Glass (watchmaking)

The watch glass also known as ice shows , is the transparent part which allows both to read the signs and protects its constituent parts. Not to be confused with watch glass : laboratory equipment .


Initially, made of glass and then of composite materials , either plastic , for example Plexiglass , or glass-based, developments in the techniques of processing synthetic sapphire ( monocrystalline corundum ) allowed its use for the majority of Quality watches, combining impact resistance with scratch resistance, as well as a quasi non-existent coefficient of expansion , ensuring high stability and durability.

The sapphire crystal

Sapphire glass was introduced (more…)

Winding stem

The winding stem is a rod that connects the crown of a mechanical watch to the mechanism, called “movement”, in order to act on the latter.


Its primary function is to allow the winding of the watch. Without it, the reassembly and the setting on time were done by key. Often threaded in modern watches, it was frequently section driven into the crown for older watches. It is part of the draft . It is also used for certain models to set the time or date. On old watches, the rod only allowed a rotary movement, the time was set by simultaneously (more…)

Système antichoc (horlogerie) — Wikipédia

The shock absorbing systems are used in the mechanical movements to protect the critical alignment of the axes of the rocker in the event of a shock.


The anti-shock system protects the balance pins by means of very thin steel springs (mounted at the end of axes). Normally a timepiece (also called ” ruby “) is inserted to hold each end of axis. The pivots and rubies of the pendulum are very fragile in comparison with the mass they have to bear. Without shock protection, the smooth running of the movement would be quickly disrupted.



Model of the Incabloc system

“Incabloc” is a trademark (more…)

Clockwork (clockwork)

The clockwork is, in clockwork, a part of the movement of the watch. It consists of all gears and sprockets.

Gear wheels

The toothed wheels divide the time unit given by the regulator ( balance / spiral / anchor assembly ).

Gear wheels

The sprocket wheels give the indication of the time measurement corresponding to the hands fixed to each sprocket:

    • For the time being , the sprocket wheel of the hours,
    • For the minute the gable of the minutes,
    • For the second the pinion wheel of the seconds,

Spiral spring

The spiral spring , with non-contiguous and therefore frictionless spirals, is composed of a ribbon of rectangular section embedded at one end B and secured at the other end O to an axis perpendicular to the winding plane.

In this watch bracelet, the spiral has blue reflections.

In watchmaking , the spiral spring is a small spring coiled in a spiral and constituting with the balance the regulating member of the mechanical watch . It returns the pendulum to its starting position at the end of each alternation.

We will assume that the axis is movable without friction and, less obviously, that it does (more…)

Engine spring

The motor spring or (in clockwork) spring barrel is a spring enabling to store energy when it is tensioned, and to restore it during the trigger. Most of the time it is a metal strip of hardened steel wound on a wheel. The energy returned is transmitted by a set of gears . In some applications, the system is regulated by a rotating vane (air friction attenuates variations in speed) or by an exhaust system .

In general, the spring is reloaded by a knob (the crown of a watch, called crown ) or by a removable key (clocks, toys).



The winding mechanism is a mechanism used to arm the spring or to raise the weight of the time instruments. Winding and setting the clock: these two mechanisms are generally linked by common bodies.

See also

On other Wikimedia projects:

  • winding , the Wiktionary

Related Article

  • Composition of a mechanical watch


A regulator is a skilled worker 1 or technician whose role is to regulate the machines of production. The settings of the machines include the parameters, the tools, the cadences, the laying of the molds 2 , etc. The controller is responsible for level 1 maintenance and preventive maintenance .

In watchmaking

A regulator, or a regulator, is a specialized worker, often a female worker 3 , who performs the adjustment operation . The latter is to position exactly and riveting thoroughly the spiral spring to the pendulum , to form the regulating device or regulating organ a movement 4 . Today this (more…)

Platinum (watchmaking)

The plate is the base plate supporting all the components of the mechanical movement of a watch . It is part of the draft . Normally made of brass , it can also be manufactured from precious metal , or synthetic sapphire .


The plate is provided

  • Of the incrustations necessary for housing the other elements of the movement;
  • Of screw threads necessary for fastening bridges ;
  • A center hole allowing the passage of the pinions fixing the needles ;
  • Two holes for fixing the dial on its upper part;
  • Of a lateral thread on its upper periphery for fitting inside the (more…)

Perpetual Calendar

The perpetual calendar is a watch complication consisting of displaying on a mechanical watch the day of the month (the date ), the month and the position of the year in the cycle of the leap years automatically: the change from the last day of the month to 1 st of the following month does not require any date correction by the user, including February 29 of a leap year .

Perpetual calendar watches were long regarded as masterpieces of watchmaking , so rare. There are now perpetual calendar watches of a more current production and at an affordable price.

The display is (more…)

Bridge (watchmaking)

The bridge is in timepiece a part forming part of the blank , counteracting one or more axes of the mechanism of movement to the plate .

A mechanical watch generally comprises a barrel bridge which holds the driving member, a gear train bridge and a bridge holding the exhaust wheel . They are sometimes assembled in one piece. The bridge that holds the pendulum is called the cock.

The bridges are likely to be decorated by anglage, engravings or coasts of Geneva. In the case of a skeleton watch , they are hollowed out in order to give more transparency to the (more…)

Watchmaking stone

The watch stones are used in particular for the manufacture of bearings which support the pivots of axes of the wheel in steel . They are then presented (see drawings opposite) in the form of a drilled disc (to hold the pivot in its horizontal axis) or a flat disk applied against a drilled disc (counter-pivot, limiting the ebat in the axis vertical). They also serve as pallets at the anchor (parallelepiped shape), an ellipse fixed on the pendulum which receives the pulse (ellipse, triangle or half cylinder), or much more rarely a friction cylinder in certain cylinder watches (Tube segment).


The (more…)

Regulatory body

A regulating or regulating or oscillating member , in timepieces , dispenses the period of time required for its subdivision in seconds , minutes and hours for the indication of the time and the date and any other indication of a desired horological complication . Its headings are:

  • For clocks and clocks: the foliot, the pendulum;
  • For mechanical watches: the assembly formed by the balance and the hairspring after the delicate operation of their assembly, called adjustment ;
  • For electronic watches: it can be a rocker-motor, a sound resonator or a crystal of quartz.

Clocks and clocks

The clock and the pendulum use (more…)

Oscillating mass

The oscillating weight (also known as the rotor ) of an automatic watch is a component that rotates freely and arms the motor spring . This device allows an automatic wristwatch to continue functioning as long as its owner wears it at the wrist .

Exhaust (watchmaking)

In clock making , exhaust is a mechanism generally placed between the energy source ( spring , weight, etc.) and the regulating member. The escapement is to maintain and count the oscillations of the pendulum of a clock or the balance of a watch 1 .

In a gravity clock, it is also intended to contain the acceleration effects due to the gravitas exerted by the weights. When one has the idea of ​​giving the clocks a new engine by using the gravity of solid bodies, one can easily see that these bodies have the same disadvantage as water, that of accelerating (more…)

Lubricant (watchmaking)

The purpose of lubricants is to limit the friction between the parts of a watch movement , they are essential to ensure the smooth operation and reliability of the watches .


The development of fats and oils used in watchmaking and their techniques of application are a field in full evolution. Like John Harrison who built his 4 marine chronometers tropical wood, self lubricating, the trend is looking for materials with the same property.


Protecting the movement against moisture and impurities by a perfectly sealed housing is necessary to keep oils and greases fluid .

Draft (watchmaking)

The draft in horological is the set of unassembled pieces of motion (platinum, bridges, train, winding mechanism and setting the time, setting racket) and marketed in this form.

However, they are not part of the preform, the regulating elements ( exhaust , balance – spring spiral ) and the motor spring .

See also

150 th anniversary of the factory Fontainemelon (1793-1943) ,” Rero , The Watch Federation Switzerland, n o 43,, Pp. 1-23 ( read online  [ archive ] [ PDF ]) Retraces the technical evolution of the draft.

Disc of date

The date disc is a disc, normally brass , a circular area , part of the draft of a caliber of shows . Once decorated with a background, usually white, and date indications printed, it is housed in an ad-hoc milling of the plate , connected to the movement by its gear .

Date Disc Types

The most common type is not stating that the day of the month, followed by the combination of time and an indication of the month abbreviated to three letters. Other variants offer the indication of the names of days and months in full.

Discs for other indications

Discs are (more…)

Crown (watchmaking)

In watchmaking , the crown is a round piece that is turned to raise the watch or put it on time. It is part of the clothing of the watch and as such its design is sometimes very neat. The slice is generally fluted , to facilitate grip, and the back can be engraved with the brand logo.

It is screwed or pushed and adjusts by its barrel in the opposite direction on the winding stem which ensures its sealing.

A crown may be impermeable if its fastening is adjusted by its barrel in the middle part of the box.

Complication (watchmaking)

In watchmaking , a complication is a function other than the display of time, minutes and seconds. They are particularly sought after by amateurs in mechanical watches .

These functions can be astronomical (phase of the moon , equation of time, perpetual calendar, sunrise and sunset Sun ), practical (chronograph, large bell, minute repeater), technical (Quick Date, second stop) or Improve walking precision (originally the whirlpool ).

Complications are modules added to the movement of the watch. A so-called complicated piece also induces a notion of high watchmaking know-how which is expressed both in the manufacture of the caliber and in the degree (more…)

Dial (watchmaking)

A dial is generally a flat, circular or rectangular surface with evenly spaced identical numbers or indicia regularly used to display values ​​on measuring instruments , apparatus setting devices, radios , and analog clocks . A specific case is the sundial .

  • Dial gauge graduated from 0 to 600 bars .
  • Clock with a watchmaker four (IIII instead of an IV).
  • Clock dial Republican, decimal time .
  • Detail of an astronomical clock.
  • Dial for China .
  • Collection of old dials of watches.

Case (watchmaking)

The case is the main protection of the watch. It customizes each watch model.


The case is composed of the caseband , the main part (central part) of the case, containing the movement / dial / needle assembly , to which are fixed:

  • The tube and crown assembly allowing the reassembly and setting to the time;
  • The bezel (if any);
  • Ice or watch glass;
  • the bottom ;
  • Sealing gaskets;
  • The horns or, as the case may be, the handles: to which are fixed on both sides of the case the two parts of the bracelet, by bars or a rod

Barrel (watchmaking)

The barrel is a thin cylindrical box with a toothed edge that drives the watch’s gear , activated by the unwinding of the motor spring – the barrel spring – that it contains, fixed inside by a central axis .

The energy accumulated by the winding stem or the oscillating weight is thus transmitted to the rest of the movement of the watch.

See also

Related Article

  • Composition of a mechanical watch

External link

  • Spring in a watch barrel  [ archive ]

Pendulum (watchmaking)

The balance is a moving part used to regulate the movement of a clockwork mechanism .

Rocker of a clock

Balance with anchor exhaust
Clock mechanism with rocker, Lichtenwalde Castle Clock Museum

The pendulum of a clock is a moving element that is reciprocated in a reciprocating motion. It is horizontal or circular at the beginning and is called foliot or pendulum in current watches. It may also take the form of a pendulum , consisting of a vertical rod, capable of oscillating about a horizontal axis, and having a weight at its low end. This weight is generally in the form of a domed (more…)

Assortment (watchmaking)

Timepiece assortment is the set of parts forming the escapement of any mechanical watch movement transmitting the pulses of the watch regulating member formed by the balance / balance spring assembly . During the development of the watchmaking art, several systems were developed and used. Faced with the development and the competition of movements with organ regulating Quartz , a single mechanical system could survive by its performances.

The anchor assortment

The anchor assortment (of its shape, reminiscent of that of a marine anchor), NIHS 02-04, Chapter 6, section 6.4, is composed of the following three parts:

Second hand

The second hand , frequently called second hand one , is a movable part which designates the second being on the dial of a clock mechanism.


It is a less frequent needle than the hour hand and the minute hand , which are indispensable. When it exists, it is usually the largest of the three and can have a specific color.

The second hand makes a turn on itself in a minute . It therefore travels at 21 600 ° per hour and 518 400 ° per day .

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Why is the seconds hand the “second hand”?  [ Archive ] (more…)

Minute hand

The minute hand is a moving part that designates the current minute on the dial of a mechanical clock .


It is a needle larger than the hour hand 1 , so it is often called the large needle .

The minute hand makes a turn on itself in an hour . It therefore travels 0.1 ° per second, 6 ° per minute and 360 ° per hour.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ Why is the minute hand longer than the hour hand?  [ Archive ] , on the website

Hour hand

The hour hand is a moving part that designates the current time on the dial of a mechanical clock .


It is a smaller needle than the minute hand , so it is also usually called the small needle .

The hour hand makes a turn on itself in 12 hours . It therefore travels 0.5 ° per minute , 30 ° per hour and 720 ° per day .

Needle (watchmaking)

In watchmaking terms, a needle 1 is a piece of metal composed of two or more parts, the main function of which is to transmit the indication of the time of movement to the marks of the dial .


The “body” is the main part of the needle, which springs from the center to its extremity.

The “center” consists of a hole called “center hole”, in which is a vertical pivot intended to be riveted on the pinion of the wheel of the indication of the corresponding time.

The “counterweight” is intended to counterbalance the weight of the needle body, mainly the second hand (more…)