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Tim Temple watches - Watch glossary
Category: General technical and industrial > Watches
Date & country: 08/11/2007, UK
Another name for the perpetuelle.
The initial tension imparted by a maker or repairer to the mainspring, so that it never falls completely slack even when technically â€˜run down`. Â This is done by turning the arbor of the barrel. Â Until about 1780 set-up was adjusted by means of a worm between the barrel and the front plate, engagi
A stoppage resulting from a loss of momentum in the balance so that it fails to bridge the gap between one impulse and the next. Â This can be caused by an abrupt movement on the wearer's part; Â if this turns the body of the watch in the same direction as the rotation of the balance, the latter will
(or English lever). Â The type of lever escapement normal in Britain from about 1815 to 1910; Â the lever is positioned alongside the escape-wheel rather than between the escape-wheel and the balance.
Of a dial: Â having the subsidiary seconds dial recessed, the remainder of the dial itself being flush. Â This arrangement begins to appear in Switzerland in the 1840s and in Britain and America from about 1860. Â Swiss dial-makers achieved it by grinding back the dial surface, British and American b
A dial in which as much as possible of the material is cut out to reveal the movement behind (the front plate being similarly cut away).
An hour hand with a terminal shaped like a playing-card â€˜spade`, but somewhat narrower; Â widely used in the period 1790-1900.
Not a maker's name (even a forged one), but merely the French term for an overcoil balance-spring; Â often stamped or engraved on the cuvette of a watch so fitted.
The standard escapement for marine chronometers throughout the 19th century, invented by either Arnold or Earnshaw in about 1780. Â As the balance swings, a cam on the balance-staff comes up against a light flat spring; on the anti- clockwise arcs this has no effect, but in the other direction the s
A brass peg on the back of a bridge or cock, mating with a hole in the plate and so ensuring that the bridge etc. is correctly positioned during assembly.
(1) Â A precaution against overwinding in fusee watches. Â The chain, as it approaches the bottom plate, lifts a spring- loaded arm into the path of a steel cam rigidly fixed to the fusee-cone; Â when these two meet, the winding-gear is immobilised. Â (2) Â A hack mechanism for stopping the train (and
The 20th-century style of the lever escapement â€” somewhat confusingly so called, since the lever does not form a straight line but carries the pallet-arm crossways. Â (The name results from the fact that the arbors of the balance, lever and escape-wheel all line up in a row.) Â This form is actually
A small dial for the second-hand, usually at the six o'clock position and (from about 1860) recessed to increase the
(1680-1728) English clock- and watchmaker working in France, inventor of the oil-sink and early experimenter with the idea of a precise timekeeper for use in checking a ship's longitude.
The outermost portion of the swing of a balance, before and after its period of interaction with the train.
Sweep Second Hand
A second hand which is centrally mounted so that it sweeps the entire surface of the dial. Â The expression is often wrongly applied to the hand on a subsidiary dial. Â Thomas Mudge's first lever watch (1759) seems to be the earliest example of a centre second hand.
Switzerland, the recognised mistress of the world in the field of watchmaking, came very late to that distinction. Watchmaking began quite early â€” Rodolphe Breguet, a direct ancestor of the great Abraham Louis, was already at work in Neuchâtel in 1594 â€” but for the next 200 years the Swiss were main
Tact, Montre À
A Breguet invention providing a simple and inexpensive means of telling the time from a watch by touch alone. Â The wide bezel carries an additional chapter-ring with a projecting knob at each hour. Â An extra hand, fitted outside the crystal, revolves over this ring; Â it is pushed round manually, n
The train wheel between the centre wheel and the fourth wheel. Â In a full-plate watch it is usually recessed into the front plate.
A fashion of the years 1805-1825. Â The fourth wheel is omitted and the escape-wheel, which takes its place and
A style of watch that has a back-plate almost complete but cut away at one side to make room for the balance-wheel, which is mounted level with the plate instead of protruding beyond it. Â This style was introduced by British makers in about 1820 as a concession to the growing demand for slimmer mov
One of a number of small screws, often of gold, inserted horizontally in the rim of a compensated balance. Â Adjusting these selectively can alter the poise of the balance and may help to correct position errors; Â adjusting them uniformly modifies the circumference of the wheel and therefore alters
An alternative name for the Breguet key, which incorporated a ratchet so that if turned the wrong way it revolved harmlessly instead of damaging the movement.
An influential family of English watchmakers who specialised in pretentious but well-made products for the rising middle classes. Â Morris Tobias worked in Wapping, near the London Docks, from 1794 onwards; Â Michael Isaac operated in Liverpool until 1829 and was one of the principal exponents of the
(1639-1731) Â English clock- and watchmaker, who more than anyone else established the supremacy of English watchmaking in the 18th century; Â associate of Robert Hooke and maker of the earliest English balance-spring watches; pioneer of the repeater (with Quare) and of the seconds hand. Â In the li
Alternative name for front plate.
An invention of Breguet's for minimising positional errors. Â The balance-wheel and escape-wheel are mounted on a revolving platform geared to the third wheel so that it makes a complete turn every sixty seconds; Â thus any imbalance in the weight-distribution of these parts, which might otherwise af
The circle of divisions on a dial marking the minutes or seconds, usually consisting of radial strokes between a pair of circular lines; Â on many late 19th-century Swiss watches the latter are only guides, drawn as faintly as possible. Â Dots instead of strokes, with the circles omitted, are sometim
(1) Â The sequence of wheels and pinions that transmits the drive from the barrel (or fusee cone) to the controller. Â It normally consists of the great wheel, centre wheel, third wheel, fourth wheel and escape-wheel; Â each of these carries a pinion to receive the drive from the preceding component.
A malfunction of escapements which deliver the impulse in only one direction, such as the duplex and spring detent. Occasionally the escape-wheel will judder against the controller and deliver impulse twice in one cycle, resulting in a double-length drop.
From the early 18th century onward, the upper classes in the Ottoman empire developed a liking for European watches, a demand which at first was principally met by London makers; Â later on (from about 1800) the Swiss gained possession of the field, still however marking many of their products with p
The beginnings of watchmaking in the United States were hampered by a want of metallurgical skills and raw materials; watches could scarcely be made out of wood, as were some of the earliest American clocks. Â Many early â€˜watchmakers` imported movements from England. Â By 1859, however, the American
An additional hand that shows how far a watch is wound up, usually working on a subsidiary dial placed below the 12 o'clock position.
The oldest and longest-lived of all escapements, invented (probably before 1300) for large wrought-iron church clocks and successfully applied, almost without change, in 18th-century French watches an inch or less in diameter. Â Verge watches are notoriously inaccurate, tending to run very fast; Â Ca
The long arbor running horizontally between the plates of a verge movement, with the crown-wheel at its inner end and an elongated pinion, engaging with the contrate-wheel, about half-way along its length. Â In English and Dutch watches the bearing at the outer end is a plain brass plug, whereas Fre
A modification of the cylinder escapement, invented in the 1750s by Jean André Lepaute and refined by Lépine. Â The cylinder is very small and an extended curved flange projects from it on the side where the escape-wheel teeth emerge from it; Â the pressure of a tooth against this flange gives an enh
The first of the great U.S. watchmaking firms, originally set up in 1849-50 by Aaron Dennison in partnership with Edward Howard and David Davis. Â The enterprise survived several reincarnations, including Appleton, Tracy & Co. (1857; Â the name is worth noting because it was revived as a grade-name o
U.S. manufacturer based in Waterbury, CT, originally founded as clockmakers in 1843 and connected with the pioneer American clockmaker Chauncey Jerome (1793-1860). Â Â The Waterbury name dates from 1857 and watchmaking began twenty years later. Â Waterbury specialised in cheap watches (as they still
The protruding end of the mainspring arbor, squared off to receive a key, in a key-wound watch.
A cock with projections (shaped roughly like oak-leaves or stylised wings) on either side of the circular table at the point where it joins the foot; Â common on English watches from about 1710 to 1750.
(?-1540) Bohemian craftsman, maker of the earliest precisely datable portable table clock (effectively a very large watch). Â Made for King Sigismund I of Poland, it is dated 1525 and has a wrought-iron verge movement with fusee, hour and month hands (but no minute indicator), a disc rotating once a