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Questions & Answers

Q. Is Citizen made by Seiko?

A. No. Citizen and Seiko are the biggest competing companies in Japan.

Q. Is Seiko Kinetic like my dad's old automatic watch?

A. Definitely not. Seiko Kinetic is a "joint venture" between an old automatic system a new quartz one. The automatic system (oscillating weight) generates electricity that is stored in a capacitor, which powers a quartz movement for up to two weeks without a recharge.

Q. Is Seiko Kinetic watch a new idea?

A. It was first introduced by Seiko as A.G.S (Automatic Generating System) in 1985, but didn't get popular until 1995.

Q. What does the "waterproof" on the back of my watch mean?

A. As of the 1970's, the term has been ruled out by the Federal government. Today watches must specify the rated depth, like:"water resistant to 100 meters "(or 333feet or 10atm)

Q. How good is titanium?

A. Titanium is the newest metal to storm the watch market. Titanium is an environmentally friendly, natural metal that is 40% stronger and 30% lighter than stainless steel. It is hypoallergenic because it is nickel-free. And, perfect for water sport enthusiasts, it is extremely resistant to salt water and other forms of corrosion and able to withstand extreme temperatures.

Q. My watch is either a chronograph or a chronometer? I can never remember this.

A. These are the most confused terms in watches, in fact, a chronograph can be a chronometer. CHRONOGRAPH is simply a stop watch function. On the other hand, a CHRONOMETER is a watch that has been tested and certified by a laboratory in Switzerland to keep time for 360 hours in five positions with sudden temperature changes in accordance with standards.

Q. When was the first watch made?

A. The oldest known watch is dated back to around 1500.

Q. What is the purpose of jewels in watches?

A. Jewels used today are synthetic rubies. They protect the wheels and plates from excess wear and reduce friction.

Q. How long does a battery last in my watch?

A. In a Wittnauer Longlife the lithium cell will last 20 years; however in the average watch, a silver oxide battery will last from 2 to 5 years and a lithium battery will last up to 10 years.

Q. Why does my military Bell & Ross, Sinn, Fortis or Tutima stop on a watch winder?

A. You need to know that the movement they use is Lemania 5100 and it only winds in one direction - counterclockwise, so change the setting on your winder to rotate in that direction.

Q. What exactly does shock resistant mean?

A. As defined by the US Government Regulatory Agency it means that a watch can withstand the impact of being dropped from 3ft onto a wood floor.

Q. Who made the first QUARTZ watch?

A. Seiko introduced the first quartz watch in 1969 at $1,250.00. The Swiss made the prototype of the watch in 1967, they just couldn't mass produce it. The original discovery was made by 2 American engineers in 1930's.

Q. Who made the first battery powered watch?

A. Hamilton watch factory in 1957 made the Hamilton Electric 500.

Q. What is the oldest Swiss watch company?

A. Vacheron Constantin, out of Geneva, was founded in 1755.

Q. What was the watch worn by the first man on the moon?

A. Omega Speedmaster was worn by the Apollo 11 astronaut in July 1969; however the first watch in space was Bulova Accutron.

Q. What is the thinnest watch ever made?

A. Concord Delirium IV was just 0.98 mm thick including a gold case and bracelet.

Q. What was the first character on the wrist watch?

A. No it wasn't Mickey Mouse. Orphan Annie made her debut at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1933.

Q. What is the most expensive watch sold?

A. Patek Phillippe's Henry Graves watch, completed in 1932, was sold in New York on December 2, 1999 for $11,000,000.

Q. What brand introduced a first square wristwatch?

A.In 1912 it was a Cartier Santos-Dumont.

Q. What was the first watch in space?

A. It was an Accutron Tuning fork watch movement, made by Bulova in partnership with NASA, aboard an unmanned flight.

Q. Who is the most famous watchmaker of all time?

A. He was Swiss born Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) an inventor of the most significant discoveries in the watch industry: Tourbillon escapement, Perpetual calendar, Shockproofing, Over-coil hairspring, and many more.

Q. What watch did Paul Newman make famous after the movie "Winning"?

A.Daytona Cosmograph by Rolex.

Q. What watch brand is attributed with lifting the Swiss watch industry out of a long decline?

A. Swatch - Swiss Watch by ETA S.A.

Q. Who invented the first automatic (self-winding) watch?

A. For decades, it has been stated, that in 1756 Swiss watchmaker Abraham Louis Perrelet invented a pedometer type watch that wound itself. Just recently, a French historian has contacted me and pointed out his book, where he attributes this mechanical discovery in 1778 to a 30 year old French watchmaker from Lige, Hubert Sarton. I'm not a historical expert, so I'm presenting two sides.

Q. I heard about a Museum watch, what is it?

A. It is a very stylish and simplistic model with and all black dial and a round dot at the top. It was the brainstorm of American designer George Horwitt and executed by the Swiss brand Movado. It wound up in the Museum of Modern Art in NY.

Q. What was the watch worn by British secret agent James Bond007 in the book by Ian Fleming?

A. Originally it was a Rolex. Now days he sports an Omega Seamaster (I guess they pay more...)

Q. What is Rolex?

A. Rolex is a brand name that was registered in 1908 by a Bavarian born watch seller, living in London - Hans Wilsdorf. All watches in the beginning were made for him by the small Bienne firm of Aegler. In 1914, Aeglar delivered a watch so precise that it was awarded a Class A Bulletin certificate from Kew Observatory in London. Wilsdorf began advertising Rolex as a wrist chronometer, and in 1919 moved headquarters to Geneva. In 1926, the firm invented the first truly waterproof case called Oyster. Today, there are 5 Rolex factories in Bienne and an assembly and finishing factory in Geneva.

Q. What is the most accurate watch ever made?

A. It is a Mega - radio controlled watch, first introduced in 1990 by the German watchmaker Junghans, that receives a daily signal from WWV radio transmitter in Fort Collins, CO, service of NIST in Boulder.

Q. What is a TACHYMETER (TACHYMETRE) scale and how does it work?


Tachymeter scale can be used to compute many things, but it's primary purpose is to compute the speed after noting how long it takes to travel a fixed distance (e.g. one mile or kilometer). The dial is a scale which computes the function:

Tachymeter Dial = 3600 / Elapsed Time in Seconds

The scale is valid for all elapsed times from 7.2 seconds to 60 seconds. If the duration of the event is outside this range, then the answer on the dial is invalid.


For example, suppose you wanted to measure the average speed a racecar was traveling. After starting the chronograph function when the car passes the starting line, and stopping it after the car travels exactly one mile, you note that the chronograph hand is pointing at the 4 o'clock position (i.e. 20 seconds have elapsed) Looking beyond the 4 to the Tachymeter dial reveals the chronograph hand pointing at 180. This means that the average speed of the car would be 180 MPH.

Let's say, instead of the race car speed, you are measuring something much slower, like sailboat speed. In this case, you need to use a shorter distance because the elapsed time must fall within the 7.2 - 60 seconds range. For this example, let's say it took 36 seconds for your sailboat to travel 1/10 of a nautical mile. Reading Tachymeter dial gives a speed of 100 knots. However, since we only traveled 1/10 of a nautical mile, the actual answer is 1/10 of that or 10 knots.

Now let's say you wanted to measure the speed of a VERY, VERY fast airplane: after traveling 10 kilometers, you noted that 10 seconds have elapsed. Tachymeter dial gives an answer of 360 but we traveled 10 Km. Therefore, the answer is 10X360, or 3600 km/hour.

There is really nothing magic about using the Tachymeter dial to measure speed. You can also use it to measure other things, like gas consumption. Suppose it took 50 seconds to burn up a gallon of gasoline. Reading Tachymeter scale shows that you are burning 72 gallons of gasoline per hour

Q. Who sets the diamonds into the watch case: a machine or a jeweler?

A. The work is done manually, by a jeweler.

Q. What is a Minute Repeater?

A. A Minute Repeating watch tells the time both visually and audibly. A slide on the side of the case will activate two hammers in the movement. These hammers strike two gongs curled within the case. First one hammer strikes a gong of lower tonality; it will count out the hours. Then both hammers will strike both gongs alternatively to count out the quarter hours after that hour, and then the second hammer alone striking a gong of higher tonality will count out the minutes after that quarter hour. The repeating mechanism was developed by an English watchmaker Daniel Quare in 1690. The early repeaters used bells. At the end of the 18th century, two bent-wire gongs became the more popular system.

Q. How do you use E6B slide rule on watch bezel?

A. Follow this link to read the instructions