Watch Repair Glossary

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.

Your Watch Service or Repair

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.



Indicates the day of the week, the date, the month and the phases of the moon and Automatically allows for varying lengths of months, as well as leap years – No manual correction is necessary.

To a watchmaker, this expression means the point of attachment of the balance spring to the collet is located in the most favorable position to ensure good performance in the vertical positions.

Watchmakers say that a balance is “in poise” when the balance is in neutral equilibrium, as verified on the poising tool for example. Its significance is that the center of gravity lies on the axis of rotation.

Difference between the rates of the watch in various positions.

A timer or chronograph with a graduated dial or bezel used to indicate the number of heart beats per minute. This is done by measuring the time taken for a fixed number of beats to occur.

Crystalline silica; under certain conditions, pieces cut from quartz crystals can be maintained in rapid oscillation of very stable frequency. For this reason they are used in clocks, timing machines & many other applications.

Very Popular Since The 19Th Century. At That Time, Electric Light And Luminous Dials And Hands Had Not Yet Been Invented. This Complication Sounds A Tone To Indicate The Hours By An Internal Mechanism. Very popular since the 19th century. At that time, electric light and luminous dials and hands had not yet been invented. This complication sounds a tone to indicate the hours by an internal mechanism. Various types of repeater designs have been made. 1) A minute repeater sounds a low tone for each hour, two tones for each quarter hour and one high tone for each minute after the quarter hour. 2) A quarter repeater sounds one low tone for the hours and a double (high tone followed by a low tone) for the quarters. 3) A five-minute repeater sounds a low tone for the hours and five minute intervals after the hour on a higher tone.

A timer or chronograph with a graduated dial or bezel which enables measurement of a vehicle’s speed per hour – based on measuring time elapsed over a fixed distance.

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Peter Perry

Peter is an independent journalist and an accomplished author. He possesses over 45 years of management and business development experience. Peter is a native of Upstate New York and was the founder and CEO of a leading healthcare technology company that served state and federal government agencies and several notable Fortune 1000 companies across the US. Prior to founding his own company, he was employed by the IBM Company in sales, marketing, and support positions. He has extensive management and entrepreneurial experience in a variety of business sectors. He has participated in special management programs such as the Entrepreneurial Program at The Wharton School of Business and the IBM President’s class at Babson College. He has authored three books on computer technology and writes an independent news column and has consulted with and provided management assistance to organizations large and small in a variety of industries. He recently completed an authoritative Novel “The Union” which is scheduled for release in February 2022 by Archway Publishing (Simon and Shuster). It is an in-depth look at the corruption within organized labor and their criminal relationships with the mafia and politicians. Peter can be reached at… Your comments are invited.


William Thompson

Life and Times

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
Poulsbo, WA