12 Essential Terms Every Watch Enthusiast Should Know

12 essential watch terms every watch enthusiast should know

You may be asking yourself that one needs to understand 50 + terms to be part of the watch community? At first, I perceived it that way. Yet In my opinion, just as there are only 12 hours visible on most watch dials (yes, that is a term you surely already know), only 12 are essential.

Why? Elevating certain interest in watches and horology is an enjoyable hobby. So let us keep it that way.

We are after all enthusiasts without being snobbish. I have known and talked with many in the snobbish category. Few have since then followed my thought of appreciating everyone’s views and to solely focus on collecting as a fascination with timepieces and all things horology.

So Here Are The 12 Essential Watch Terms Every Enthusiast Should Know:

1. Mainspring/ Hairspring

Source: TimeZone WatchSchool

Coiled spring that supplies power to allow a mechanical and automatic watch movement (or caliber if your Swiss) to run. It is this mainspring that is wound either manually by the watch enthusiast winding the crown clockwise ~10 times or via the watch itself automatically internally in the movement.

2. Battery (quartz) or External Electrical Source (mechanical, automatic)

Source: Chronoexpert

In order for a timepiece to tick away, we first need to identify if the watch uses a battery. If so, we can just replace it when it has run out of juice.

Think of it as running car engines. Mechanical cars need the driver to physically change gears, but that is not needed in automatics. The car changes the gears for you. This is comparable to watches.  In horology, mechanical watches need to be wound physically for the mainspring to supply energy to the watch movement. Automatics, yes that is right, no winding required. Just pop it on your wrist and you are good to go.

3. Rotar In Automatic Winding Movements

Pendulum with weight to it, attached at the back of the watch to automatically wind the timepiece. In some watches, you can feel the rotor spinning away once every couple of hours. I savour those moments of half a second, especially when they are unexpected.  Some rotors you can even hear them, well just about and the community label them as loud. That is choice, and I personally love it. The person in front of you would not be able to hear it, so it is a personal attachment with your watch. It is fascinating indeed.

4. Balance Wheel

Source: AntiquePocketWatch

A wheel in a manual wind mechanical watch. It moves back and forth (oscillates) to keep track of time. How? This motion separates time into bitesize equal segments. A bit of physics in horology.

5. Balance Spring

Source: hautehorlogerie

Controls the movement and irregular back and forth (oscillation) motion of the balance wheel. This spring is quite fine, so be careful with handling of this. I own a vintage Avia, lovely timepiece but could not wind fully. However thinking I am a watch repairer, accidentally loosened up the fine spring. So be careful.

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An official Swiss certified chronometer status given to a timepiece, to tell the watch enthusiast that the time keeping is extremely accurate and reliable. It stands for Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometeres, and is funny enough, the name of the facility in Switzerland that test the timepieces sent to them. What do COSC measure? 15 days of recording the performance of time with variables of 3 different temperature environments, in 5 varied positions.

If any of your watches have this, you should be proud of it’s achievement in construction of the movement.

7. Gear Trains and Jewels

Just as we have gear boxes in cars, which you manually change or the car does it for you as long as you initially put it on drive, gear trains represent that system. Ergo, diffusing power from mainspring source and are given to the escapement, whose job is to move the minute and hour hands of the watch dial.

Jewels aid in this gear train system by acting as managers. These synthetic gemstones, mostly ruby or sapphire, reduce friction and daily wear of the gears found in manual and automatic timepieces.

8. Crystal


The top clear part on top of the dial. Can be domed, with its sole purpose is to protect the dial/watch face.

Sapphire crystals are better suited, as they are mainly scratch resistant, finer material and look more sophisticated. However when scratched, they are impossible to remove. They can crack if you swing you arm to a solid wall. But then again, who does that.

Acrylic crystals are also available. One of my quirky and unique timepieces which I adore due to the affordability, style and vintage Russian charm is my Vostok Komandirskie. This quirky little watch uses acrylic crystal and can apparently overcome nuclear power. However, does not look as good, feels lower end but one can easily remove those minute and harsh scratches using polywatch.

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9. Dial and Case

Dials imply the watch face, the part you look at and admire the art of watch-making beauty. Oh yes, and to tell the time. Many varieties are available that certainly need to be investigated. Textures colours, types of watches such as field and diver watches. All with different complications and functions.

The case holds all of the watch parts together; dial, movement, other internal parts. Cases vary in size for preference in terms of appearance and the size of the movements within them. For my average size wrist, my sweet spot for case size is 36-40mm in diameter!  Cases are made out of metal, stainless steel, even marine-grade bronze.

10. Complication

We know timepieces tell the time. Yet they may also possess additional complications. Some are chronographs (stopwatch). Some annual or perpetual calendars, though the latter is more advanced and not as affordable to acquire. Alarms may be utilised.

11. Function

Similar to complication, functions are the additional utility features of one’s watch. Day and date may be displayed on the dial, dual time (GMT). Possibilities are endless.

12. Power Reserve

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This is interesting and very useful at the same time. This is the number of hours an automatic mechanical watch can run on its own without being worn. Automatic watches are run by one’s hand motion when wearing the timepiece as one goes shopping, to work, at home.

Some timepieces display a power reserve indicator on the dial, that display the number of hours reserved before being unable to operate. Again, set the time and wear the watch and it will start running again.


These 12 essential terms should now allow you to explore and broaden your watch collecting journey. One of the main reasons why I am devoted with this hobby is the passionate community and the enthusiastic watch talk we all understand.

 Don’t forget to comment below and share this blog (below icons if on mobile or on the side if on the laptop) to friends and family, it will be greatly appreciated by me and your loved ones. Enjoy collecting!

ADDITIONAL SOURCES and Recommended Products:

Beginner watchmaking book: £9.69- how they work for beginners

My personal Watch box £20: 12 slots with soft pillows and jewellery drawer for keeping warranties, watch straps and rings if you have any.

PolyWatch Acrylic Scratch Remover

Orient Tristar with Power Reserve and White Dial

Does 16/8 intermittent fasting help fight viruses (COVID-19) or the common cold?

You may be looking at this fasting trend and thinking why it is so popular within the medical community or those into fitness. Is this for everyone and why you local GP or TV presenters recommend this diet during winter season, I mean eating pattern? Firstly, it is not a diet. It is an easy to follow eating pattern and you can even feast on delicious, wholesome foods without any guilt as long as you have fasted whilst sleeping. Yes, you heard me right. Continue reading and you will find out.

But first, let’s understand why it is recommended to 16/8 intermittent fast during winter season.
You may be asking: Does this lifestyle of fasting for short periods a day help boost the immune system? Is this good when you are sick, or protect your health against other sick individuals around you, such as when you are quarantining?

The short answer is yes, it most certainly aids in fighting bacterial infections such as the common cold and this lifestyle boosts your immune system, however more research is required to ensure that there is an ability to fight off those pesky viruses lingering around your local town centre.

Whilst researching, I understood that restricting the feasting period can lessen sickness in regards to stimulated response of bacterial factors TLR4 (Toll-like receptor 4). However, there is an interesting study on C57BL/6N male mice (Cheng et al,2014) that the test group were injected with viral mimicking Poly(I:C) to characterise sickness response. This study displayed immune and behavioural response to TLR3 agonist and modifying virus-associated molecular patterns after fasting. There is a likely boost in peripheral cytokine levels though. Statistically via 2 way ANOVA, p≤0.05, food intake was significantly reduced within the first 3 hours of Poly(I:C).
Restriction of calorie intake and glucose deprivation was shown to be beneficial during bacterial associations such as infections and common cold, however there are deleterious consequences during viral.

If you have underlying health conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure or even if you are much older, it is best suited to take every precaution and ask your local GP for advice if you should follow an intermittent fasting schedule. For those individuals, there is a potential for a temporary decreased immune response. This fasting schedule is a lifestyle, thus it is beneficial long-term. Thus, those high risk individuals should try this 16/8 intermittent fasting for 2 days a week only. This type of intermittent fasting is known as the 5/2, made famous by Dr Michael Mosley.

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What are some other benefits?

So now you know that intermittent fasting does indeed aid in boosting the immune system, but also weight loss, as told by my favourite TV star Dr Michael Mosley in the BBC documentary. Thus creating a control system to your body’s insulin levels, by increasing sensitivity when consuming food for energy. As a result, increasing muscle growth and assists to prolong and even prevent ageing diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

How do you 16/8 intermittent fast?

Well, it is actually quite simple than compared to all those ridiculous diets that work short term. Fasting for 16 hours (spent mostly sleeping) and eating for 8 hours. If you are like me, then all those diets start to feel lethargic and now you can not be bothered to follow them, as though you are disobeying that hitler-like plan of yours. The whole point in existence is to enjoy your lifestyle. Why say no to KFC, or even a cheeky Friday fish and chips, or Nandos. So here are the must-follow three steps, yes, 3 steps of intermittent fasting:1.Eat 12pm to 8pm (eat anything you like, but don’t be ridiculous and pie down a dozen original Krispy Kremes)

The 3 Steps

  1. Eat 12pm to 8pm (eat anything you like, but don’t be ridiculous and pie down a dozen original Krispy Kremes)
  2. Fast 8pm-12pm (spent mostly in a warm bed, sleeping hopefully)
  3. Exercise 11am (walking 5 mins, 15mins HIIT weight workout at home if you already do so)

Extra tips

Whilst fasting: You can drink as much water and tea as you like.

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After exercising: Eat a large healthy meal that should contain either chicken breast and/or 2 eggs or some tasty beef.  Vegans should consume chickpeas, lentils, corns, baked beans. The reason behind these choices, is that these foods contain the greatest amount of BCAA,”Branched Chain Amino Acids.” There are 20 different amino acids that make up all of your body’s protein.  9 out of 20 amino acids are essential (made and obtained by diet only). 3 of the diet amino acids, leucine, valine and isoleucine, are known as BCAA and are found abundantly in those foods mentioned. Why consume a lot of BCAA after exercising? So we can lose weight and gain muscle. There is significant scientific and statistical evidence that back this up (Blomstrang et al, 2006). Even I was hearing the lecturer in my sleep after the long Wednesday afternoon sessions attending biochemical/ biochemistry lectures.

I know, eating chicken fried rice without feeling guilty. That is the life!

If you already exercise, then it is ideal to do a 15 minute weight HIIT workout. If you have just started exercising, then a short walk / less intensive home workouts are suited.

Bonus Tip

What you can also do if you are planning to gain a lot of muscle, is consume 10g of BCAA of whey protein or supplements before you start exercising. Lets say 11:30. But still only do a weight HIIT workout. Here is one product on Amazon I recommend below!

4 month supply, cheap and made in the UK!


As you can see, the 16/8 intermittent fasting is not a diet.  It is more of an eating pattern that not only aids in gaining muscle and losing weight, but you can enjoy feasting. One key reason why I have started to follow this eating pattern, is to boost my immune system and aid in fighting off any infections such as the common cold.

 Don’t forget to comment below and share this blog (below icons if on mobile or on the side if on the laptop) to friends and family, it will be greatly appreciated by me and you loved ones. Enjoy feasting!

ADDITIONAL SOURCES and Recommended Products:

Zenz, G., Jačan, A., Reichmann, F., Farzi, A. and Holzer, P., 2019. Intermittent Fasting Exacerbates the Acute Immune and Behavioral Sickness Response to the Viral Mimic Poly(I:C) in Mice. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 13.

Cheng CW, Adams GB, Perin L, Wei M, Zhou X, Lam BS, Da Sacco S, Mirisola M, Quinn DI, Dorff TB, Kopchick JJ, Longo VD. Prolonged fasting reduces IGF-1/PKA to promote hematopoietic-stem-cell-based regeneration and reverse immunosuppression. Cell Stem Cell. 2014 Jun 5;14(6):810-23. doi: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.04.014. Erratum in: Cell Stem Cell. 2016 Feb 4;18(2):291-2. PMID: 24905167; PMCID: PMC4102383.

Blomstrand E, Eliasson J, Karlsson HK, Köhnke R. Branched-chain amino acids activate key enzymes in protein synthesis after physical exercise. J Nutr. 2006 Jan;136(1 Suppl):269S-73S. doi: 10.1093/jn/136.1.269S. PMID: 16365096.

Clipper fair trade tea: £2.69

Pack of 6= of 480 teabags of clipper pure fair trade green Tea: £20

Twinings Green Tea: only 20 bags at £1.60

BCAA: 200 servings if you prefer capsules

BCAA Powder form and watermelon flavoured!