General Information

AUTOMATIC MOVEMENT
BAND
BEZEL
CABOCHON
CALENDAR
CARBON FIBER
CASE
CERAMIC
CHRONOGRAPH
CHRONOMETER
CROWN
CRYSTAL
DIAL
DIVER'S WATCH
DUAL TIME/SECOND TIME ZONE BEZEL
GASKET
GUILLOCHÉ
HAND-WINDING MOVEMENT
JEWEL
K1 MINERAL CRYSTAL
LUGS
LUMINOUS HANDS
MANUAL MOVEMENT
MECHANICAL MOVEMENT
MINUTE REPEATER
MOON PHASE
MOTHER-OF-PEARL
PERIODIC MAINTENANCE
PERPETUAL CALENDAR
POWER RESERVE INDICATOR
PUSHER
PVD COATING
QUARTZ MOVEMENT
REPEATER
SCREW-DOWN-CROWN
SELF-POWERED QUARTZ MOVEMENT
SELF-WINDING MOVEMENT
SHOCK RESISTANCE
SKELETON CASE
SKU NUMBER
SWEEP SECONDS HAND
TACHYMETER
TANK-STYLE WATCH
TECHNICAL REFERENCE NUMBER
TONNEAU WATCH
TOURBILLON
TR90
TUNGSTEN CARBIDE
WATER RESISTANCE
WINDING STEM

 

 

COMMON CASE AND BRACELET MATERIALS


STAINLESS STEEL
GOLD
GOLD-PLATED
PLATINUM
TITANIUM
TUNGSTEN CARBIDE

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


IS MY BRACELET SCRATCH-PROOF OR SCRATCH-RESISTANT?

HOW DO MAGNETIC FIELDS AFFECT MY WATCH?

HOW DO I GET MY WATCH APPRAISED FOR INSURANCE PURPOSES?

WHAT IS A "SWISS" WATCH?

DO I NEED TO WIND MY AUTOMATIC (SELF-WINDING) WATCH?

 

 


Automatic movement

A mechanical movement that is wound through the motion of the wearer's arm during normal daily arm movement; sufficient activity is required to build up a power reserve. Also known as a "self-winding" watch.

Back to top


Band

The part of the watch that secures the watch to the wrist. The two common types of bands are Strap (i.e. leather) and Bracelet.

Back to top


Bezel

The rim which secures the crystal in place on the watch case and may be set with diamonds or other stones. Bezels may also be rings which are graduated to track elapsed time, as in a diver's watch. Some bezels are rotating and can be turned to perform different types of timekeeping.

Back to top


Cabochon

The ornament, often a dome-shaped or faceted precious stone such as a ruby or emerald used to accent the winding crown. Also, the raised dome-shaped markers used to indicate the hours on some watch dials.

Back to top


Calendar

The windows or subdials on the dial of a watch that display the day, date, month and/or year.

Back to top


Carbon fiber

Also known as graphite fiber, carbon fiber consists of extremely thin fibers, predominantly of carbon atoms, bonded together in microscopic crystals. The vertical alignment of the crystals gives carbon fiber its unique texture, and makes it incredibly strong. Often combined with a polymer, carbon fiber watch cases and dials are exceptionally tough.

Back to top


Case

The metal housing that contains the internal workings of the watch (the movement, dial and hands).

Back to top


Ceramic

High-tech ceramic, an extremely hard material containing titanium carbide, is valued by watchmakers for its lightweight and exceptional scratch-resistance. High-polished ceramic timepieces are smooth-to-the-touch, ultra lightweight and durable.

Back to top


 Chronograph

A watch that includes a stop watch feature: a timer that can be started and stopped to time an event.

Back to top


Chronometer

A timepiece that has met very high standards of accuracy, tested and certified by the C.O.S.C. (an official watch institute in Switzerland). Each chronometer comes with an individual certificate of precision.

Back to top


Crown

The tiny knob on the winding stem used to move the hands to set the time on the watch, and to wind a watch with a manual movement.

Back to top


Crystal

The transparent "glass" which protects the dial of the watch. There are three common types of crystals: acrylic, mineral and sapphire. A sapphire crystal is the most expensive, scratch-resistant and durable type of crystal.

Back to top


Deployment Buckle or Clasp

A buckle or clasp with a two or three piece inner element that folds onto itself securing the two ends of a strap or bracelet. This type fastener allows the wearer to slip on or remove the watch from their wrist with ease.

Back to top


Dial

Also known as the watch "face." It gives a watch its beauty and character, based on the material from which it is crafted and the style of the numerals, markers, texture and other details that define it.

Back to top


Diver's Watch

A sport watch built to withstand underwater pressure, often worn by scuba divers. Among other features, these watches are typically equipped with a screw-down crown that creates a strong seal to prevent water from penetrating the case. Must be water resistant to 20 ATM (the pressure equivalent of being 200m or 660 feet under water) to be classified as a Diver’s watch.

Back to top


Dual Time/Second Time Zone Bezel

A rotating bezel which can be used to indicate the hour in a second time zone, distinct from the time indicated by the hands on the dial.

Back to top


Gasket

A rubber or plastic ring that is used to seal the watch case against dust, moisture and water. Typically used on in conjunction with the crown, crystal and metal case.

Back to top


Guilloché

A type of design in which thin lines are engraved in a crossed or interlaced pattern to create a decorative textural effect on the dial of the watch.

Back to top


Hand-winding movement

Another name for a manual wind mechanical movement. See "mechanical movement".

Back to top


Jewel

A small synthetic sapphire or ruby placed at various points in a mechanical or quartz watch movement which have been drilled, chamfered and polished to serve as bearings for watch gears reducing friction of mechanical parts to a minimum.

Back to top


K1 mineral crystal

Growing in popularity, K1 mineral is a type of watch crystal that is more shatter-resistant than sapphire crystal, and more scratch-resistant than regular mineral crystal.

Back to top


Lugs

Extensions from either end of the case that hold the pin used to fasten the strap or bracelet to the case.

Back to top


Luminous hands

Watch hands coated with a substance, such as Tritium and Superluminova, that makes them glow in the dark. They are especially common in sports models for better visibility underwater.

Back to top


Manual movement

A type of mechanical movement, also known as a "hand-winding" movement, in which the mainspring of the movement must be wound by hand daily, using the crown. See "mechanical movement".

Back to top


Mechanical movement

A watch movement comprised of a series of turning cog wheels and jewels, expertly calibrated by hand. A mechanical movement may be: automatic, also known as "self-winding" (wound by the motion of the arm during daily wear) Or "manual", also known as "hand-winding" (requiring regular/daily winding of the crown by hand).

Back to top


Minute Repeater

A function on a watch that can announce the time in hours, quarter-hours, and minutes by means of a push button. An audible chime sounds when the push piece or button is depressed.

Back to top


Moon phase

A window, often half-moon shaped, in a watch dial that shows the current phase of the moon. This distinctive feature is usually seen in combination with other calendar-related features.

Back to top


Mother-of-pearl

The iridescent lining of the interior shell of a freshwater mollusk that can be thinly sliced and used to create a watch dial. While mother-of-pearl generally has a milky white luster, it is also available in other natural pearlescent colors such as gray, blue and pink.

Back to top


Periodic maintenance

To ensure your watch’s water resistancy, we recommend inspection and maintenance of the case seals and gaskets every 12-24 months. This will help keep the watch movement safe from air, dust, and moisture, which over time can get into the watch and affect its ability to function properly.

All watch movements will require periodic maintenance. We recommended that a mechanical movement be inspected for possible servicing every 3 to 5 years and quartz movements at each battery change.

Back to top


Perpetual calendar

A calendar feature on a watch that automatically adjusts to account for the different number of days in each month, and for leap years.

Back to top


Power reserve indicator

An aperture or subdial on a mechanical watch, often wedge-shaped, that indicates how much longer the watch will operate before requiring winding.

Back to top


Pusher

A button that is pressed to operate (start/stop) a mechanism. Pushers are usually found on chronographs and timepieces with minute strikers and alarms.

Back to top


PVD coating

The letters are an abbreviation for Physical Vapor Deposit, a high-tech vacuum-coating procedure that produces wear-resistant finish.

Back to top


Quartz movement

A watch movement where time is "tuned" to, and measured by, the extremely rapid and consistent vibrations of a quartz crystal. The quartz crystal is powered by a battery. Also known as an Electronic Quartz Movement.

Back to top


Repeater

A device that chimes the time when a button is pushed, or a slide is pulled. See "Minute Repeater".

Back to top


Screw-down crown

A crown that screws down into the case tube making the watch more water resistant. Provides the best underwater shock protection (against rocks, accidental knocks, scrapes, etc.) to prevent water leakage. To set the time on a watch with a screw-down crown, the crown must first be unscrewed before it can be pulled out to any hand-setting position.

Back to top


Self-powered quartz movement

A movement that converts mechanical energy generated by the force of gravity and natural movements of the wearer's wrist into electrical energy which is stored in an accumulator which powers a quartz movement.

Back to top


Self-winding movement

Another name for an automatic mechanical movement. See "Automatic" and "Mechanical" movements.


Shock resistance

To be qualified as "shock resistant", a watch must have demonstrated the ability to withstand an impact equal to that of being dropped onto a wood floor from a height of three feet during testing.

Back to top


Skeleton case

The dial of the watch is "cut out" to allow the inner workings of a watch's movement to be seen through the transparent crystal and dial on the front side, or a transparent crystal case back. In a watch with a “skeletonized” movement, the rotor, wheels and other moving parts are also painstakingly cut away, creating an elegant transparency all the way through the case.

Back to top


SKU number

Abbreviation stands for "Stock Keeping Unit"; an identifying number used when taking inventory. Same as the watch "model number".

Back to top


Sweep seconds hand

A seconds hand that is mounted in the center of the watch dial (vs. one positioned in a sub-dial). A "true" sweep seconds hand is found only on mechanical watches, and has a motion that is undetectable to the human eye. On a quartz watch, the advance of the seconds hand is discernible in tiny step-by-step jumps.

Back to top


Tachymeter

A feature found on chronographs consisting of a calibrated scale, usually found around the perimeter of the dial, that can be used to measure the wearer's speed of travel over a pre-determined distance. Also known as "tachometer".

Back to top


Tank-style Watch

A rectangular watch case with heavier bars on either side of the dial.

Back to top


Technical reference number

A number (used in addition to the SKU number) that provides coded information on the watch's attributes: case metal, plating; movement size and type; bracelet style; dial color, material, style, etc. Usually engraved on the case back.

Back to top


Tonneau watch

A rectangular watch that has two gently bowed or convex sides.

Back to top


Tourbillon

A construction system in a mechanical watch that eliminates timekeeping errors caused by the slight difference in rates at which a watch runs in the horizontal and vertical positions. A rare and sophisticated feature.

Back to top


TR90

Grilamid TR90 is a high-tech thermoplastic composite material that comes in a wide range of opaque and transparent colors. It has a high flexural fatigue strength and good stress-crack and chemical-resistance, making it a tough, lightweight, colorful choice for watch cases.

Back to top


Tungsten carbide

One of the "hard metals", tungsten carbide is a modern, sport luxury watch material prized for its weighty feel, rich steely blue color and extreme hardness. Tungsten carbide can be polished to a virtually scratch-proof mirror finish. Watches crafted of tungsten carbide are exceptionally resistant to scratches and often maintain their lustrous, like-new appearance for years.

Back to top


Water resistance

The ability of a watch to withstand water pressure to a stated depth.

Back to top


Winding Stem

Element transmitting motion from the crown to the gears governing movement winding and hand setting.

Back to top

 

 

Common Case and Bracelet Materials

Stainless Steel

The most popular metal used in watch cases and bracelets

Extremely durable

Made of steel alloyed with chromium

Not nickel free, however the nickel molecules are encapsulated; classified as hypoallergenic

Back to top


Gold

Precious metal

In its pure form (24K), it is too soft to work with so base metals are mixed with gold to give it strength; for example, 14K gold is a ratio of 14 parts gold to 10 parts base metal

White gold is created by adding platinum to the mixture, pink or rose gold comes from adding copper

Durable, elegant

Color cannot "wear off"; the gold is an integral part of the material

Back to top


Gold-Plated

A base metal with a thin layer of gold (usually 18K to 23K) applied in a process called electroplating

Thickness of the gold-plating can range from 2-10 microns in depth

Gives appearance of solid gold at lower price level

Not solid gold, so plated finish can wear off over time

Back to top


Platinum

One of the most rare precious metals, it has a rich, white luster. Platinum used in jewelry and watches is at least 85-95% pure platinum, with only 5-15% of a base metal

One of the strongest and heaviest metals

Hypoallergenic and tarnish-resistant

Back to top


Titanium

White, very durable metal

Stronger and lighter than stainless steel, but softer

Non-corrosive; resistant to salt, perspiration, and high temperatures

Hypoallergenic; does not contain nickel

Back to top


Tungsten Carbide

A metal that is a combination of tungsten and carbon compressed under extreme pressure

Extremely durable and highly scratch-resistant

Heavier than stainless steel

Will not tarnish or rust

Back to top

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my Bracelet scratch-proof or scratch-resistant?

A watch may be made of a scratch-resistant material, however no material is truly scratch-proof. Therefore, please follow these steps when handling your watch:

Wrap your watch in a soft cloth prior to placing it on any hard surface.

When possible, store your watch in the original box/case.

Avoid dropping the watch in a drawer or jewelry box, to prevent it from being scratched by coming in contact with other pieces of jewelry.

Avoid wearing your watch during high-risk activities, for example, when lifting or moving heavy objects or engaging in sports activities.

Avoid wearing your watch on the same wrist as another piece of jewelry. They could rub against and scratch each other.

Back to top


How do magnetic fields affect my watch?

The exposure of your watch to strong magnetic fields will affect its time keeping and may cause it to stop. A quartz watch will resume working with original accuracy when it is removed from the magnetic field. A mechanical watch may require demagnetization.

Back to top


How do I get my watch appraised for insurance purposes?

MGI can provide appraisals for watch brands that we manufacture.

Please download, complete and return the Repair and Service Request Form with your watch to the address below. On the form, indicate, "Please appraise my watch for insurance purposes". After we receive your watch, we will mail you an estimate indicating the cost of the appraisal.

MGI
109 State Street
Moonachie, NJ 07074
1-800-810-2311

Back to top


What is a "SWISS" Watch?

Movements made in Switzerland, where watchmaking began centuries ago, enjoy a reputation throughout the world today for superb craftsmanship, innovative design, and prestige.

Whether they are mechanical or quartz, are synonymous with exceptional quality.

They are recognized for their accuracy, reliability, water resistance and shock resistance They are made with only the highest quality materials.

They must meet certain criteria and pass strict testing in Switzerland before they can be certified as "Swiss made."

Back to top


Do I need to wind my automatic (self-winding) watch?

Mechanical watches with automatic movements have a spring that is wound by the normal, daily motion of the wearer's arm. The arm movement causes a rotor inside the watch to transmit motion (energy) to the barrel, thus winding the mainspring.

An important feature of every automatic winding watch is "power reserve". If the watch loses its power reserve because it has been idle for an extended period of time, you can wind it up manually (approximately 20 turns of the crown) to create an initial power reserve. To retain the power reserve, as stated above, the watch must be worn continuously and actively. If you plan on wearing your watch daily, you may want to manually wind it once every two weeks to keep the wheels in motion and the oil from drying out. If you do not plan on wearing it daily, we advise you wind the watch about three times a week to ensure continuous operation. Finally, if you do not wear your automatic watch daily, you may want to use a winding box. This box mimics the natural motion of your arm to keep your automatic watch operating.

In contrast, a "manual" mechanical watch does require the watch's mainspring to be hand-wound by turning the crown, and must be wound each time it loses that power.

Back to top