Analog watch

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An analog watch Analog watch 2.jpg
An analog watch

An analog watch (American) or analogue watch (UK and Commonwealth) is a watch whose display is not digital but rather analog with a traditional clock face. The name is an example of a retronym; it was coined to distinguish analog watches, which had simply been called "watches", from newer digital watches. It strictly refers to the design of the display, [1] regardless of the timekeeping technology used within the watch movement or module, although its counterpart, "digital watch", usually connotes (in most minds) digital electronics in both. A digital watch is one in which the time is displayed as a series of digits, e.g. "04:32". An analog watch is one in which the display is not digital, but is indicated (typically) by the continuous motion of one, two, or three rotating pointers or hands pointing to numbers arrayed on a circular dial (the hour hand's movement being analogous to the path of the sun across the sky).


Reading the time on an analog watch

An analog watch has hands to show the time. One for the hours is short and thick. One for the minutes is long and thin. And sometimes one for the seconds which is long and very thin, this is clearly the second hand because it goes round 60 times faster than the minute hand and 720 times faster than the hour hand. Some Analog watches do not have numbers printed onto them; the numbers can still be determined because the strap is always at 12 & 6. Often only the 12 o'clock position is marked, or only the 12, 3, 6 & 9 positions.

Using a watch and the sun as a compass

A method to identify north and south directions using the sun and a 12-hour analogue clock or watch set to the local time, 10:10 a.m. in this example. Using watch and sun as compass.svg
A method to identify north and south directions using the sun and a 12-hour analogue clock or watch set to the local time, 10:10 a.m. in this example.

An analog watch can be used to locate north and south. The Sun appears to move in the sky over a 24-hour period while the hour hand of a 12-hour clock takes twelve hours to complete one rotation. In the northern hemisphere, if the watch is rotated so that the hour hand points toward the Sun, the point halfway between the hour hand and 12 o'clock will indicate south. For this method to work in the southern hemisphere, the 12 is pointed toward the Sun and the point halfway between the hour hand and 12 o'clock will indicate north. During daylight saving time, the same method can be employed using 1 o'clock instead of 12.

There are relatively minor inaccuracies due to the difference between local time and zone time, and due to the equation of time. The method functions less well as one gets closer to the equator.

See also

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Analog computer Computer that uses analog techonology

An analog computer or analogue computer is a type of computer that uses the continuously changeable aspects of physical phenomena such as electrical, mechanical, or hydraulic quantities to model the problem being solved. In contrast, digital computers represent varying quantities symbolically and by discrete values of both time and amplitude.

Clock Instrument for measuring, keeping or indicating time.

A clock is a device used to measure, keep, and indicate time. The clock is one of the oldest human inventions, meeting the need to measure intervals of time shorter than the natural units: the day, the lunar month, and the year. Devices operating on several physical processes have been used over the millennia.

Watch Personal timepiece

A watch is a portable timepiece intended to be carried or worn by a person. It is designed to keep a consistent movement despite the motions caused by the person's activities. A wristwatch is designed to be worn around the wrist, attached by a watch strap or other type of bracelet, including metal bands, leather straps or any other kind of bracelet. A pocket watch is designed for a person to carry in a pocket, often attached to a chain. The study of timekeeping is known as horology.

Sundial Device that tells the time of day by the apparent position of the Sun in the sky

A sundial is a device that tells the time of day when there is sunlight by the apparent position of the Sun in the sky. In the narrowest sense of the word, it consists of a flat plate and a gnomon, which casts a shadow onto the dial. As the Sun appears to move across the sky, the shadow aligns with different hour-lines, which are marked on the dial to indicate the time of day. The style is the time-telling edge of the gnomon, though a single point or nodus may be used. The gnomon casts a broad shadow; the shadow of the style shows the time. The gnomon may be a rod, wire, or elaborately decorated metal casting. The style must be parallel to the axis of the Earth's rotation for the sundial to be accurate throughout the year. The style's angle from horizontal is equal to the sundial's geographical latitude.

Flip clock Electromechanical, digital time keeping device

A flip clock is an electromechanical, digital time keeping device with the time indicated by numbers that are sequentially revealed by a split-flap display. The study, collection and repair of flip clocks is termed horopalettology [From horology - The study and measurement of time and palette - from the Italian "orologio a palette" - Italian for "flip clock"]. People interested in the collection, restoration, buying and selling of flip clocks are known as horopalettologists.

Cardinal direction Directions of north, east, south and west

The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the directions north, east, south, and west, commonly denoted by their initials N, E, S, and W. East and west are perpendicular to north and south, with east being in the clockwise direction of rotation from north and west being directly opposite east. Points between the cardinal directions form the points of the compass.

Noon 12 oclock in the daytime

Noon is 12 o'clock in the daytime. It is written as 12 noon, 12 p.m., 12 pm, or 12:00.

The 12-hour clock is a time convention in which the 24 hours of the day are divided into two periods: a.m. and p.m.. Each period consists of 12 hours numbered: 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. The 24-hour/day cycle starts at 12 midnight, runs through 12 noon, and continues just before midnight at the end of the day. The 12-hour clock was developed from the middle of the second millennium BC to the 16th century AD.

Clock face Dial of an analogue clock or watch

A clock face is the part of an analog clock that displays time through the use of a flat dial with reference marks, and revolving pointers turning on concentric shafts at the center, called hands. In its most basic, globally recognized form, the periphery of the dial is numbered 1 through 12 indicating the hours in a 12-hour cycle, and a short hour hand makes two revolutions in a day. A long minute hand makes one revolution every hour. The face may also include a second hand, which makes one revolution per minute. The term is less commonly used for the time display on digital clocks and watches.

Astronomical clock Clock with special mechanisms and dials to display astronomical information

An astronomical clock, horologium, or orloj is a clock with special mechanisms and dials to display astronomical information, such as the relative positions of the sun, moon, zodiacal constellations, and sometimes major planets.


[[Image:MIH-film97jpg.jpg manufactured by the Gallet Watch Company in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.]]

World clock

A world clock is a clock which displays the time for various cities around the world. The display can take various forms:

Digital clock

A digital clock is a type of clock that displays the time digitally, as opposed to an analogue clock.

Water Resistant mark

Water Resistant is a common mark stamped on the back of wrist watches to indicate how well a watch is sealed against the ingress of water. It is usually accompanied by an indication of the static test pressure that a sample of newly manufactured watches were exposed to in a leakage test. The test pressure can be indicated either directly in units of pressure such as bar, atmospheres, or as an equivalent water depth in metres.

24-hour analog dial Clock or watch face showing the full 24 hours

Clocks and watches with a 24-hour analog dial have an hour hand that makes one complete revolution, 360°, in a day. The more familiar 12-hour analog dial has an hour hand that makes two complete revolutions in a day.

Diving watch A watch designed for underwater diving

A diving watch, also commonly referred to as a diver's or dive watch, is a watch designed for underwater diving that features, as a minimum, a water resistance greater than 1.0 MPa (10 atm), the equivalent of 100 m (330 ft). The typical diver's watch will have a water resistance of around 200 to 300 m, though modern technology allows the creation of diving watches that can go much deeper. A true contemporary diver's watch is in accordance with the ISO 6425 standard, which defines test standards and features for watches suitable for diving with underwater breathing apparatus in depths of 100 m (330 ft) or more. Watches conforming to ISO 6425 are marked with the word DIVER'S to distinguish ISO 6425 conformant diving watches from watches that might not be suitable for actual scuba diving.

Mechanical watch

A mechanical watch is a watch that uses a clockwork mechanism to measure the passage of time, as opposed to quartz watches which function electronically via a small battery, or radio watches, which are quartz watches synchronized to an atomic clock via radio waves. A mechanical watch is driven by a mainspring which must be wound either periodically by hand or via a self-winding mechanism. Its force is transmitted through a series of gears to power the balance wheel, a weighted wheel which oscillates back and forth at a constant rate. A device called an escapement releases the watch's wheels to move forward a small amount with each swing of the balance wheel, moving the watch's hands forward at a constant rate. The escapement is what makes the 'ticking' sound which is heard in an operating mechanical watch. Mechanical watches evolved in Europe in the 17th century from spring powered clocks, which appeared in the 15th century.

Greubel Forsey is a Swiss watchmaking company specializing in complicated, high-end timepieces.It was launched in 2004 by Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey and is based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.

Clock position Relative direction using a dial

A clock position, or clock bearing, is the direction of an object observed from a vehicle, typically a vessel or an aircraft, relative to the orientation of the vehicle to the observer. The vehicle must be considered to have a front, a back, a left side and a right side. These quarters may have specialized names, such as bow and stern for a vessel, or nose and tail for an aircraft. The observer then measures or observes the angle made by the intersection of the line of sight to the longitudinal axis, the dimension of length, of the vessel, using the clock analogy.

Equation clock Clock

An equation clock is a mechanical clock which includes a mechanism that simulates the equation of time, so that the user can read or calculate solar time, as would be shown by a sundial. The first accurate clocks, controlled by pendulums, were patented by Christiaan Huyghens in 1657. For the next few decades, people were still accustomed to using sundials, and wanted to be able to use clocks to find solar time. Equation clocks were invented to fill this need.


  1. "the definition of analogue clock". Retrieved 2018-07-26.