Say What? Your Guide to Watch Slang (Pt.2)

Specialist Picks • 04 Sep 2019

Say What? Your Guide to Watch Slang (Pt.2)

by Daniel Yong

In my previous article, we covered a few ‘slang’ terms shared amongst enthusiasts to describe certain aspects of collecting. For this coverage, I am going to delve deeper into the realms of watch collecting on social media and uncover some of the words used. In the case that you are wondering where I hooked these words from, they actually derive from some of the most popular hashtags used on platforms like Instagram and Twitter (if that is still a thing). Most of these terms are generally compound words such as #flectofriday (flecto) as they are catchy and roll off the tongue.

Lume is basically the shortened word for luminous phosphorescent, a glowing solution that is applied to dials for legibility when the wearer is travelling within dark spaces. Lurking somewhere around the enthusiast circle, you would be able to sniff out the genuine watch nerd if they carried a UV torch. This individual is deep in the rabbit hole so forget about cleansing them of their addiction. Most owners of dive watches or other tool watches like field watches and GMTs, are extremely proud of how bright the lume is on their timepiece. I have lost count of the times a watch nerd has taken out his UV torch to charge up the lume on his diver to prove to me why his is better than mine (even though I never initiated a competition). Also see #lumeshot

Ah #flecto, this is a new one even for me. I started noticing this hashtag come to surface recently and wondered what it referred to. Flecto, is basically the reflection produced when turning your watch on certain angles where the light obstructs the dial of the watch (as seen in the Urwerk pictured above). This is quite a beautiful sight as it shows how shiny your watch is and has become a trend on Instagram for watch photographers. Now in terms of word origin, I have no idea where it came from or when it was penned. Being an Australian myself, it has become a habit of ours to shorten words by cutting it into half and replacing the last syllable with the letter ‘o’. I’m not sure why, we just do it.

For the photographers out there, you know this one. For those of you who still have no idea, macro basically refers to a watch shot that has been magnified to a ratio of 1 to 1. The purpose for why watch enthusiasts shoot using close up magnification is to capture the finishing of the timepiece. This could be to capture the craftmanship of the case, dial, hands, applied indices and logos. Using macro photography, one is also able to compare the differences in quality between several models and brands.

What I find funny though, is that a lot of proud owners of specific types of watch brands tend to use macro photography to flex the superiority of their watch to others. When another watch enthusiast does this, just remember that they are probably battling their own insecurities. My opinion? Buy the watch that speaks to you and do not listen to others. To the naked eye, I’d be surprised if you could pick up the flaws on a dial. And who the heck is actually going to whip out a loupe to inspect your watch? Surely not the average Joe?

WOTD is more of an online acronym for ‘watch of the day’ and as the name suggests, refers to which watch is being worn by the wearer. Before the online watch world became a thing, no one would really give a stuff about what watch you were wearing. But now, oh boy has the game changed. Nothing feeds addiction like showing off to others the glorious timepiece rocking your wrist for that day, while also gaining recognition for it. Whether you are doing it for the likes or to attract new followers, it is nice to share your #WOTD with likeminded people.

“A thing which is eagerly pursued or sought after” quote from Oxford Dictionary via Google. Thanks Google, you pretty much summed it up for us. So in relation to watch collectors like us, what does a ‘grail’ mean? This term can be interpreted in multiple ways. For some, a grail is a watch that we dream of owning one day but we secretly know it is impossible due to a price tag outside of our financial means. While for others, a grail is something we can afford, but we are saving up for it in the hopes of one day making a purchase for it when it either becomes available or to commemorate a special milestone in our lives. You might hear quotes from collectors such as “when I finally get my grail watch, I’m going to call it a day and stop collecting”. I often laugh at these comments because we all know the collection never ends…

All too often we speak about specific elements on a watch. For some, it might be the movement and for others, it may be the design of the case. But rarely would you find one commenting on the actual strap which by the way, completes the overall look of the watch. I guess you could call it the “icing on the cake”. And just like the icing on the cake, if you choose the wrong strap for your watch, it could either enhance or ruin the look. I personally was never an expert (hasn’t changed), when I first got into watches. I used to make the rookie mistake of not caring about the strap. To me, the watch was good enough so I could pair it with a cheap strap instead of the options provided by the manufacturer.

Instagram is a dominant force in our hobby as it provides us all a platform to quickly immerse ourselves in education and ideas on how to wear our watches. I am not surprised that now, there is a huge focus on strap options for watch owners. Watch straps, come in a variety of materials such as leathers, nylon (NATO) or even rubber. It is important that you choose the correct strap for the intended purpose. Another thing to note, is that there are no rules to how you pair your straps but please… don’t go too crazy and wear a rubber diving strap on a Calatrava. Finally, most brands provide their customers a selection of strap options such as Jaeger-LeCoultre and Nomos. For more checkout #strapgame

Tags: watch slang

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