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Poljot chronograph Casio AE12 LCA liquid-crystal-analog watch Traditionally, watches have displayed the time in analog form, with a numbered dial upon which are mounted at least a rotating hour hand and a longer, rotating minute hand. Many watches also incorporate a third hand that shows the current second of the current minute. Watches powered by quartz usually have a second hand that snaps every second to the next marker. A truly gliding second hand is achieved with the tri-synchro regulator of Spring Drive watches. All of the hands are normally mechanical, physically rotating on the dial, although a few watches have been produced with "hands" that are simulated by a liquid-crystal display. Analog display of the time is nearly universal in watches sold as jewelry or collectibles, and in these watches, the range of different styles of hands, numbers, and other aspects of the analog dial is very broad. In watches sold for timekeeping, analog display remains very popular, as many people find it easier to read than digital display; but in timekeeping watches the emphasis is on clarity and accurate reading of the time under all conditions clearly marked digits, easily visible hands, large watch faces, etc. They are specifically designed for the left wrist with the stem the knob used for changing the time on the right side of the watch; this makes it easy to change the time without removing the watch from the wrist. This is the case if one is right-handed and the watch is worn on the left wrist as is traditionally done. If one is left-handed and wears the watch on the right wrist, one has to remove the watch from the wrist to reset the time or to wind the watch. Analog watches, as well as clocks, are often marketed showing a display time of approximately 1: This creates a visually pleasing smile-like face on upper half of the watch, in addition to enclosing the manufacturer's name. Digital displays often show a time of The bezel of the watch features raised bumps at each hour mark; after briefly touching the face of the watch, the wearer runs a finger around the bezel clockwise. When the finger reaches the bump indicating the hour, the watch vibrates continuously, and when the finger reaches the bump indicating the minute, the watch vibrates intermittently. The device is primarily designed for sight-impaired users, who can use the watch's two ball bearings to determine the time, but it is also suitable for general use. The watch features raised marks at each hour and two moving, magnetically attached ball bearings. One ball bearing, on the edge of the watch, indicates the hour, while the other, on the face, indicates the minute. The digits are usually shown as a seven-segment display. The first digital mechanical pocket watches appeared in the late 19th century. In the s, the first digital mechanical wristwatches appeared. It had a red light-emitting diode LED display. Digital LED watches were very expensive and out of reach to the common consumer until , when Texas Instruments started to mass-produce LED watches inside a plastic case. This was only sold for a few years, as production problems and returned faulty product forced the company to cease production. Most watches with LED displays required that the user press a button to see the time displayed for a few seconds, because LEDs used so much power that they could not be kept operating continuously. Usually, the LED display color would be red. Watches with LED displays were popular for a few years, but soon the LED displays were superseded by liquid crystal displays LCDs , which used less battery power and were much more convenient in use, with the display always visible and no need to push a button before seeing the time. Only in darkness, you had to press a button to light the display with a tiny light bulb, later illuminating LEDs. If, for example, the user is wearing polarized sunglasses, the watch may be difficult to read because the plane of polarization of the display is roughly perpendicular to that of the glasses. In Seiko produced the Seiko TV Watch  that had a television screen built in,  and Casio produced a digital watch with a thermometer as well as another that could translate 1, Japanese words into English. In , Casio produced the CFX scientific calculator watch. In Casio produced a watch that could dial your telephone number and Citizen revealed one that would react to your voice. In Timex released a watch which allowed the wearer to download and store data from a computer to their wrist. Since their apex during the late s to mids high technology fad, digital watches have mostly become simpler, less expensive time pieces with little variety between models. A Timex digital watch with an always-on display of the time and date This subsection needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. June Learn how and when to remove this template message An illuminated watch face, using tritium Many watches have displays that are illuminated, so they can be used in darkness. Various methods have been used to achieve this. Mechanical watches often have luminous paint on their hands and hour marks. In the midth century, radioactive material was often incorporated in the paint, so it would continue to glow without any exposure to light. Radium was often used but produced small amounts of radiation outside the watch that might have been hazardous. However, tritium is expensive—it has to be made in a nuclear reactor —and it has a half-life of only about 12 years so the paint remains luminous for only a few years. Nowadays, tritium is used in specialized watches, e. For other purposes, luminous paint is sometimes used on analog displays, but no radioactive material is contained in it. This means that the display glows soon after being exposed to light and quickly fades. Watches that incorporate batteries often have the electric illumination of their displays. However, lights consume far more power than electronic watch movements. To conserve the battery, the light is activated only when the user presses a button. Usually, the light remains lit for a few seconds after the button is released, which allows the user to move the hand out of the way. Views of a liquid crystal display , both with electroluminescent backlight switched on top and switched off bottom Digital LCD wristwatch Casio type F-E10 with electroluminescent backlighting. In some early digital watches, LED displays were used, which could be read as easily in darkness as in daylight. The user had to press a button to light up the LEDs, which meant that the watch could not be read without the button being pressed, even in full daylight. In some types of watches, small incandescent lamps or LEDs illuminate the display, which is not intrinsically luminous. These tend to produce very non-uniform illumination. Incandescent lamps are very wasteful of electricity. Other watches use electroluminescent material to produce uniform illumination of the background of the display, against which the hands or digits can be seen. Speech synthesis[ edit ] Talking watches are available, intended for the blind or visually impaired. They speak the time out loud at the press of a button. This has the disadvantage of disturbing others nearby or at least alerting the non- deaf that the wearer is checking the time. Tactile watches are preferred to avoid this awkwardness, but talking watches are preferred for those who are not confident in their ability to read a tactile watch reliably. Handedness[ edit ] Wristwatches with analog displays generally have a small knob, called the crown, that can be used to adjust the time and, in mechanical watches, wind the spring. Almost always, the crown is located on the right-hand side of the watch so it can be worn of the left wrist for a right-handed individual. This makes it inconvenient to use if the watch is being worn on the right wrist. Some manufacturers offer "left-hand drive", aka "destro", configured watches which move the crown to the left side  making wearing the watch easier for left-handed individuals. A rarer configuration is the bullhead watch. Bullhead watches are generally, but not exclusively, chronographs. The configuration moves the crown and chronograph pushers to the top of the watch. Bullheads are commonly wristwatch chronographs that are intended to be used as stopwatches off the wrist. Digital watches generally have push-buttons that can be used to make adjustments. These are usually equally easy to use on either wrist. The Rolex Submariner, an officially certified chronometer A Breguet squelette watch with tourbillon Perpetual calendar and moonphase wristwatch by Patek Philippe All watches provide the time of day , giving at least the hour and minute, and usually the second. Most also provide the current date, and often the day of the week as well. However, many watches also provide a great deal of information beyond the basics of time and date. Some watches include alarms. Other elaborate and more expensive watches, both pocket and wrist models, also incorporate striking mechanisms or repeater functions, so that the wearer could learn the time by the sound emanating from the watch. This announcement or striking feature is an essential characteristic of true clocks and distinguishes such watches from ordinary timepieces. This feature is available on most digital watches. A complicated watch has one or more functions beyond the basic function of displaying the time and the date; such a functionality is called a complication. Two popular complications are the chronograph complication, which is the ability of the watch movement to function as a stopwatch , and the moonphase complication, which is a display of the lunar phase. Other more expensive complications include Tourbillon , Perpetual calendar , Minute repeater , and Equation of time. A truly complicated watch has many of these complications at once see Calibre 89 from Patek Philippe for instance. Some watches can both indicate the direction of Mecca  and have alarms that can be set for all daily prayer requirements. The similar-sounding terms chronograph and chronometer are often confused, although they mean altogether different things. A chronograph is a watch with an added duration timer, often a stopwatch complication as explained above , while a chronometer watch is a timepiece that has met an industry standard test for performance under pre-defined conditions: The concepts are different but not mutually exclusive; so a watch can be a chronograph, a chronometer, both, or neither. Timex Datalink USB Dress edition from with a dot matrix display; the Invasion video game is on the screen Many computerized wristwatches have been developed, but none have had long-term sales success, because they have awkward user interfaces due to the tiny screens and buttons, and a short battery life. A few astronomical watches show phase of the Moon and other celestial phenomena. In the early s Seiko marketed a watch with a television in it. Such watches have also had the reputation as unsightly and thus mainly geek toys. Several companies have however attempted to develop a computer contained in a wristwatch see also wearable computer. Braille watches have analog displays with raised bumps around the face to allow blind users to tell the time. Their digital equivalents use synthesised speech to speak the time on command. Fashion[ edit ] Wristwatches and antique pocket watches are often appreciated as jewelry or as collectible works of art rather than just as timepieces. Traditionally, men's dress watches appropriate for informal business , semi-formal , and formal attire are gold , thin, simple, and plain, but increasingly rugged, complicated , or sports watches are considered by some to be acceptable for such attire. Some dress watches have a cabochon on the crown and many women's dress watches have faceted gemstones on the face, bezel , or bracelet. Some are made entirely of faceted sapphire corundum. In the s, the Swiss Swatch company hired graphic designers to redesign a new annual collection of non-repairable watches. The first ever watch to be sent into space was a Russian " Pobeda " watch from the Petrodvorets Watch Factory.
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