Glossary of watchmaking


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Watch hands

A variously shaped indicator made from a thin piece of lightweight metal and which moves round a dial, with or without graduations. Most watches have three hands, one each for the hours, minutes and seconds. Early watches only had one hand, for the hours.

The English watchmaker Daniel Quare.

Circa 1764, watchmakers began using a hammer and punch to stamp hands from a sheet of metal. Later, in around 1800, they were formed using a press and were often decorated with precious or imitation stones.

The most common forms are: