Clock part terminology can be confusing to a new hobbyist! This guide is a great resource to learn clock lingo and will assist you in your purchasing!
Arabic Dial Numbers: Adapted by the Europeans in the Middle Ages, this style of numeral (1, 2, 3...) quickly replaced the difficult-to-use Roman Numeral system (I, II, III...).
Atomic Clock Movement: (Battery-operated) This remarkable quartz movement contains a miniaturized radio receiver that monitors a low-frequency time signal broadcast from Fort Collins, Colorado. That signal enables the movement to self-correct every day so it always shows the exact time according to the national time standard.
Bezel Dials: A metal-rimmed (usually hinged) glass-faced dial.
Bim-Bam Chime: The two-note chime that sounds at the hour and half-hour.
Bob: See Pendulum Bob.
Cable-Driven Mechanical Movement: A gravity-powered movement in which the weights are suspended by cables wound over the drums.
Chain-Driven Mechanical Movement: A gravity-powered movement in which the weights are suspended by chains running over the gears.
Chime Rods: Musically tuned metal rods of varying lengths which, when struck by the movement hammers, produce the musical sound or melody a clock plays on the quarter, half, or full hour.
Dual Chime Movement: A movement that features a selection of two chiming melodies.
Fit-up: See Insert.
Grandfather Clock: A tall pendulum clock that stands directly on the floor, usually 80 inches high or taller.
Half-hour Strike: The "chime" notes struck on the half-hour.
Hands: The hour, minute, and second indicators which point to time markings on a clock face.
Insert (also Fit-up): A complete clock movement/dial/bezel assembly that mounts in a hole with the movement portion recessed. When inserted in the hole, the dial bezel is flush with the front of your clock case.
Key-Wound Mechanical Movement: A movement that relies on mainsprings which are wound with keys to provide power to operate the clock gearing.
Mechanical Clock Movement: A clock driven by a mainspring or the pull of gravity on a weight.
Moon Dial: A dial with a moving moon symbol geared to the hour shaft of the movement which indicates the current position or phase of the moon.
Movement: The timekeeping mechanism in a clock.
Pendulum: A body suspended from a clock movement. The free swing (from side to side) regulates the time or accuracy of the mechanical movement. Note: The pendulum on a quartz battery-operated movement is not a necessary element in timekeeping, but simply decorative. It is driven from side to side by electromagnetic impulses.
Pendulum Bob: The weight (often disc-shaped) on the bottom of a pendulum stick or rod. Can be adjusted down or up, increasing or decreasing pendulum swing, causing the clock to speed up or slow down.
Pendulum Swing: The distance the outer edges of the pendulum bob reaches from left to right as the pendulum swings to and fro.
Quartz Clock Movement: (Battery-operated) A movement that utilizes electrical impulses from a battery along with a quartz crystal to keep a regulated "beat" more precise than virtually any other element known to mankind.
Quarter-Hour Strike: The "chime" notes struck on each quarter-hour.
St. Michael Chimes: The melody of the chime in St. Michael's Church in Galveston, South Carolina.
Stepper Second Hand: A clock hand that indicates the time in one-second increments. Requires a special movement.
Sweep Second Hand: A clock hand that moves around the clock face in a continuous motion to indicate time.
Tempus Fugit: A Latin term meaning "Time Flies" often applied as a decorative motif above a dial.
Time Ring: The 360-degree outer circle on a dial with 60 evenly spaced increments to denote minutes in an hour and seconds in a minute.
Triple-Chime Movement: A movement that features a selection of three chiming melodies.
Tubular Chimes: Musically tuned, hollow metal tubes of varying lengths, which, when struck by the movement hammers, produce a musical sound or melody the clock plays on the quarter, half, or full hour.
Waisted Clock Cabinet: A clock cabinet formed of three sections, the center section being the narrowest.
Westminster Chimes: The melody of the chimes in the Victoria Clock Tower of the House of Parliament in London.
Whittington Chimes: The melody of the chimes of St. Mary Le Bow Church in London.