Glossary of watchmaking


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Jacot hand lathe

A machine-tool that rotates a workpiece while applying a cutting tool to give the piece the required shape. The lathe, with its multiple accessories, is the traditional watchmaker's most versatile tool.

The lathes most commonly used by watchmakers are the Jacot hand lathe for polishing pivots:

  • the screw-cutting lathe for making threads;
  • the screw-head lathe for shortening or polishing a screw;
  • the centre lathe for shaping and polishing wheels (fitted with a dividing plate it was, in the past, used to divide and cut gear teeth, see wheel-cutting engine);
  • and the face lathe which complemented the centre lathe as it could turn certain parts right to the centre.