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Buying a watch? Here's what the watch specifications mean

Geplaatst op 01-02-2024 door Marc Hut

Are you planning to buy a watch and have been poring over the specifications of different watches for a while now? Are you at a complete loss as to what all those terms are about? Are you wondering what a PVD watch case is or what is meant by 'dark power reserve'? In this blog, we will help you and try to list all those watch specifications and explain them to you. Hopefully, you will then know exactly what to look out for when buying a watch. Read along?


You always come across the term'movement' when it comes to watches. Logical of course, without a movement no watch. Watch movement refers to the internal piece of technology that forms the heart of the watch. You could say it is the engine of the watch. Watch movement' often indicates the type of movement in the watch (quartz, automatic etc.) and the brand (e.g. Citizen Miyota, Ronda, ISA etc.). Sometimes the specifications just mention 'Swiss Movement'. In that case, it refers to a movement assembled in Switzerland.

Swiss watches >

Horloge kopen Dit is wat die horloge specificaties betekenen Gc Horloge uurwerk WatchXL horloges A Swiss movement


You knew this one, right? The crown is the part of the watch that you use to set a watch to the correct time and date. The crown is attached to a shaft we call the crown stem. This shaft allows the watch to be set.


By pushers we mean the push buttons found on the side of many watches, such as on a chronograph watch. These pushers can be used to start or stop various settings, depending on the watch. You can read what your watch can or cannot do in its manual. If you don't have a manual, see if you can find a manual for the movement in your watch. By Googling, you will probably find something.

Quartz watch

A watch with an oscillating quartz crystal. The crystal, when energised, has a certain frequency. The watch uses this frequency to display the time very accurately. A cheap and accurate alternative to many mechanical movements in watches.

Horloge kopen Dit is wat die horloge specificaties betekenen chronograaf WatchXL horloges Chronograph

Chronograph watch

A chronograph is a watch with a built-in stopwatch. We have many of them in stock. A chronograph is convenient, but many people choose this type of watch mainly because they like those eye-catching chronograph movements on the dial.

These are our chronograph watches >


A watch with Eco-Drive has a movement that gets its energy from light. This system developed by Citizen is more effective and better than many other watches with a solar cell. An Eco-Drive light-sensitive cell is not visible on the dial. It is hidden under the outer ring of the dial. The light-sensitive cell needs just a little bit of (artificial) light to store energy.

These are watches with an Eco-Drive >

Automatic watch

Horloge kopen Dit is wat die horloge specificaties betekenen automatisch horloge WatchXL horloges Automatic watch

An automatic watch is a watch without a battery that is wound up by movement. In the beginning, an automatic watch sometimes needs to be wound up by horizontal shaking. Wearing it on your wrist keeps the watch energised enough to display the time properly. An automatic watch is quite handy.

Check out our automatic watches here >


You've probably read it many times in the watch specifications: PVD. It means 'physicall vapor deposition'. But what do they mean by that? Basically no more or less than that microscopic particles of metal or other material are attached to the watch case by condensation. This way, a thin and protective layer is created on the watch case. Frosting on trees in winter is also a good example of PVD.

Case diameter

By case diameter, we mean the cross-section of a watch case excluding the crown or any pushers. Most men's watches have a case diameter between 40-45 mm. The somewhat larger men's watches easily measure 45-50 mm and the real XL watches from Tauchmeister and Diesel, for example, sometimes have a case diameter of up to 57 mm.

Large watches (XL watches) >

Citizen Miyota

Most watch brands use a Citizen Miyota movement. Japan's Citizen Miyota is probably the largest watch manufacturer in the world. They make very reliable timepieces, robust and very accurate. Many watch brands in the higher price segment adapt Citizen Miyota movements and put them in their watches under a different name.

Watch strap width

Horloge kopen Dit is wat die horloge specificaties betekenen horlogeband breedte WatchXL horloges Strap width

The width of a watch strap is often listed in the specifications. The width is measured at the end of the watch strap, where it attaches to the watch case. The watch case therefore determines the minimum and maximum width of a watch strap. Most common strap widths are 20, 22 and 24 mm.

Watch strap attachment

Watch strap attachment is the shape of the end of the strap where it joins the case. This can be straight or round. Again, this is obviously determined by the watch case. For example, the ACE Genesis has a round attachment and a TW Steel Canteen a straight one.

Radio-controlled watch or Atomic Time Keeping watch

A watch that is driven by a radio signal. Usually this is the radio signal from an atomic clock (Atomic Timekeeping) somewhere in the world. This way, a radio controlled watch is very accurate, always shows the correct time and also knows in which time zone it is.

These are radio-controlled watches >

Folding clasp

With a folding clasp, you fold the watch strap until it closes. The strap of a watch with a folding clasp. The folding clasp is clicked into place when it is closed.

Butterfly clasp

Horloge kopen Dit is wat die horloge specificaties betekenen vlindersluiting WatchXL horloges Butterfly clasp

Is actually a folding clasp that opens to two sides. The butterfly clasp needs to be adjusted only once and then it always fits and you can remove the watch from the wrist without losing the right size. The butterfly clasp has to be snapped on two sides.


The pushpin is the pin that connects the watch band to the case, for example. It is actually a rod containing another pin and a spring. Super simple! Incidentally, not all watches have the strap attached to the strap with a pushpin, some have a screwed pin.

Split pin

A split pin. The link strap of a watch usually has split pins that hold the links together. These pins are slightly split at one end, creating a wedge shape. The pin can be pushed out of the link with a strap sorter. Note that a cotter pin can only be pushed in one direction, a small arrow at the bottom of the link indicates the direction to push the pin.

Kinetic watches

A watch with a kinetic movement is actually an automatic watch with a battery. Movement generates energy, which is then stored in the battery. A kinetic watch can be put away for a long time while still displaying the correct time. A well-known brand that makes kinetic watches is Seiko.

Mechanical movements or watches with energy reserve

With a mechanical movement: the remaining energy that is mechanically stored in, for example, the driving spring in the movement. This remaining energy determines how long the watch will run before it stops.
In a modern automatic, kinetic or Eco-Drive timepiece, power reserve refers to the remaining energy stored, for example, in the battery before the watch stops.

Watches with power reserve >

Power reserve

The remaining energy in a timepiece with a light-sensitive cell such as the Eco-Drive or solar. This reserve indicates how long the watch can be put away in the dark before it shuts down. Good examples of watches with excellent darkness reserve are these Citizen Eco-Drive watches.

Tourbillon movement

A gravity-driven movement. Was notably used in pocket watches. This type of movement is not used much these days, and if it is used at all, it is usually because people think it is a nice technical addition.

Titanium case

Horloge kopen Dit is wat die horloge specificaties betekenen titanium horloge WatchXL horloges Titanium watch case

A watch made of titanium is lighter than a steel watch. However, titanium is much harder than steel. A titanium watch is very suitable for people who get skin irritations from steel. WatchXL has titanium watches from brands such as Citizen and V.O.S.T. By the way, do not confuse titanium watches with titanium-coloured watches. The latter is not about the material but the colour.

These are watches made of titanium >

316L steel

Most watches in our range are made of stainless steel '316L'. '316L' is an American standardisation used for low-carbon steel. The 'L' therefore stands for 'Low Carbon'. This low carbon content makes this stainless steel easier to weld without the steel losing its rust resistance after welding.

Stainless steel

Steel that is stainless, strong, pure and beautiful. Also called 316L low-carbon steel.

Einzeiger watch

Horloge kopen Dit is wat die horloge specificaties betekenen jcob einzeiger WatchXL horloges Einzeiger

An Einzeiger is a watch with only one hand, so also called a one-dial watch. The dial is divided into small bars every 5 minutes, slightly larger bars every 15 minutes and even larger bars every hour. One hand can thus tell time reasonably accurately to the minute, but the Einzeiger does not have a seconds hand. It is a different way of reading time. You have to get used to it but it is quite special.

These are our Einzeiger watches >

Mineral glass

Basically 'ordinary' glass. Is hard, scratch-resistant and clear. This is the most commonly used glass in watches.

Sapphire-coated mineral glass

Mineral glass equipped with a sapphire coating for protection. This makes the glass even more resistant to damage and scratches.

Sapphire glass

Very hard glass, the second hardest glass after diamond glass. Very resistant to scratches and damage and clearer than mineral glass.

See the watches with sapphire glass >

Helium valve

Horloge kopen Dit is wat die horloge specificaties betekenen helium ventiel WatchXL horloges Helium valve

Valve on diving watches that allows the diver to clear the watch of helium after diving. This gas builds up in the watch during a deep dive and can damage the watch during decompression. The helium valve is used to rid the watch of this gas.

Diving ring

The ring on diving watches that allows setting the dive time. On diving watches, this ring should only rotate one way so that accidental touching of this ring will never extend the dive time.

These watches have a diving ring >


Ring around the dial where speed can be measured. This allows measuring how long it takes a car to cover a certain distance. The tachymeter can then read off what the speed was. Handy if your speedometer is broken...

These are watches with a tachymeter >


The ring on top of the watch that holds the glass. Also called bezel. Items such as crystals or diamonds are sometimes placed on the bezel for decoration. The bezel is also sometimes used as a diving ring.

So far a description of the most common watch specifications.

Do you have questions about our product range or about an order?

Do you have any questions or want to know something about watches? Please contact us, we are happy to help! WatchXL is your watch specialist!

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