Watch Glossary


Durable and dramatic, the black finish found on select Movado stainless steel and titanium watches is achieved through a PVD coating, or for the BOLD collection, an ion-plating process.

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.

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.

The diamond is a precious gemstone, and the hardest natural substance on earth. No two are alike. Considered a symbol of love and commitment, the diamond is often found in bridal engagement rings. The diamond comes in many colors, but most people still consider the white diamond the most precious and rare. An individual stone’s clarity, color, cut and carat weight determine its value. Movado uses only quality, faceted, conflict-free diamonds in its watch designs.

Gold is a precious metal. In its pure form (24K), gold is too soft to work with, so base metals are mixed with it 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 and elegant, the gold color cannot "wear off" since actual gold is an integral part of the material.

Movado’s yellow gold-toned watch designs look like solid gold, because what meets the eye is genuine gold. It is applied during a final step in the high-tech gold PVD vacuum-coating process which produces a beautiful, extremely hard and corrosion-resistant gold-toned finish. 

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.

The distinctive gunmetal gray tone seen on select Movado stainless steel and titanium watches is achieved through a PVD coating, or for Movado BOLD designs, an ion-plating process. Both impart a long-wearing finish.

Ion-plating is a type of physical vapor deposition (PVD) process in which a coating material, typically a compound or metal, is vaporized and deposited on the surface of a substrate. The target is bombarded with ionized material at high speed, commonly within a vacuum chamber, creating a finish that is hard, durable and corrosion-resistant. Movado uses an ion-plating process to create the rich colored metal and gold-toned designs in its BOLD collection.

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.

Watch hands coated with a substance such as tritium or SuperLumi-Nova that makes them glow in the dark. They are especially common in sports models for better visibility underwater.

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.

The letters are an abbreviation for Physical Vapor Deposit, a high-tech vacuum-coating process that produces a very beautiful and extremely hard finish that is very wear and corrosion resistant. Similar but superior to ion-plating, the applied layer is generally thicker with a higher material density. Yellow gold-toned and rose gold-toned PVD finishes include a final layer of actual gold. Movado also employs the PVD process to finish stainless steel watches in deep tones including black and gunmetal gray. See gold-toned and rose gold-toned.

Movado’s rose gold PVD-finished designs will retain their rich rosy looks for a long time. The warm rose gold tones are achieved through a high-tech vacuum-coating process that produces a beautiful and extremely hard, corrosion-resistant finish.

Highly scratch-resistant for long-lasting beauty and clarity. Measuring 8 to 9 on the Mohs scale, used to test the hardness of a material, a sapphire crystal is second only to a diamond in hardness.

The most popular metal used in watch cases and bracelets, stainless steel is extremely durable. Made of steel alloyed with chromium, stainless steel is not nickel free – however the nickel molecules are encapsulated, so it is classified as hypoallergenic. Movado uses only high grade 316L solid stainless steel which will not stain or corrode, and can be refinished, ensuring lasting beauty.

Founded in Austria in 1895, Swarovski is the premium brand for the finest crystal embellishments. Available in myriad colors, effects, shapes and sizes, precision-cut crystals from Swarovski are produced according to the innovative, lead-free Advanced Crystal standard. Movado uses only genuine Swarovski crystal elements in its BOLD watch collection.

Titanium is a white, very durable metal that is stronger and lighter than stainless steel, but softer. Non-corrosive, it is resistant to salt, perspiration, and high temperatures. Containing no nickel, it is also hypoallergenic.

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.

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.

Ultra-lightweight unidirectional black carbon fiber, the structural yet flexible breakthrough bike frame material innovated and perfected by Parlee Cycles, has a distinctive brushed look and soft sheen. Applied in many very thin layers, it can be used to fabricate super strong and lightweight watch cases and bracelets.


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.

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

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).

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.

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

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

Digital watches have quartz movements, and many offer multiple modes of operation – time, second time zone, calendar, and chronograph functions, for example. Their dials report the time and other information digitally via LCD (liquid crystal display) or LED (light emitting diode) displays.

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.

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.

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