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A Watch Glossary

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greg_r

A Watch Glossary

 

 

 

A

Accuracy: Different watches and watch movements are accurate to different degrees. Generally quartz movements are more accurate than automatic/mechanical movements due to the complexity of the mechanical movement. Gravity, shock, magnetism, etc., can all effect the accuracy of your mechanical watch. In automatic movements 10-20 seconds plus or minus per day is not unusual for a well-regulated watch.

 

Accutron: Battery-powered movement unique to Bulova which made use of a tuning fork rather than the more usual quartz crystal to control accuracy. Discontinued in the late seventies. Bulova Accutron models now use the same movement as their Precisionist watches - a superb and highly accurate high-frequency quartz movement with a smooth-sweep second hand (beating at 57,600vph)

 

Acrylic Crystal: Sometimes referred to as Hesolite or Hesalite, an acrylic crystal is basically plastic. Polymethylacrylate is often used. Benefits of an acrylic crystal are that it flexes rather than shatters on impact, it doesn't produce too much glare under bright light and it can be polished easily.

 

AR: Anti-reflective coating applied to watch crystals. Improves visibility of the dial. Can be either single AR (coated on the inside) or double (coated both sides).

 

Automatic: Usually refers to those mechanical watches which wind themselves by means of a swinging mass or rotor (which rotates by arm movement) which through a series of gears, winds the mainspring which in turn powers the watch.

 

B

Balance-wheel: The regulating mechanism of the watch, which vibrates on a hairspring. Lengthening or shortening the balance-spring makes the balance-wheel go faster or slower to advance or retard the watch timing.

 

Bezel: The bezel is the topmost ring of the watch, surrounding the dial of the watch. A bezel may be fixed or in the case of a diver's watch, rotating. It can either be plain (usually fixed) or can be marked with, for example a 0-60 minute scale in the case of divers' watches. Older rotating bezels were usually bi-directional, modern diving watches are equipped with a unidirectional bezel.

 

Blued Screws: Traditionally, high quality movements were fitted with screws which were artificially blued, more for decoration than function.

 

C

Cabochon: A rounded semi-precious stone or synthetic material, usually fitted onto the crown for ornamental purposes.

 

Calendar: The calendar mechanism or function on a watch can consist of a date only showing in a window through to a triple calendar, showing the date, day and month. A combination of dial cut outs and pointer hands may be used. The most complicated calendar mechanisms may be mechanically programmed to show the year, and months including those with less that 31 days; leap years can also be mechanically allowed for. Sometimes referred to as perpetual calendars.

 

Caliber: The caliber of a watch usually describes the size and configuration of the movement.

 

Canal Street: Famous location in New York for buying replica watches - often very poor quality.

 

Cannon Pinion or CP: The pinion that usually carries the minute hand on most watches. The end of the cannon pinion is normally visible in the centre of the handstack when looking directly at the centre of the watch.

 

CG: Crown Guard. A protrusion from the case of a watch (or in the case of Panerai, a semi-circular device with lever) designed to protect the crown from damage.

 

Chronograph: A chronograph is a mechanism for measuring short time spans independently of the normal timekeeping function. Many mechanical chronographs measure up to 12 hours with indicators for seconds, minutes (usually to 30) and hours.

 

Chrono Hand: On a chronograph watch, the large center seconds hand usually only functions when the chronos are activated. Often referred to as the chrono hand.

 

Chronometer: Movements which meet specific timekeeping criteria laid down by the Swiss Official Chronometer Control are awarded a Chronometer Certificate. Movements are usually tested out of the case for 15 days and nights in various positions and at various temperatures.

 

CLKC: Castleford Ladies' Knitting Circle - aka rwg.cc, another watch forum

 

Complications: Extra features added to the movement beyond simply telling the time. Complications include day/date functions, chronograph (stop-watch) subdials, moonphase and many other features. In reps, generally speaking, the more complications the lower the reliability - especially at the lower end of the price range.

 

C&R: aka Catch & Release - the process by which addicts buy a watch, decide they don't like it even before it arrives on their doorstep and subsequently put it back up for sale to some other poor bastard who probably won't like it either.

 

Crown: The crown, often referred to as the winding crown or winder is used for winding the watch in the case of a non-automatic, for setting the hands to the correct time and often for setting the date in the case of calendar equipped watches. On diving/sports models, the crown may be screw down whereby it screws onto a threaded tube which protrudes from the case of the watch. This often ensures superior water resistance.

 

Crystal: The crystal is the clear cover over the dial. Can be referred to as the glass. Various materials have been used over the years including acrylic, mineral (glass) and sapphire.

 

D

Datewheel: The rotating wheel carrying the date numerals on watches that have a date function

 

Datewheel Overlay: As the name suggests, a secondary overlay sometimes used in replicas in order to add the correct date font to a movement carrying a generic (and therefore incorrect for some models) datewheel.

 

Decorated Movement: Some watch movements come highly decorated, for example with Geneva Stripes and blued screws. Whilst decoration may not improve function, it often indicates a degree of hand assembly/finishing and an attention to detail in the construction of a watch. Some watches show off the decorated movement through the use of a display back.

 

DLC: Diamond-like carbon / diamond-like coating. A hard coating (usually black) that is applied to some watch cases by the PVD process (see PVD)

 

E

Ebauche: The ebauche refers to the basic movement. To this, a particular manufacturer may add complications, decorate the movement or refine the movement by adding higher grade components.

 

Escapement: The escapement in a mechanical watch refers to a combination of parts including the anchor, pallets and balance wheel amongst others which translate the power of the mechanism into regular timekeeping. The escapement is responsible for the familiar ticking sound of a mechanical watch.

 

ETA: Formerly Eterna. Swatch-owned manufacturer of movements used in a wide variety of gen watches. Used to be fairly common in replicas, but ETA are no longer supplying ebauches (see above) outside of their parent company, so other manufacturers (both gen and rep) are now having to look elsewhere.

 

F

Factories: There are quite a range of 'factories' making reps. Some of the more successful ones include: noobfactory, H-factory, BP, ZF .... etc. Most of the actual names have mostly been coined by the forums or one or other of the dealers. More confusing yet is that some dealers have their own names for certain factories. I wouldn't worry too much about the terminology of who makes what, but some popular watches are made by more than one maker, so it can occasionally be useful to know which factory is producing which version.

 

Flyback: This phrase is often used to describe two different functions of a chronograph watch. Some use it to describe the function of depressing a chronograph button which returns the seconds hand to zero but immediately starts the timing again. Also (probably wrongly) used to describe the split seconds chronograph which has two seconds hands sitting atop one another. On depression of a third chronograph button (most have two), the flyback hand will stop in order to measure say, a lap time; repressing this button with cause the flyback hand to flyback(!) to the other seconds hand which has remained in motion.

 

Franken: Assembled from a mixture of genuine and replica parts. (From Frankenstein - Mary Shelley's novel).

 

Fiddy: A corruption of '1950' or just 'fifty'. Slang term meaning the Panerai PAM127 (a limited edition 47mm 1950 series model that is considered by many to be THE iconic Panerai watch. The design was based on a watch supplied to the Italian military in the fifties).

 

FML: Fuck My Life. Epithet used by watchsmiths when the third click spring in a row goes sailing across the workbench never to be found again...

 

Frequency: Amplitude, in the case of mechanical watches refers to how many times an hour the watch goes tick for a given time period! It is often referred to as half-swings per hour or beats per hour (BPH). Thus a watch beating at an amplitude of 28,800 per hour ticks 8 times per second.

 

G

Gear Train: The gears used in a mechanical watch which run from the mainspring which powers the watch through to the escapement which translates that power into timekeeping.

 

Guilloche: A form of decoration for watch dials, giving the dial great depth. Often applied to silver or silvered dials.

 

GMT: Greenwich Mean Time is World Time and the basis of every world time zone which sets the time of day and is at the centre of the time zone map. A GMT watch is a dual time zone watch with either an extra dial or hour hand.

 

 

H

Handwind/Handwound: Simply describes a watch with a mechanical movement which needs to be wound by the wearer using the winding crown. This winds the mainspring up which then releases its energy to power the watch.

 

Hack/Hacking: Describes the feature of a movement whereby the seconds hand can be stopped for exact setting of the time. Originally a military term for this feature.

 

Helium Escape Valve: A helium escape valve is used in some divers watches, often found at 10 o'clock on the watch case. If a diver is underwater for a long period of time, upon resurfacing the diver will open the escape valve to release the pressure built up in the watch. It is possible that without an escape valve the watch could damage or even explode. This is not a feature that is used very often, as the wearer would have to be under water for a long period of time and is invariably just for show (non functional) on reps.

 

I

ICHS: Incorrect handstack. A watch in which the order of the hands is dissimilar to the gen (notably Rolex GMTs). CHS (Correct Hand Stack) models are available, but tend to be unreliable.

 

Incabloc: Incabloc is a trade name for a type of shock absorbing device/spring used to protect the delicate parts of the mechanical watch escapement. Mentioned here as it is probably the most widely used and some watch manufacturers used to draw attention to it by referring to it on the watch dial itself.

 

Index/Indices: Usually refers to the markings on the dial of a watch showing hours and minutes. Can however refer to the markings on the regulator of a watch movement to aid precision adjustment for accurate timekeeping.

 

J

Jewels: In the mechanical watch and some quartz watches, jewels (usually made from synthetic ruby) are used as bearings for those parts of the movement subject to constant motion. They are not valuable at all in the monetary sense but they are valuable in aiding the precise running of a watch over a long period and reducing wear. It is a fallacy that the more jewels the better the watch. A basic handwound mechanical usually comprises 17 jewels which in the main is the optimum count. Automatics may require more for the winding mechanism itself. In the 1960s there appeared to be a competition to see who could fit the most jewels in a watch movement, manufacturers proudly referred to 100 Jewels on the dial; opening the watch usually revealed that up to 80% of these jewels had no purpose and were simply mounted here and there on the movement to up the jewel count!

 

Jumping Hour: System of timekeeping whereby the seconds and minutes are shown by traditional hands but the hour is shown in a dial cutout (often at 12), on the minutes hand reaching 59 minutes, the hour disc under the dial will jump to the next hour.

 

K

Keyless Works: The keyless work are the gears that wind the mainspring when the crown is turned, and when the crown is pulled out allow the hands to be set. The core of the keyless mechanism is a gear on the watch's winding stem, the clutch, with two sets of axial gear teeth on it, which slides in and out. When the stem is pushed in, a lever slides the clutch out, and the outer set of teeth engages a small wheel train which turns the mainspring arbor, winding the mainspring. When the stem is pulled out, the clutch slides in, and the inner teeth engage another wheel, which turns the hour wheel in the motion work, turning the watch's hands.

 

Kif: A trade name for a shock absorbing system; in a similar vein to Incabloc above.

 

L

Lemania: Term is incorrectly used by rep manufacturers to indicate the excellent Sea-Gull ST19 hand-wind chrono movement.

 

Lugs: Protrusions on the case of a watch to which the bracelet or strap is fitted. Various types of lugs can be found such as rounded lugs, teardrop lugs and hidden lugs.

 

Lume: Luminous compound used on watch dials and hands. The term Super Luminova or 'Superlume' refers to extra bright lume as found on gen watches such as Panerai, Omega, Rolex etc.

 

M

Movement: Simply used to describe the workings or engine(!) of a watch, be it mechanical or quartz. Often referred to as a calibre by manufacturers.

 

Mineral Crystal: Watch crystal made from what is essentially a form of glass. More scratch resistant than acrylic, a mineral crystal will however scratch and can be difficult to polish.

 

Moon Phase: Some watches have a dial on the watch face that keeps track of the phases of the moon. The moon rotates once around the earth every 29 days, 12 hours, and 44 minutes. Once set, the moon phase indicator accurately displays the phase of the moon.

 

Mortgage: You will need one of these to keep your addiction well fed.

 

N

Noobfactory: A term used to designate a particular factory that, for a while, was producing some of the best budget Rolex reps. The term was coined by TTK to describe the 'noobmariner' budget submariner that he was selling at the time. That factory is no longer in existence but another noobfactory has since appeared producing very similar reps. Don't get too excited, though, if you see a noobfactory watch listed - they're still excellent but there are now other sources producing replicas of similar or, sometimes, better quality.

 

O

O-Ring: O rings are used to seal the backs of watches which feature either a press-in back or a screw on back. They ensure water resistance. Usually also used on the winding stems of watches and in the winding crowns to protect against the ingestion of water and dust. Normally made from a rubber/plastic compound.

 

Onzed: http://www.urbandict....php?term=Onzed

 

P

PAM: Used as shorthand for Panerai due to their model number conventions (i.e. PAM300 = Mare Nostrum, PAM127 = 'Fiddy')

 

Perpetual Calendar. This is a variety of calendar that can automatically adjust for months of different lengths and indicates 29th of February in each leap year. Therefore a watch with a perpetual calendar requires far less adjustment. This feature is not found in replicas

 

Power Reserve: In its purest sense, used to refer to how long a watch will run once fully wound. Thus a watch with a power reserve of 48 hours should run for that period. Often used to describe a watch which has a power reserve indicator on the dial (usually a small pointer hand and a relevant scale).

 

PVD: Physical Vapor Deposition: A method of coating metal with a durable color (in the case of watches, normally black).

 

Q

Quartz: Used to describe a watch powered by an oscillating quartz crystal which draws its power from a small battery. Oscillating 32,768 times per second, an electronic circuit divides this oscillation into precise increments of 1 second or less. Used in both digital and analogue watches. Whilst derided by many purists as disposable and of little soul, the quartz watch is nonetheless extremely accurate. Watches have been made super-accurate by using a much higher frequency (e.g. 4.2 million cycles per second) or by using two oscillators and by using temperature compensation.

 

R

Rattrapante: used to describe the split seconds chronograph (see Flyback) which has two seconds hands sitting atop one another. On depression of a third chronograph button (most have two), the flyback hand will stop in order to measure say, a lap time; repressing this button with cause the flyback hand to flyback(!) to the other seconds hand which has remained in motion.

 

Retrograde: Used to describe a pointer hand on a watch dial (often a sub-dial) which returns to zero at the end of a prescribed period. For example a watch may have retrograde date - in this case the hand moves up a scale a day at a time, pointing to the current date - when it reaches 31 it will spring back to 1

 

Rotor: The oscillating mass which winds an automatic movement. A rotor most commonly is free to rotate in a full 360 degrees and may wind the watch when it is rotating in one direction only or indeed may wind in both directions through the use of reverser wheels and gears.

 

RWG: Us. This board. You're reading it right now ;) Replica-watches-guide.com was the former URL for this board and its direct predecessor which went down back in 2008. (The original URL actually still works although our primary address has changed). Not to be confused with CLKC aka RWGJr. See here for a tongue-in-cheek history: http://www.rwg.bz/bo...?showtopic=4298

 

RWI: http://www.replica-watch.info Our sister forum.

 

S

Sandwich dial: Found most often in Panerai models, a sandwich dial is a two-part dial consisting of two disks glue together. The lower disk is solid and lumed. The upper disk has cutouts for the numerals/indices, allowing the lumed area to show through.

 

Sapphire Crystal: Synthetic sapphire formed for use as the crystal of a watch. Extremely scratch resistant (9 on the Moh scale), a sapphire crystal is the material of choice for many watch collectors. The downsides are that sapphire can chip at the edges if they protrude and can shatter.

 

Sausage Dial: A term used when discussing Panerai dials that have the numerals painted onto the surface of the dial.

 

Screw-down Crown: A watch winding crown which screws tightly to the case of the watch on a tube; the purpose is to ensure extreme water resistancy.

 

Secs@6: A subdial with small seconds hand at the 6 o'clock position on a watch face. Can be a reliability problem if combined with an A7750 movement (see separate 7750 sticky in watch repair section for more info). Variants include secs@3, secs@12. For an A7750 movement, the default configuration (and therefore the most reliable) is secs@9.

 

SEL: Solid End Links (mostly applicable to Rolex bracelets)

 

Sellita: Quality manufacturer of Swiss-grade movements. Becoming common in high-end reps due to the difficulties involved in obtaining ETA movements. Just as good quality as the ETA equivalent.

 

Shock-Resist: Describes a watch that has certain components of the movement protected by shock absorbing devices. Most often the escapement of the movement is protected by such, more specifically the balance staff.

 

Smooled. To be scammed. From the verb: "To Smool", To attempt obvious fraudulent behaviour equipped with the wit and guile of a blind leper with downs syndrome. Derived from the noun "Smoolery" and has spawned terms such as "Smoolishness" "Smooling" and "Smooltacular". Can be combined with popular suffixes and phrases for greater effect as in: "Epic Smool" "Smoolicious" and "Smooleriffic" (thanks to ska for the full definition).

 

Stem: The stem - or winding stem, as it is sometimes known - connects the crown to the keyless works for the purposes of winding the mainspring and adjusting time and date.

 

Sub-Dial: A dial within or on the main dial of a watch.

 

SS: Acronym for Stainless Steel. There are various grades of SS used in replica watches - 220 being found in most cheaper reps and 316 (which is harder) being found in higher-quality models. Any dealer who claims 440 or 904 steel in their replicas is scamming you - these grades are ONLY found in gens (notably Rolex). Also beware that some ultra-cheap reps that you may find in street markets are not SS at all, but plated pot metal.

 

T

Tachymeter: A scale used to measure units per hour. Commonly found on the bezels of chronograph watches, an event is timed by using the chronograph seconds hand. The hand is stopped when the event ends and the hand will point to the number of units per hour that could be achieved.

 

TD: Trusted Dealer - http://www.rwg.bz/bo...hp?showtopic=60

 

Tourbillon: A complex piece of micro-engineering which results in the escapement of a watch rotating on its own axis; the object of the exercise is to cancel out the variations in running regularity which can be caused by the watch being in different positions; (a watch may gain in one position yet lose in another).

 

Tritium: An isotope of hydrogen used in the luminous compounds which give watch dials and hands their glow in the dark capabilities. Many watch dials will show a small T at the bottom, indicating the use of tritium. The half life of tritium is 12.5 years thus it will lose its ability to provide illumination as time passes. Now largely superceded by non-radioactive organic compounds such as the trade name Luminova.

 

TT: Acronym for "Two Tone". Watch case with two finishes - often Stainless Steel + Gold

 

TTK: Former watch dealer. Inventor of the "Continental Drift Delivery System" wink.png

 

U

UTC: Universal Time Co-ordinated. A universal time based on the Greenwich Meridian used by the military and in aviation. Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) can be considered approximately equivalent to Universal Time Co-ordinated(UTC).. GMT as such is now obsolete however, being replaced by UTC. Using this timezone/standard avoids errors and problems associated with different timezones and summer times operational in different countries.

 

V

VPH: Vibrations per hour - aka bph, beats per hour. Measure of the 'smoothness' of the second hand on a watch movement. The vast majority of quality watches (Rolex etc) beat at 28,800 vph (8 'ticks' per second). A lot of cheaper movements (such as the 21J series of movements) beat at 21,600vph (or 6 peats per second) which means that the second hand moves a little less smoothly. ETA, Sellita and 'Asian clone ETA' movements are usually 28,800, so are the movements of choice to power high-end reps. Quartz movements usually tick once per second, although there are a few quartz reps available with smooth sweeping centre second hands.

 

Vintagising: The expensive and frustrating method of ruining a perfectly good watch in an attempt to make it look "old". (Usage: "Damn: Wat has a really lovely COMEX Rolex - or at least he did before he tried to vintagize it, now it looks like second-hand dog food") Thanks to semaj for the definition :)

 

W

Water Resistance/WR: Watches have varying degrees of water resistancy, ranging from WR30 Meters to some specialist watches having a capability of withstanding water to 10000 Meters. The usual for a diver's watch is 200m whilst 100m would be suitable for everyday swimming.

 

Winder/Winding Crown: Same as Crown, above. Used for winding the watch and setting time/date.

 

WIS: Watch Idiot Savant. Someone who can spot an incorrect handstack at 30 paces ;)

 

WM9: Watchmaker9.tv were known for producing high-quality Rolex reps. No longer in business, but samples do show up used from time to time.

 

X

 

Y

YABS: Yet Another Bloody Sub - term reflecting the endless new reps of the ubiquitous (and dull) Rolex Submariner...

 

Z

Z2: Low-quality high-beat asian watch movement that is currently proving to be less than satisfactorily reliable.

 

0-9

1:1 - A one-to-one copy. Exactly like the gen. Mythical.

 

 

 

****************

 

I will add further terms to this post as they occur to me. Suggestions always welcome - just post 'em to the thread. Ta.

Edited by greg_r
A few more entries added

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trailboss99

LOL, I think we just read the same thread and had the same idea :D

I was about to go look for one to steal, you beat me to it.

 

 

Col.

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greg_r

GMTA :D

 

Actually I stole this a while ago, just hadn't gotten around to editing it ready for posting until today ;)

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GC

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

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Brightlight

Good work Greg! A few suggestions -

 

B - Bollocks, Bastard, Bugger. The term for the action of a small part which for no reason flies off (and is never found again).

 

C - Canon Pinion

 

D - Datewheel, Datewheel Overlay

 

K - Keyless Works

 

S - Stem

S - Shit (See Bollocks et al)

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greg_r
"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."

 

:rofl:

 

Bingo! ;)

 

Good work Greg! A few suggestions -

 

B - Bollocks, Bastard, Bugger. The term for the action of a small part which for no reason flies off (and is never found again).

 

C - Canon Pinion

 

D - Datewheel, Datewheel Overlay

 

K - Keyless Works

 

S - Stem

S - Shit (See Bollocks et al)

 

You're not seriously expecting me to do some work and actually write the definitions, are you? ;)

 

Good suggestions though - I'll take 'em under advisement :D

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debian

Thanks for this one :D

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greg_r

No problem, debian - it was your question about hacking movements that made me get my ass in gear and post this! :D

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jrexgis

Thank you so much for this one sir Greg :D

 

mind filling !

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WatchOut123

Nice one.

 

As a foreigner, the first word I had problem with was "vintage".

 

Thanks

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greg_r
Nice one.

 

As a foreigner, the first word I had problem with was "vintage".

 

Thanks

 

 

hehe - some of the english-speaking folks have a problem with that one too (warning - watch forum in-joke ;) )

 

pbdad, anyone? :)

 

 

 

 

B)

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DeepDiver73

seen it posted a few times but haven't got a clue what it stands for..... SEL

 

 

apologies in advance for being newbie numpty!! :)

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KBH
seen it posted a few times but haven't got a clue what it stands for..... SEL

 

 

apologies in advance for being newbie numpty!! :)

 

Solid end links. (for Rolex bracelets)

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wencarnacion

Congratulation Greg!!! Thanks for this execellent post.

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seclark007

You may add:

 

Canal Street: A nice place in Amsterdam that has very social ladies who will trade you sex for money and "coffee shops" in which you can get rather high - which has nothing to do with coffee!

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DeepDiver73
seen it posted a few times but haven't got a clue what it stands for..... SEL

 

 

apologies in advance for being newbie numpty!! :lol:

 

Solid end links. (for Rolex bracelets)

 

 

thank you....

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loketje
You may add:

 

Canal Street: A nice place in Amsterdam that has very social ladies who will trade you sex for money and "coffee shops" in which you can get rather high - which has nothing to do with coffee!

 

 

Nope. No Canal street in A'dam.

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debian

why are some panerai models called "fiddy"?

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greg_r
why are some panerai models called "fiddy"?

 

The PAM 127 is the one nicknamed "Fiddy", which is just a corruption of "Nineteen Fifty" - the watch has 1950 on the dial. Since then a number of other models have been released in the "1950" series, but "Fiddy" still only refers to the PAM127 (pic below)

 

127_150110.JPG

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johnalden
Congratulation Greg!!! Thanks for this execellent post.

 

 

I like this post buddy, Carry on to share you experiences and knowledge with friends.

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dingle
Congratulation Greg!!! Thanks for this execellent post.

 

 

I like this post buddy, Carry on to share you experiences and knowledge with friends.

 

to the gulag you go, you piece of spammer shit. nice try though.......

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sacster

Very good, clear and concise. Now all we need is an explanation of the acronyms and generic language used on these pages. Also, an explanation of the many different movements would be helpful. It is hard for us newbies to differentiate between all the Asian, Swiss, etc movements and how they relate to pricing and quality.

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greg_r

Original post updated: A few extra entries added.

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Titus

Good job Greg, your experience and knowledge regarding Watch is so interesting. And your way of posting is very concise and easy to understandable. Keep sharing with us your experiences with us.

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downfromtheglen

Great post. Very helpful!

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