worked for 12 years with National Geographic, having created the first and only complete aerial coverage of Mt. Everest for the magazine. Other exotic assignments involved traveling via yak train through the Bhutanese Himalaya, living with pygmies in deep of Africa, and photographing the Asian elephant on its tragic path toward extinction.
His commercial image work includes major campaigns for Wells Fargo, Leo Burnett, Starbucks, Marlboro, Boeing, United Airlines, Intel, and Holland America.
Today, Thompson lives in a 90-year old log home near the waters of Puget Sound – and still finds adventure in climbing. Fee free to reach out to William via the following points of contact:
William Thompson Photograph/Film
15566 Sandy Hook Rd. NE