Say What? Your Guide to Watch Slang (Pt.1)

Specialist Picks • 05 Jun 2019

Say What? Your Guide to Watch Slang (Pt.1)

by Daniel Yong

Watch Slang For The Beginning Watch Enthusiast

 Long are the days where owning a mechanical Swiss or German piece were just dreams. Fast forward a few months after your first purchase and you are still absolutely smitten with the ticking work of art on your wrist. And just when you thought that you were such a big boy (girl) flashing your wrist in the office, reality slams your delusional mind back to earth as you realise that you are actually still an outsider. But why though? Well, it’s not because other collectors are excluding you but rather, it’s the language being thrown around. Instead of actually understanding the slang, you my friend, like an actor on set nod with finesse pretending to understand what WIS stands for and for now, you fool everyone.

Until a question from one of the senior executives is thrown your way, “What are your thoughts on the new limited edition Speedies released in the last three years?” Collectors and hobbyists alike all have their own vocabulary for their specific interests and the world of horology is no different. So yes, there are technical terms used by watchmakers but also, there are slang terms used by collectors and enthusiasts. Now if you actually still do not know what a Speedy is, do not stress for this article will provide you with a “survival kit” of watch slang terminology, before you bump into another watch nerd.

Gary Shteyngart recently visited Berlinerblau (the creative hub behind NOMOS). Himself a self-proclaimed watch geek

Watch Idiot Savant (WIS)

One Google search and a plethora of definitions will reveal itself to you. So which one? A watch idiot savant or WIS, is a sarcastic term for someone who is absolutely obsessed with watches. Note the word obsessed? This is clearly beyond “loving” watches. This individual lives and breathes watches 24/7 and is beyond help. Your typical WIS would most likely know every reference number of their favourite watch manufacturer. In short, do not be surprised if they show up to a job interview wearing a watch while forgetting their pants at home.

The OG Speedy Tuesday, aka the Omega Speedmaster ‘Speedy Tuesday’ Limited Edition


The Speedy is a term used for the iconic Omega Speedmaster. What I am about to write is only my opinion, so let us make that clear from the start. Unlike Rollie, I believe the term was coined by actual enthusiasts themselves and the name just caught on. Much like how a dog or cat owner has a nickname for their beloved furry best friend, the Speedy was created to be a term of endearment. And guess what? This nickname makes sense because it has less syllables than the actual formal name. Okay enough with the syllables!

Wrist Pervert

I originally wrote about wrist perverts for my contributing piece with Deployant a few years ago. But for your convenience it basically means one who obsessively stares at stranger’s wrists in public, hoping to spot interesting watches.

The daily commute makes for some good watch spotting

Wrist Watch Check

Like how one conducts a quick check to make sure they do not forget their keys when leaving their home, a wrist watch check is a quick flick of the wrist to verify with other WIS what you are wearing. Warning. Do not perform this routine with non-watch folk or risk being labelled a lunatic.


I left this one till last because it represents the epitome of happiness for every watch enthusiast or collector. The feeling of purchasing a new watch and boasting it to your online watch friends on Instagram using the hashtag #incoming, releases three times the endorphins than going for a jog or eating a whole box of chocolates.

So there you have it, now go and learn some reference numbers to prove to your watch buddies that you are in fact, a WIS. See you soon in Part 2

Tags: beginner watch collector horology speedy watch collector watch jargon watch slang wis

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