What is watch: Definition and 165 Discussions

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 .
Watches were developed in the 17th century from spring-powered clocks, which appeared as early as the 14th century. During most of its history the watch was a mechanical device, driven by clockwork, powered by winding a mainspring, and keeping time with an oscillating balance wheel. These are called mechanical watches. In the 1960s the electronic quartz watch was invented, which was powered by a battery and kept time with a vibrating quartz crystal. By the 1980s the quartz watch had taken over most of the market from the mechanical watch. Historically, this is called the quartz revolution (also known as quartz crisis in Switzerland). Developments in the 2010s include smart watches, which are elaborate computer-like electronic devices designed to be worn on a wrist. They generally incorporate timekeeping functions, but these are only a small subset of the smartwatch's facilities.

In general, modern watches often display the day, date, month, and year. For mechanical watches, various extra features called "complications", such as moon-phase displays and the different types of tourbillon, are sometimes included. Most electronic quartz watches, on the other hand, include time-related features such as timers, chronographs and alarm functions. Furthermore, some modern watches (like smart watches) even incorporate calculators, GPS and Bluetooth technology or have heart-rate monitoring capabilities, and some of them use radio clock technology to regularly correct the time.
Most watches that are used mainly for timekeeping have quartz movements. However, expensive collectible watches, valued more for their elaborate craftsmanship, aesthetic appeal, and glamorous design than for simple timekeeping, often have traditional mechanical movements, despite being less accurate and more expensive than their electronic counterparts. As of 2018, the most expensive watch ever sold at auction was the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication, the world's most complicated mechanical watch until 1989, fetching US$24 million (CHF 23,237,000) in Geneva on 11 November 2014. As of December 2019, the most expensive watch ever sold at auction (and wristwatch) was the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300A-010, fetching US$31.19 million (CHF 31,000,000) in Geneva on 9 November 2019.

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  1. BadgerBadger92

    Preorder the Hyperspace Watch "Black Hole" Edition

    Just preordered a “Black Hole” version of the watch. It tries to mimic what it would look like to travel through a wormhole, in celebration of Einstein’s theory of relativity.
  2. BadgerBadger92

    Cool Space Watch: Celebrating Apollo 11 Moon Landing

    I got this watch nearly a year ago and love it. It is a celebration of the Apollo 11 moon landing. The planets orbit to tell you the time. The stars and planets glow in the dark as well!
  3. Strato Incendus

    Can you watch a gamma-ray burst from the side?

    Since gamma-ray bursts travel at the speed of light, my state of knowledge is that, if one were to hit Earth, we would of course only see it the moment it hits us. Furthermore, to my knowledge, we haven’t observed any GRBs within the milky way yet. However, what if there were a GRB within the...
  4. J

    B How do relativistic effects change oscillation of the balance wheel in mechanical watch causing it to tick slower?

    Does mechanical watch ticks slower when move fast, due to relativistic effects? To make watch tick slower you must change oscillation of balance wheel inside watch, so if answer is yes, what myster "force" change balance wheel oscillation in mechanical watch to ticks slower?
  5. bhobba

    COVID Peter Doherty On Covid with Informative Video That Is A Must Watch

    Hi All I mentioned I was reading Peter Doherty's book on Covid. Good book. But it turns out there was no need to buy it even though it was cheap. He has it all on his institute's website, plus stuff he has written since releasing the book. Here it is...
  6. Paige_Turner

    B How can we watch BHs collide in a finite time?

    A BH can't touch another hole's horizon for the same reason nothing else can: time drags the object to a halt for a distant observer. Right? Manifestly not. So are we wrong about gravitational time dilation, or what?
  7. sophiecentaur

    How good are automatic watch winding mechanisms?

    I have been looking at 'Horology' forums but they all seem to be more about buying watches and less about the way they work and about mending them. (Money money money). I sort of hoped that good old PF might have some ideas about my problem. When I was 21, my parents bought me an Omega...
  8. Janus

    BBC America's City Watch: Premieres Tonight!

    So, I've been seeing a couple of teaser ad for this on TV lately. And it wasn't till yesterday that one actually peeked my interest. It had a short clip of a hooded figure interacting with a character. What was said and how it was said caught my attention. Then I thought about the title of...
  9. ckirmser

    Might there be a formula to determine when watch hands coincide?

    Summary:: Is there a formula to determine when watch hands overlap? The other day, I was sitting on the can and, as I am won't to do, pondering matters of import to the known and unknown universe at large. During the event in question, I happened to notice my watch - and I am having the most...
  10. kevinmorais

    Is Free Science really just intellectual theft?

    When I was studying Physics we had a contest where we had to build a Cart that would travel the Furthest Distance. I Figured a Dry Ice Puck would do the trick as everyone was putting wheels on their design. So I asked my Instructor if I could use a Dry Ice Puck, He told the Class about the Dry...
  11. S

    Movies that you watch over and over again

    What are some movies (or TV episodes) that you enjoy watching over and over again? - say at least once every two years. I often play old science fiction movies while I'm sitting at a worktable trying to fix something. The films don't have my complete attention, but there are a few I play over...
  12. Benjamin_harsh

    Will my wrist watch slow down on planet Jupiter?

    Does my wrist watch slows down on planet Jupiter? I know Jupiter's gravity is greater than Earth's gravity.
  13. Sandip Patel

    B Which Watch Will Have Slower Time: Object 1 or Object 2?

    Assumption: Object 1 is moving and object 2 is static. It is impossible to say which object is moving without any reference object 3. There are three scenarios possible. 1. Reference object 3 is at same position in space time with object 2, then object 1 is moving and object 2 is static. 2...
  14. hyunxu

    What physics videos should I watch?

    Hello everyone! I'm a newcomer.I don't know a lot about physics because I'm just a student.What are the videos (in YouTube ) I should watch to gain knowledge in physics?
  15. Y

    Watch out for some articles on Yahoo (virus?)

    I just want to let you know what I suspect I got the virus from. I don't serve on questionable sites, no porn sites or anything close to like that. I read articles on Yahoo front page. Lately ( last year), they start to have articles like "How's you favorite tv stars from the 80s look like now"...
  16. Grands

    Medical How can people watch an autopsy?

    I was always scared about this argument, the autopsy. I'm asking how can a person watch person that is died and that will going to be cut and opened ? I know it's science, but it's very disgusting for me, and I know that my fear is strage because is like being afraid of how our body it's made.
  17. Rx7man

    Something every Mechanical Engineer should watch

    Here's a great video of what one guy has to say about what he learned at university.. He really hits the nail on the head.. My favourite point is with "safety factors".. If something failed under normal use, it's not because you chose a 1.2 safety factor instead of a 1.5 safety factor, it's...
  18. Greg Bernhardt

    Apple Watch Can Detect An Abnormal Heart Rhythm

    As I get older I am very closely keeping track of smart watches for their medical purposes. As someone who has heart disease in their family I am very interested in smart watches tracking cardio properties. Seems at last there is now real progress. Does anyone think this is worth getting a...
  19. D

    How to calculate the gear ratio of this moonphase watch

    I would like to calculate the gear ratio of this moonphase watch, however i cannot calculate the exact day of its mentioned. What's wrong with my calculation? https://www.ochsundjunior.swiss/watches/moon-phase/tech-specs/ my calculation is 1/(2/12*14/18*14/109)/2=30.03 which is different from...
  20. W

    Looking for a good sci-fi movie to watch

    I'm actually running out of sci-fi movies to watch. I like sci-fi movies that keep their feet on the ground with science, don't mash much with fantasy (wizards, etc...) and at the same time spur "What If..." thought or make you pause and hop to the web to look something up. for example: Flat...
  21. R

    Can you watch full PhD vivas (physics) online?

    Does anyone know of any?I didn't find one which makes me think they don't ever get filmed.
  22. J

    Do astronauts watch satellite TV in space?

    Do astronauts watch satellite tv in space?
  23. Spinnor

    Scientists watch as bacteria evolve antibiotic resistance

    From, https://www.sciencenews.org/article/scientists-watch-bacteria-evolve-antibiotic-resistance For bacteria, practice makes perfect: Adjusting to ever higher levels of antibiotics preps them to morph into super resistant strains, and scientists can now watch it happen. A new device — a huge...
  24. DiracPool

    What interesting videos did you watch today?

    I thought I'd try a new experiment. Post a few video's that you saw today that you think might be of interest to the PF community. I know we have here the "YouTube classics" thread and the new section with the science videos, but this is designed to be more specifically attuned to what videos...
  25. Greg Bernhardt

    What's the science behind the haunting film Melancholia?

    Watched it a few nights ago and still thinking about it http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1527186/ First part of the movie is super slow and has no sci-fi in it. However the second part is much more interesting. Certainly lots to think about and examine in the end. Very haunting. My mind is really...
  26. P

    Automatic diving watch problem

    I wondered, If I have an automatic diving watch that is designed to withstand, say 20 atmospheres of water pressure, is it safe to swim with it? When you dive, you do not hit the water as hard and with so many repetitions as you do while swimming. Do you think it is safe for the automatic...
  27. N

    Watch problems gaining and losing time

    1. My watch (which is a 12 hour watch) gains 3 minutes every 2 hours. a) I set my watch to the correct time at noon on 1st January. If I don't reset it, when will it next show the correct time? I got 48 hours after, so that's at noon on the 3rd January. as if my watch gains 3 minutes every two...
  28. Emmanuel_Euler

    What Would Happen if I Threw My Watch into a Black Hole?

    what does happen if i threw my watch into a black hole??
  29. russ_watters

    Misogyny & Boorishness in "Mad Men": What Am I Missing?

    I'm halfway through the first season and I just don't get the appeal. Is it just an excuse for acceptable - even celebrated - misogyny and boorishness for men? I've heard criticism of "Entourage" for that, but didn't really buy it - in Entourage, the joke was on the biggest men (Vinny Chase...
  30. marcus

    Six themes for QG in 2015 (developments to watch for)

    Not in any particular order (all are active important research initiatives). 1. Algebraic geomatter (google "geometry and the quantum: basics") 2. LQG with constant curvature simplices (embodying the cosmological curvature constant Λ) 3. Flux formulation LQG 4. LambdaCDM bounce 5. Projective...
  31. H

    TV shows you are ashamed to say you watch

    i will start with Jeremy Kyle show - i know it is chav tv but just can't resist a good lie detector test episode.
  32. K

    Waterproof Watch with repeatable countdown timer?

    Part of my job as a lifeguard is dispatching guests at water slides at a busy amusement park. Believe it or not, these people paid quite a bit to get in, and I actually care about them, so I would like to fire them off at the maximum rate possible. Sadly, I am responsible for timing this - I...
  33. dlgoff

    Motivational Video: Watch and Be Inspired

    This is an awesome video explaining what it takes to do the stuff my daughter teaches. But I think it applies to anything one would like to accomplish. Watch and be motivated. :approve: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLftsQKFPZg
  34. davenn

    Must Watch Solar Flare Video - Stunning Detail!

    Solar Flare Must Watch! guys and gals if you haven't seen this video of solar flare yet, then hold onto your seats! make sure you view it in full screen mode :smile:http://www.space.com/19873-blazing-arc-rains-fire-on-sun-magnetic-solar-flare-loop-video.html I have seen many flare videos over...
  35. Borek

    Watch Glaciers Split in Half: Incredible Video

    It could go here, or in the General Discussion. Amazing: http://www.wimp.com/glaciersplit/
  36. A

    Why adults don't watch cartoons?

    Society deems adults who watch cartoons as childish and immature. Why is this? Some of the cartoons contain clever pop culture references and have nice humour. Then why don't adults watch it? Google-ing gave me the following answers:- - Some of the humour in cartoons is childish and doesn't...
  37. P

    Watch a Fascinating Demo of Collisions Inside a Conductor

    I remember seeing a demo of collisions inside a conductor. It was a long board with nails representing the atom positions (a square lattice arrangement) and you would put a hand full of marbles at the top. The marbles will slide down but since they keep hitting the nails the velocity will be...
  38. davenn

    An Aurora Watch alert issued today

    hey guys anyone interested in seeing and or photographing aurorae an alert has been issued today 21 Aug 2013 AEST = Australian Eastern Standard Time cheers Dave
  39. T

    Watch Preference in the lab?

    I'm curious? Do you prefer analog? Digital? No watch? Any specific brands or features you wouldn't wear a watch without?
  40. N

    Calculating the mass of the wheel on a pendulum on a watch

    Homework Statement The balance wheel of a watch is a thin ring of radius 0.95 cm and oscillates with a frequency of 3.10 Hz. If a torque of 1.1x10-5 Nm causes the wheel to rotate 45°, calculate the mass of the balance wheel. Homework Equations I=mr2 T=(2π)sqrt(I/mgh) τ=-Kθ The...
  41. E

    How a digital watch works

    Is there any serious work with calculations and explanations about this topic? Any references? I know that that digital watch is a combination of physics(piezoelectric effect) and logic, but i need to know much more.
  42. K

    Does My Wrist Watch Physically Beat Slower?

    Hello, Some physics books tend to say that "your wrist watch will be beating slower when you travel at the or close to the speed of light." Does that mean literally? My own speculation: Although time does slow down when I travel at a speed close to the speed of light, my wrist watch will not...
  43. L

    Are my laptop specs too low to watch youtube videos?

    I got a very basic laptop which I just use for browsing (facebook, twitter, news etc.) Specs: Intel Atom Processor 1.66GHz 512kb cache 1GB RAM Ubuntu operation system It's perfect for just browsing, basically its only purpose, but when I watch youtube videos it lags. I've tried letting...
  44. Y

    Do Physics majors watch reality tv?

    I know why I don't watch them cause they're crap, and I don't get the point of being famous for having no talent, but just curious if people with scientific backgrounds and higher education enjoy them?
  45. K

    What is the stored energy of a wind-up watch?

    Homework Statement A person does .02 Joules of work winding a watch. Assuming NO loss of energy to friction, how much energy is stored in the watch's main spring?Homework Equations PE=1/2kx^2 ?? I have no idea..The Attempt at a Solution I've gotten nowhere trying to do this problem without...
  46. C

    Algebra - Quartz Tuning Fork Watch

    Algebra - "Quartz Tuning Fork" Watch Homework Statement Many modern watches operate based on a small quartz tuning fork which transduces a mechanical oscillation into an electrical signal. The frequency of the tuning fork is inversely proportional to sqrt(l), with l being the length of the...
  47. mesa

    Trillion FPS camera developed at MIT camera can 'watch' the movement of light

    This is nothing short of amazing. MIT figured out a way back in February to view how light 'moves' on, about and through objects. Here is a link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=snSIRJ2brEk&feature=related They apparently use multiple staggered high speed cameras to capture the images and...
  48. J

    NASA Who's staying awake to watch NASA's coverage of the Curiosity landing?

    Curiosity will hopefully land safely on Mars at 1:31am EDT, after "Seven Minutes of Terror" and NASA TV will be broadcasting a a show for this starting at 11pm EDT at http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/ustream.html I'm more excited and anxious about this than I have been for every Olympic...
  49. D

    MHB Watch Amazing Water Flow Visualizations - From brusspup!

    Here is a great video of water flow: http://www.youtube.com/user/brusspup
  50. Spinnor

    Slow mo walking chicken video, watch the head movement.

    The video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XDCk0DaNwiQ&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL28AFB6F1D7079B62 Observation of our chickens, when a chicken walks the head is kept motionless and then moves quickly to a new position, repeating over and over again as the chicken moves forward...