Watch 101 - What is Dead Seconds
Watch 101

Dead seconds

This is the feature that displays the discrete jumps between seconds. Most mechanical watch’s second hand moves every second but watches with this function do not run the same. Watches with this function are far more mechanically complex.  The seconds hand will have to move in every vibration of the balance wheel. This means that the hands will move 5 times every second. To achieve the dead seconds function, there is a need for extra mechanic work to reduce the …

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Watch 101 - What is Winding Stem
Watch 101

Winding Stem

The interface of the exterior and the interior of the watch are called the winding stem. The winding stem is the manipulator of the crown to wind and set mechanical movement. The winding stem turns, pulls, and pushes the crown to create the appropriate movement. The crown is attached to the end of the winding stem. The other side of the winding stem is where the winding and setting mechanism of the movement is taking place. There is a square …

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Watch 101 - What are Wheels
Watch 101


The wheels, together with the pinions, are vital components of the gear train. The wheels are commonly made of huge brass material while the pinions are tiny gears out of steel. They are interconnected and go hand in hand in the gear train. The one cannot function without the other. Generally, you call the large gears as wheels and the small gears the pinions. Wheels and pinions are the technical horology term to describe the two differentiations of gears used …

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Watch 101: What is Sideshake
Watch 101


The sideshake is the level of the play in a jewel-hole pivot. A sideshake can be beneficial to the gear as long as it is minimal. It is what caused the gear to turn. On the other hand, excessive sideshake can lead the gear teeth to clash which can stop the watch. A watch normally causes minimal sideshake. If the sideshake is too much, it means that the pivots are worn due to usage or due to poor lubricated jewels.

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Watch 101 - What is a Watch Screw
Watch 101


A watch needs a screw to attach its parts together especially to the mainplate. They are very useful to put things in place. They secure the parts of the watch. They are ideal in watch making because they sturdily secure the parts at the same time can be removed conveniently. Before screws were invented, tapered pins were used in watch making. Watches are invented before the screws were. Using tapered pins is very challenging because they are difficult to remove. …

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Watch 101 - What is Ratchet Wheel
Watch 101

Ratchet Wheel

The ratchet wheel is attached to the barrel’s arbor through a screw. It is located on top of the barrel and turns around the mainspring when the watch is wound. It also coils the mainspring during winding. It assures that the mainspring is properly functioning with the support of the click. The click keeps the ratchet wheel in its appropriate place so that the mainspring will not unwind in the opposite way. When you hear the watch click, it is …

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Watch 101 - What is Watch Calendar
Watch 101


There are different ways that the calendar is being displayed in the watch’s dial. The usual date display shows the day of the month either digital or manual. There are also other watches that display the full calendar data such as the day, month, year, as well as the day of the week. There are automatic and manual timepieces; automatic timepieces automatically adjust conforming to the number of days a month have while the manual ones need to be manually …

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Watch 101 - What is Dual Time
Watch 101

Dual time

Dual time is a feature that some technical watches have. Dual time watches indicate time in two different time zones. It contains two hour hands in its dial. This is a common feature that travelers look for in a timepiece. There is an option for the wearer to set the watch’s default or home time zone. The hand that indicates the home time zone is more visible than the second time zone, referred to as the GMT or UTC hand. …

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Watch 101 - What is Chronograph
Watch 101


This is the function that is also referred to as the stopwatch. A chronograph watch has the ability to measure periods of time. You can reset, start, and stop the stopwatch at your disposal. There are watches that measure seconds through the main seconds hand. There are also some watches that have a sub-dial that displays split-seconds feature. The column wheel is what controls the chronograph. The column wheel has an installed ratchet teeth in its surface and as has …

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Watch 101 - what is a Pallet Fork
Watch 101

Pallet Fork

This is another component of an escapement. The pallet fork is connected with escape wheel leading it to move back and forth. Its movement releases energy to the balance wheel contributing to its oscillation. Its pallets are very helpful in producing a back and forth movement. Featured Image Credit: Flynwill

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Watch 101 - What is Maniplate
Watch 101


The mainplate is the foundation of the watch movement. It holds together the parts of the watch in an organized and calculated manner. Together with the bridges, a watch is composed of a mainplate in a general view. The bridges are screwed to the mainplate to hold everything sturdily. No watch can be created without a mainplate. Commonly, mainplates are made of brass but there are some who uses nickel or German silver. Featured Image Credit: Kroman Watch Works

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Watch 101 - What is Lever Escapement
Watch 101

Lever Escapement

The most common pick in watchmaking is the lever escapement. Out of all types of escapement, this one is smaller with a fork shaped lever located in between the escape wheel and the balance. As the balance oscillates, the jewels located on each end of the fork’s tip help in locking and unlocking the escape wheel. Each time the lever unlocks the escape wheel, the unlocked tooth slides along the receding jewel’s face and this sliding force imparts impulse, through …

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Watch 101 - What are Keyless Works
Watch 101

Keyless Works

The keyless works is an essential element for the time to be set and the movement to be wound. The two winding stem will engage with different gears trains during mechanical movement. The keyless works plays a major role in allowing the winding stem to freely move. Featured Image Credit: The Purists

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Watch 101 - What are Watch Jewels
Watch 101


While a watch is running, its wheels are rotating. At the ends of the pinion, the four types of wheels rotate on their pivots. The friction that is created by the constant rotation results to mechanical wear. This is where the jewels take into action. When pivots rotate in the synthetic sapphire jewels, the friction is reduced thus lessening mechanical wear. After diamond, sapphire is the hardest which is ideal for timepiece creation. Jewels are pierced on its flat sides. …

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Watch 101 - What is Hair Spring
Watch 101

Hair spring

The force to restore the balance wheel is what the hair spring creates. There must be a restoring force to enable isochronal oscillations. A hair spring is a flat spiral that moves when the balance wheel vibrates. Through time, material for hair spring is changing. Some prefer steel or gold and some also vie for temperature resistant alloys or even silicon. A mechanical watch is relying so much on the hairspring and the balance wheel. These two act as the …

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Watch 101 - What is Gear Train
Watch 101

Gear Train

Transmitting torque from the barrel to the escapement is the main responsibility of the gear train. When you look at it, it has multiple wheels and pinions properly arranged for its intended function. It is arranged as a multiplying gear train to achieve a faster output rotation rather than input rotation. Just like a bicycle, as the pedal revolves, the rear wheel’s revolution is times faster. A single pedal will create many revolutions of the rear wheel. The relationship of …

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