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Glossary

Glossary - P

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PALLETS

Device of the escapement transmitting part of the motive force to the balance, in order to maintain the amplitude of oscillations unchanged by freeing a tooth of the escape wheel at one time.

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PERPETUAL CALENDAR

See calendar, perpetual

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PILLAR-PLATE or MAIN PLATE

Supporting element of bridges and other parts of a movement.

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PINION

Combines with a wheel and an arbor to form a gear. A pinion has less teeth than a wheel and transmits motive force to a wheel. Pinion teeth (normally 6 to 14) are highly polished to reduce friction to a minimum.

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PIVOT

End of an arbor turning on a jewel support. As their shape and size can influence friction, the pivots of the balance-staff are particularly thin and, hence, fragile, so they are protected by a shockproof system.

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PLATED

Metal, treated by a galvanizing procedure in order to apply a slight layer of gold or another precious metal (silver, chromium, rhodium or palladium) on a brass or steel base.

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PLEXIGLAS

A synthetic resin used for watch crystal.

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POINÇON DE GENEVE

Distinction assigned by the Canton of Geneva to movements produced by watchmaker firms of the Region and complying with all the standards of high horology with respect to craftsmanship, small-scale production, working quality, accurate assembly and setting. The Geneva Seal is engraved on at least one bridge and shows the Canton's symbol, i.e. a two-field shield with an eagle and a key respectively in each field.

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POLISHED FINISH

Brilliant metal surface obtained on the watch case with fine abrasive. Compare to brushed finish.

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POWER RESERVE

Duration (in hours) of the residual functioning autonomy of a movement after it has reached the winding peak. The duration value is displayed by an instantaneous indicator: analog (hand on a sector) or digital (through a window). The related mechanism is made up of a series of gears linking the winding barrel and hand. Recently, specific modules were introduced which may be combined with the most popular movements.

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PRECISION

Accuracy rate of a watch, a term difficult to define exactly. Usually, a precision watch is a chronometer whose accuracy-standard is certified by an official watch-rating bureau.

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PULSIMETER CHRONOGRAPH

The pulsimeter scale shows, at a glance, the number of pulse beats per minute. The observer releases the chronograph hand when starting to count the beats and stops at the 30th, the 20th or the 15th beat according to the basis of calibration indicated on the dial.

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PUSHER, PUSH-PIECE or PUSH-BUTTON

Mechanical element mounted on a case for the control of specific functions. Generally, pushers are used in chronographs, but also with other functions.

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PVD

Abbreviation of Physical Vapor Deposition, a plating process consisting of the physical transfer of substance by bombardment of electrons.

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