TAG Heuer Grand Carrera
A movement or calibre is the inner heart of the watch, the internal mechanism or engine which acts as a powerhouse for the watch. There are many different types of movement, but they essentially fall into two categories: Mechanical or Quartz.
There are two types of mechanical movement: Automatic and Hand-Wound. Mechanical movements are considered very desirable in fine watchmaking due to the skill required to make them, building on centuries of craftsmanship and assembled my master watchmakers.Many luxury watch brands now develop their own in-house calibres, which are called in-house movements. This shows the skill and quality of a particular watch manufacturer.
Automatic is used to describe a self-winding mechanical watch and is the most popular mechanical movement used by watchmakers. An automatic watch is wound by the movement of the wrist and as long as you wear the watch regularly, it will rarely need to be manually wound.An automatic watch uses energy from the mainspring to power the watch, rather than a battery. This energy is created by a rotor which turns in response to the wearer’s movement.
Hand-wound is used to describe a hand-wound mechanical movement and is the oldest type of watch movement on the market.A hand-wound movement needs to be manually wound in order to create energy in the watch’s mainspring to power the watch. This is done by turning the crown multiple times and the mainspring will then slowly release energy.Winding intervals for a manual or hand-wound watch will depend on the capacity of the power reserve, which could be from 24 hours to a week or so.
Quartz is used to describe a battery powered watch movement and is an electrical watch mechanism celebrated for its accuracy and minimal maintenance required, apart from changing the battery.A battery sends an electrical current via a small quartz crystal, electrifying the crystal to make small vibrations which keeps the movement oscillating and in turn powers the watch.
Luxury watches were traditionally made in gold but with the advent of new technologies in watchmaking many new materials have come on to the market and are now widely used.The case forms the outer part of the watch, which surrounds the bezel and the underneath of the dial. This can come in materials including yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, platinum, stainless steel, titanium, ceramic and a PVD coating.
Glass is used to describe the transparent cover of the watch, which can also be referred to as crystal. Glass is used to protect the dial but can also be used on the reverse of the watch to make a transparent open caseback, which shows the inner workings of the watch mechanism.
Sapphire Crystal Glass
Sapphire crystal glass is commonly used because it is highly scratch resistant and extremely hard wearing. It is completely transparent, enabling you to see every intricate detail on the watch dial and is one of the hardest natural substances making it an excellent protector.
Mineral glass is often used as an alternative to sapphire crystal. Lower priced watches can feature mineral glass, but also some older Rolex models may also use this type of glass.
Plexiglas is the trade name for an acrylic glass, often used as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass.
A watch clasp secures the strap or metal bracelet of a watch. There are a number of clasp options available, which are outlined below.
A deployment clasp opens out into thirds, which allows the watch to fit over the wrist and hand before it is secured into place by a small hook clasp.
Push-button Deployment Clasp
A push-button deployment clasp works in the same way but has the addition of buttons on either side of the clasp which must be pushed to release.
Fold-over Push Button
A fold-over pushbutton deployment or fold-over safety clasp has an extra security feature in the form of a fold-over latch. Along with the pushbutton, this helps ensure the clasp does not open on its own.
A hidden deployment buckle clasp is also known as a butterfly clasp. This opens at both ends of the strap and resembles a butterfly’s wings when fully opened. The clasp easily opens and closes for convenience.A buckle and pin clasp is a very common clasp closure and similar to what you can see on a belt. It features a loop and pin which are secured through holes on the strap.
A jewellery clasp is widely used on many bracelet straps. It features a latch that opens and closes when attached to the latch bar on the other end of the bracelet.
The origin of a watch is where it has been assembled. Many watch brands are Swiss-made but there are a number of brands that originate from other countries, for example U-Boat is made in Italy and Bremont is made in England. Some watch brands will use Swiss-made parts, such as the movement, but the watch will be assembled elsewhere.