Home ‚Ė† Terminology of Watch Branding

Terminology of Watch Branding

Our¬†glossary¬†‚ÄĮis¬†‚ÄĮhere to help you define¬†frequently¬†used¬†terms used¬†by us¬†and¬†within¬†the watch¬†industry¬†and promotional¬†industry.¬†

12-Hour recorder  

A subdial on a chronograph that can time periods of up to 12 hours.  

30-Minute recorder 

A subdial on a chronograph that can time periods of up to 30 minutes.  

Analog Watch 

A watch with a dial, hands and numbers or markers that present a total display of a? 12-hour timespan. An analogue watch indicates time by the position of the hands, and if integrated, a day and date display. 

Anti reflective (reflex) coating  

AR (Anti Reflective) Coating is a superficial glass treatment assuring the dispersion of reflected light.¬†Anti Reflective¬†coating is created to¬†improve the readability¬†of a dial¬†under many‚ÄĮdifferent angles.¬†


Small opening. The dials of some watches have apertures in which certain indications are given (e.g. the date, the hour, etc).  


This is typically an illustrated document, usually¬†saved in¬†an Adobe PDF format that is used to show¬†customers¬†exactly what will be¬†personalized (eg¬†company logo imprint, special engravings,¬†etc,)¬†onto selected¬†watches and watch parts.¬†Once the ‚Äúartwork¬†proof‚ÄĚ has been approved the¬†order¬†is placed into¬†production.‚ÄĮThis term can also be referred to as a ‚Äúvisual mock-up or digital design‚Ä̬†


Process of fitting together watch parts to get a complete watch. 

Automatic Movement 

A mechanical movement that requires no winding because the rotor, part of the automatic mechanism, winds the mainspring every time you move your hand. Most automatics have up to 36 hours of reserve power. Automatic movements are accurate within one minute each day. If an automatic watch is not worn for a day or two, it will wind down and stopped working. 

For those who appreciate fine art, craftsmanship and precision. 


Energy source in which electrical energy is generated through direct transformation of chemical energy.  


The ring which surrounds the watch dial (or watch face). 

Bi-directional rotating Bezel  

A bezel that can be turned either clockwise or counter clockwise. Rotating bezels can be used to measure elapsed times, or read second or third time zones. 


A metal watch band made of single metal links. Metal watch straps are widely liked because the go well with a range of outfit styles, they are long lasting and are suitable for people with common allergies.  


A feature that shows the date. Day, month, and moon-phases are often shown additionally. There are several types of calendar watches. Most calendar watches show the information digitally through an aperture on the watch face and some watches show the information on subdials. 


Synonym for size and form of the movement.¬†The term is used to indicate the movement’s shape, layout, or size.¬†¬†


A watch case has generally 3 parts. The bezel (which holds the crystal), the case middle part (which contains the movement and fitted the strap/bracelet) and the case back which is either snapped or screwed on. Stainless steel is the most typical metal used but titanium, gold, silver, and platinum can also be used. Less expensive watches are usually made of alloy and plated with gold or silver colour. 

Case back 

The back side of a watch case that lies against the skin. May be transparent to allow viewing of the inner workings of the watch or be solid. Case back is either snapped or screwed on the case.  

Design options for the case back are limitless, ranging from squadron logo, brand name, trade marks, images, individual names or numberings, water-resistance, case metal content and other relevant details. Engraving a case back, is capturing a memory in time. 

Case diameter  

Case diameter is the most important aspect when it comes to selecting the right watch for your company. General practical guidelines to keep in mind: Smaller watches for smaller wrist and larger watches for larger wrists.  

Our watch size guide will help you to get It right. 

Chronograph also called chrono. 

A chronograph is a mechanism for measuring short time periods independently of the normal timekeeping function. 


Swiss-made movements which meet very high standards set by the Swiss Official Chronometer Control. A chronometer is a mechanical movement of the very highest quality. Movements are usually tested in various positions and at various temperatures. COSC =¬†Contr√īle¬†Officiel¬†Suisse des¬†Chronom√®tres¬†(Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute).¬†


CMYK is a¬†colour¬†process used for¬†colour¬†printing. CMYK is based on four ink¬†colours¬†cyan, magenta, yellow and black.‚ÄĮThis full¬†colour¬†printing (CMYK) process allows¬†us¬†to¬†create¬†one-of-kind¬†watch dials, using an almost unlimited range of¬†colours, shades and gradient.


A complication is any function on a watch other than the display of the time. They include: 

  • Date complications¬†
  • Chronograph complications¬†
  • Dual time zone complications¬†

C√ītes¬†de Gen√®ve¬†

A decoration technique to give movements parallel stripes enhancing aesthetic appeal.  


Chronograph counter. Mechanism that shows, on a dial, the number of revolutions of the chronograph-hand, i.e. 1/10th or 1/100th seconds, minutes, and hours. 

Countdown Timer 

A function that lets the wearer keep track of how much of a pre-set period of time has elapsed. Some countdown timers sound a warning signal a few seconds before time runs out. These are useful in events such as yacht races, where the sailor must maneuver the boat into position before the start of a race.  


Steel plate engraved with a very precise image/logo used to print onto our dials by pad printing process.  


The crown is used for winding up an¬†automatic¬†watch or for setting the¬†hands to the correct time¬†and if there is a day/date complication¬†setting the¬†day/date.¬†The traditional position for the crown of a watch is‚ÄĮat 3 o’clock.¬†


The crystal is the transparent cover over the dial. Various materials are used such as plastic, mineral glass or sapphire. 

Custom made 

Watches made according to the specifications of the buyer. Made from scratch. 


The date is showing through an aperture in the dial.¬†Typically¬†at the 3¬†o’clock or 6 o’clock position.¬†


Apertures which display both the date of the month and the day of the week. 


The process of hotstamping a logo, trademark, artwork or text onto a material such as cardboard or leather, creating an indelible look and feel. We often use this technique to give an extra touch to our packaging and straps. 

Deployment Buckle 

A type of buckle that pops open and fastens using hinged, often adjustable, extenders. A deployment buckle is easier to put on and remove and is more comfortable on the wrist.  


The face of a watch showing time, your trademark, logo or branding and other functions that may be displayed by hands, markers, discs, or through windows. In high-end watches the numerals, indices and surface designs are applied as separate elements. In less expensive watches, they may be simply printed on the dial.  

Digital Proof/Mockup  

This is a¬†visual¬†in the creative¬†process used for the¬†client¬†to¬†view, adapt and¬†approve.¬†Once the ‚Äúdigital proof‚ÄĚ has been approved we¬†know exactly what we have to produce.¬†

Digital watch 

A watch that shows the time by numbers on an LCD or LED display. 

Dual Timer 

A watch that measures current local time as well as at least one other time zone. The additional time element may come from a twin dial, extra hand, subdials, or other means.  


The process of stamping a company logo, brand name, design or text onto a material such as cardboard, leather or metal that creates a raised (3D) luxurious look.  


(End of Life) Some battery operated watches have a feature that indicates when the battery is approaching the end of its life. This is indicated by the second hand jumping every 4 seconds, or in a digital watch, by a flashing display. 

ETA movements 

One of the leading manufacturers (owned by Swatch Group) of watch movements based in Switzerland. ETA movements are used by many well known Swiss watch brands. 

Etching (chemical corrosion)
A technology that dissolves metals by using the corrosive effect of chemicals. This method is used to make patterns, logos, coat of arms, complex artwork etc on metal by masking areas with a protective film and then dissolving and removing unwanted parts with an etchant to create the desired shape. Due to the nature of this process, it’s possible to etch design with an unrivalled level of complexity, incorporating special features with thickesses ranging from 0.005mm to 2.5mm. Etching is a good alternative for laser engraving.

Face (watch face) 

The dial 

Flyback hand 

A second hand on the chronograph that can be used to time laps or to determine finishing times for several competitors in race.  


Number of oscillations per second, expressed in hertz (Hz). A watch with a count of 36’000 vibrations per hour (18’000 oscillations), in 1 hour (3’600 seconds), has a frequency of 5 Hz. Thus a watch beating at an frequency of 36’600 per hour ticks 10 times per second. 


Most water-resistant watches are equipped with gaskets to seal the case back, crystal, and crown to protect against water infiltration during normal wear. It is important to have the gaskets checked every two years to maintain the water resistance of the watch.  


Glass is the transparent cover over the dial. Various materials are used such as plastic, mineral glass or sapphire. 

GMT watch 

A timepiece that indicates the time in another timezone. A GMT watch has a second hour hand (or a disc) which completes one full rotation in 24 hours. On the dial or bezel is a 24-hour index (or an arrow for the disc) to read the second time zone. 

Gold plated 

A layer of gold, electroplated to a base metal. 


Indicator, usually made of a thin, light piece of metal which moves over a dial. Very variable in form. 

Hard Metal  

A scratch resistant metal comprised of binding several materials, including titanium and tungsten carbide, which are then pressed into an extremely hard metal and polished with diamond powder to add brilliance.  


Unit of frequency. The frequency of the quartz resonator is 32’768 Hz. 

High-Tech Ceramic 

Used as a protective shield for spacecraft reentering the earth’s atmosphere, high-tech ceramic is polished with diamond dust to create a highly polished finish. Because the ceramic can be injection molded, pieces can be contoured. It has a very smooth surface and is usually found in black, but can be produced in a spectrum of colors.¬†¬†


The science of time measurement, including the art of designing and constructing the timepieces.  

Illustrator EPS  

For printing purposes, we need high quality images in vector format which can be created in Adobe Illustrator, saved as either .ai or .eps files. Vector files can easily be reopened, edited and be resized to any size and colour it needs to be. They are most commonly used for creating logos, illustrations and print layouts. 


An indicator on a watch dial used instead of numerals.  

Integrated bracelet 

A watch bracelet that is incorporated into the design of the case. 

Japanese Movements 

Watch movements made in Japan recognized for their reliability and their very good value for money. The two leading Japanese watch movement manufactures are Seiko and Citizin.  


Synthetic sapphires or rubies that acts as bearings for gears in the mechanical watch, reducing friction.   

Jump Hour Indicator 

A jump hour indicator takes the place of an hour hand. It usually shows the hours by means of a numeral in a window. 

Lap Memory 

The ability, in some quartz sport watches, to preserve in the watch’s memory the times of laps in a race that have been determined by the lap timer. The wearer can recall these times on a digital display by pushing a button.¬†¬†

Lap Timer 

A chronograph function that lets the wearer time segments of a race. At the end of a lap, he/she stops the timer, which then returns to zero to begin timing the next lap.  

Laser engraving  

Engraving with a laser beam on almost everything into the material that’s highly wear resistant. Within the watch and promotional industry laser machines are used for marking, serial numbers, names, special text (eg Thank you for being such a valuable member of our team) for decorative markings such as company logos and artwork on watch components such as watch case backs, crowns, case sides, buckles and oscillation weights.  

Jpeg format  

The most common form of sending pictures, company logos or artwork is in a .jpeg format. When this image is enlarged, it becomes blurry because it is made up of pixels. For printing purposes, we need high quality images in vector format which can be created in Adobe Illustrator, saved as either .ai or .eps files. 

Limited Editions 

A watch style manufactured in a specific amount, often numbered, and available in limited quantities. Limited editions are popular collectors items.  


Fluorescent materials applied on dials, indexes and hands in order to tell the time in the dark. 


Watch lugs are projections that connect the strap or bracelet to the case with a springbar (usually). The shape and style of the lugs, have an impact on the overall look and feel of a watch. 

Lug width or strap width 

The¬†fixed¬†distance between the two lugs¬†measured in millimeters (MM).¬†The lug width in¬†our¬†ready made¬†private label¬†watch collection ranges‚ÄĮfrom‚ÄĮ12 mm‚ÄĮto‚ÄĮ26 mm, the most common‚ÄĮlug width‚ÄĮis 20mm¬†

Made to order watches 

Watches especially¬†made¬†for a company, association, club, brand, etc.¬†according to customer’s specifications.¬†

More words related to made to order: one-off items, bespoke, custom and custom made. 


The principal spring in a mechanical device, especially a watch or clock, that drives the mechanism by uncoiling. 

Manual wind 

A manual wind watch must be wound up every day by the crown in order to run.  

Mineral crystal glass 

A glass crystal that has been heat treated (mostly nowadays) to increase scratch resistance. Mineral crystal glass is the most common in mid-range watches. 

Miyota movements (Citizen) 

Miyota¬†quartz watch movements are produced by the¬†Miyota¬†division of Citizen LTD.¬†Miyota¬†movements have the reputation to be¬†precise and reliable¬†and for this reason they are used in our watches and the watches of countless well known watch brands.‚ÄĮ¬†

Mesh band 

A watch bracelet made from stainless steel (mostly used) wires intricately into a characteristic woven/mesh look that can give either a sporty and dynamic or classic and elegant to any watch. The length is easily adjustable with a secure clasp anywhere along the strap. 

Mechanical movement 

A movement which has only mechanical parts and is powered by a mainspring and working in conjunction with a balance wheel. The mainspring must be wound manually 


Unit of measurement of the thickness of the gold-coating. 1 micron = 1/1000mm.  


Function showing the phases of the moon through an aperture in the dial. One lunar cycle has four phases: new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter. 

Mother of Pearl 

Iridescent milky interior shell of the freshwater mollusk that is sliced thin and used on watch dials. While most have a milky white luster, mother-of-pearl also comes in other colors such as silvery gray, gray blue, pink and salmon.  


The inner mechanism of¬†the¬†watch that keeps time and moves the watch’s hand, calendar, etc. Movements are either mechanical or quartz.¬†¬†

Pad printing (also called tampography)  

A printing process that can transfer your 2-D company logo or your brand name onto a 3-D object. Pad printing is in many industries used including medical, automotive, promotional, watch industry, apparel and electronic objects. 

Part colours 

Design element used to complement special elements of the watch so that the overall watch appearance is balanced and attractively proportionate. 

Perpetual calendar  

A calendar that automatically adjusts for the months’ varying length and for leap year. Perpetual calendars, which can be powered by quartz or mechanical movements, are programmed to be accurate until the year 2100.¬†¬†


Process of creating a watch to accommodate specific needs. A wide variety of organizations use personalized watches to improve the relationship with their audience and/or customers in a way that feels special/personal.  

More words related to made to Personalization: Personalisation (uk), branding, customizing (us), customising (uk), specially made, customized (us) and customised (uk). 

Plastic / Acrylic glass:  

These used to be the norm because of the very high degree of curvature. Main disadvantage is that it’s highly sensitive to scratching. If it does get scratched a polishing machine can polish small scratches away.  

PMS ‚Äď Pantone Matching System¬†¬†

A colour matching system used in printing by many industries, including printing, graphic design, paint, promotional, watch industry, amongst other. Colours are matched with numbers and letters to give reference to exact colours shown within the PMS colour chart. 

Power Reserve Indicator 

A feature of a mechanical watch that shows how much longer the watch will operate before it must be wound again.  

Private label watches 

Private label watches are watches manufactured by one company to be sold under another company name (eg watches imprinted with your logo) 

More words related to made to Private label watches: Branded watches, promotional watches, logo watches, custom made watches, bespoke watches, white label watches, etc. 


Push buttons are on the case of the chronographs and some complicated watches. They are used to operate the complication. 

PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) 

A technique for coating metal. This is a special treatment for hardens the surface. (Usually comes in black color) 

Quartz movement 

A movement which allows a watch to keep time without being wound up. The power comes from a battery that must be replaced about every 1,5 years. For our private label watches and promotional watches we only use the best quartz movements made in Japan or Switzerland. Highly appreciated for their reliability, accuracy and low maintenance. 

Ready made watches  

Watches made beforehand¬†available‚ÄĮto use¬†immediately for branding purposes.¬†

More words related to ready made: Off the shelf, off the rack, off the peg, etc. 

Ronda movements 

Ronda, the second largest Swiss movement manufacturer (after¬†ETA¬†movements). Many companies, considered “medium to high end”,¬†use their calibers.¬†There has been a consistent effort from Ronda to become alternatives to ETA when supplying complicated quartz movements. The finish of Ronda STARTECH calibers is on par with the best of ETA.¬†

Rose Gold 

A softly hued gold that contains the same metals as yellow gold but with a higher concentration of copper in the alloy. A popular color in Europe, rose gold in watches is often seen in retro styling or in tricolor gold versions.  

Rotating (unidirectional rotating) bezel. 

Bezel that turns only one way ‚Äď counterclockwise.¬†Found in general diving watches and tool watches, the unidirectional rotating bezel is a feature that helps‚ÄĮmeasuring diving time.¬†¬†


In an automatically winding wristwatch, the rotor is winding the mainspring by the movements of the wrist. It is a segment made of heavy metal, which turns freely in both directions. 


In watchmaking, jewels made of synthetic ruby. They are used in sensitive parts of the machinery to reduce friction. They helping the watch stay accurate and last longer 


Watch samples (with random company logo) are often used to judge the quality, look and feel. 

Sapphire Crystal 

A crystal made of synthetic sapphire. It possesses the characters of extremely strong, nearly impossible to scratch and highly-transparent. The only disadvantage is its high price. 

Screw-lock crown 

A crown that can be screwed into the tube of the case to make the watch highly water resistant. 

Second Time-Zone Indicator 

An additional dial that can be set to the time in another time zone. It lets the wearer keep track of local time and the time in another country simultaneously.  

Seiko movements 

Seiko watch movements are¬†built¬†with high quality watch parts.¬†As a result,¬†Seiko movements have the reputation to be precise and durable.¬†For this¬†reason¬†they are used in our watches and the watches of countless well known watch brands.‚ÄĮ¬†


Sellita,¬†is an independent Swiss company specialized in assembling ‚ÄúSwiss Made‚ÄĚ mechanical automatic watch movements.¬†Sellita¬†combines the watchmakers‚Äô craftsmanship with rigid quality standards. Over the years, this philosophy has enabled¬†Sellita¬†to provide mechanical movements to the mid-range as well as top-end watch brands.¬†¬†

Small second hand 

A hand which showing the seconds on a sub-dial.

Split Seconds Hand 

Actually two hands, one a flyback hand the other a regular chronograph hand. When the wearer starts the chronograph, both hands move together. To time laps or different finishing times, the wearer can stop the flyback hand independently while the regular chronograph hand keeps moving.  

Stainless Steel 316L 

An extremely durable metal alloy that is virtually immune to rust, discoloration and corrosion. Stainless steel is used for jewelry and watches with 316L being the type commonly used for such applications. It can easily be re-finished and will not oxidize or turn black. 

Stainless steel bracelet 

Is a watch bracelet made from stainless steel. They are widely liked because they go well with a range of outfits, they are long-lasting and are suitable for people prone to common allergies. Any stainless steel bracelet can easily be refinished and will not oxidize or turn black. 

Stainless steel finishes 

The following finish can then be applied to achieve the desired aesthetic appearance. 

  1. Brushed finish 
  1. Satin finish 
  1. Matt finish (brushed but smoother than No.1) 
  1. Electroplated  
  1. Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) This is a special treatment for hardens the surface. (Usually comes in black color) 

Sterling Silver 

A white and highly reflective precious metal. Sterling silver refers to silver that is 92.5 percent pure, which should be stamped on the metal, sometimes accompanied by the initials of the designer or the country of origin as a hallmark. Although less durable than stainless steel and other precious metals, sterling silver is often employed in watches that coordinate or look like sterling silver jewelry.  


The strap fixed the watch on the wrist. Can be made of leather, rubber, textile or metal. 


A¬†springbar¬†is‚ÄĮa small metal bar with springs inside¬†that‚Äôs used to hold watch straps¬†in¬†place.¬†¬†

Sweep seconds hand  

A seconds hand that is mounted in the center of the watch dial.  

Swiss Made 

Throughout the world the reputation of Swiss made watches is unrivalled. Know-how, impeccable quality, aesthetic prowess, technical innovation: the indication Swiss made reflects all this, and much more. 

Swiss Movements 

Swiss movements set the standard for both precision and quality. Swiss movements must adhere to certain laws that ensure excellence and accuracy, which impacts the overall quality (and price) of the watch. Leading Swiss watch movement manufactures are ETA, Ronda and Sellita 


You find a tachymeter on some chronograph watches. This is a feature used to measure speed per hour on a scale on the dial or on the bezel. The distance based on 1000 meters. 


The “space age” metal, often used with a silver-gray appearance. Because it is 30 percent stronger and nearly 50 percent lighter than steel it has been increasingly used in watchmaking, especially sport watch styles. Its resistance to salt water corrosion makes it particularly¬†useful in diver’s watches. Since it can be scratched fairly easy, some manufacturers use a patented-coating to resist scratching. ¬†

Tonneau watch 

A watch shaped like a barrel, with two convex sides.  


A device in a mechanical watch that eliminates timekeeping errors cause by the slight difference in the rates at which a watch runs in the horizontal and vertical positions. The tourbillon consists of a round carriage, or cage, holding the escapement and the balance. It rotates continiously at the rate of once per minute.  


An isotope of hydrogen that is used to activate the luminous dots or indices on a watch dial. The radioactivity released in this process is too slight to pose a health risk.  

Two Tone (bi-colour) 

A watch that combines two metals, usually yellow gold and stainless steel in the case of fine watches. More affordable models usually feature gold, rose gold, black, etc PVD-coated colour components to reach an unique effect. 

Vector files. 

They are most commonly used for creating logos, illustrations and print layouts. Vector files can easily be reopened, edited and be resized to any size and colour it needs to be without losing quality. 


Movement of a pendulum or other oscillating element, limited by two consecutive extreme positions. The balance of a mechanical watch generally makes five or six vibrations per second (i.e. 18,000 or 21,600 per hour), but that of a high-frequency watch may make seven, eight or even ten vibrations per second (i.e. 25,200, 28,800 or 36, 000 per hour).  

Watch Winder 

An electronic device to keep an automatic watch fully wound when not worn. 


Describes the level of protection a watch has from water damage. More information can be found on our FAQ page.

White Gold 

Created from yellow gold by incorporating either nickel or palladium to the alloy to achieve a white color. Most watches made of white gold will be 18k.  

Yacht timer  

A countdown timer that sounds warning signals during the countdown to a boat race.  

Yellow gold 

The traditionally popular gold used in all gold, gold and stainless steel, or other precious metal combinations. Yellow gold watches may be found in 14k or, as found from most European manufacturers, 18k.