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Watch Lingo Part 1: Learn to Talk Like a Watch Geek!

If you spend enough time looking at watches online or in person, you’re bound to run across some new terminology. Like any sufficiently developed field, the world of watches (aka, “horology”… there’s your first one!) has developed its own vocabulary. So the next time you’re watching that YouTube review or reading about the latest and greatest timepieces, use our handy guide to navigate some of the trickier terms and phrases! Let’s go!

L2L

When it comes to picking the perfect watch, sizing is everything, particularly the “lug to lug” measurement. While manufacturers have traditionally measured the size of a timepiece by diameter (put some calipers across the case from 11 o’clock to 5 o’clock to find the diameter), more watchmakers are including the “lug to lug” measurement, That is, the measurement from the tip of one lug to the other. Why is this important? Typically, it’s the longest measurement of the timepiece so a watch with a long L2L on a small wrist will overhang (looking too big) while a small watch on a big wrist can sometimes look puny!

iwc perpetual calendar

AD

Hey, that’s us! AD is a common abbreviation for “Authorized Dealer”. ADs like Feldmar maintain an official and direct relationship with the brands they carry. This ensures direct access to watches, service, and warranty support. The standards for serving as an AD can be quite high, but it’s worth it – ADs get the newest, hottest watches first.

Gray Market Dealers

Unlike ADs, “grays” are watch dealers who don’t maintain official relationships with watch brands. Because they aren’t bound by the agreements that go along with being an authorized dealer, gray market dealers can often offer lower prices at the expense of things like warranty support. There’s more risk involved when buying on the gray market and inventory can be an issue. Since many gray market dealers don’t keep much inventory on hand; they’ll source the watch after you’ve purchased it on their site which can lead to long waiting periods.

Speedy Tuesday

An Instagram (“IG”, for those in the know) favorite is Speedy Tuesday! Often used as a hashtag, #speedytuesday originated in 2012 when Robert-Jan Broer, founder of Fratello Watches, posted a photo of his Omega Speedmaster with the caption “Speedy Tuesday”. Like so many things online, the simple hashtag went viral and has since been embraced by Speedmaster owners worldwide. Omega has even gotten in on the fun, scheduling special product announcements in the Speedmaster lineup for Tuesdays.

omega speedmaster

Wristroll

If you follow Feldmar’s Instagram account, you’ve seen one of our famous wrist rolls! These videos are popular because they’re a great way to show off a watch from all angles, starting with the clasp and ending with the watch’s dial. They also have the added benefit of suspense! In just a few seconds, you go from wondering “Which watch is that?” to “Is that a…?” to “Oooh nice watch!”

Beater

This refers to that watch in your collection that’s always mission-ready, that can handle a little abuse. The beater is the one you reach for when it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty!

Hacking

When it comes to this, we’re not talking about hacking into the mainframe! 💻 A movement that’s said to be hacking has the ability to stop functioning when the crown is pulled out. This can be useful when setting the time. For example, if you pull out the crown when the seconds hand passes “12”, you can adjust the minute hand. Then, using your phone or some other synchronized device, push the crown in when the time syncs up. Voila! Your automatic watch is now perfectly in sync with the actual time.

zodiac

Winder

A winder is a piece of equipment essential for any collector with more than one automatic watch. Designed as a special storage solution for watches, winders keep timepieces in motion via an electric motor that rotates them either periodically or continuously. This ensures that the watches don’t “wind down” as can happen when you take off your automatic watch and don’t wear it for a while.

We’re just getting started…stay tuned for the next blog post in this series!

About The Author: Tom Roth

author

Born in Washington state, Tom developed an interest in photography during college at University of San Diego. There, he got started in music journalism, interviewing artists and taking photos at concerts. A life-long tinkerer and collector, it wasn’t long before Tom became fascinated with fountain pens and watches.

Those interests collided in November 2020 when Tom started at Feldmar Watch Company where he lives out every watch geek’s dream: photographing and writing about timepieces. When he’s not tinkering with his watch collection, Tom can be found traveling, biting his nails while watching PNW sports teams, and taking flying lessons.

Read more from Tom Roth

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