Arabic - Most familiar numeral style (1, 2, 3, etc.) used on clock dials,
as distinguished from Roman numerals
(I, II, III, etc.)
Bezel - Front section of clock
case, usually including grooved rim
into which crystal is set. May
also describe flat decorative surface
adjacent to clock dial.
Big Ben Gong - Deep
sounding chime that announces the hour,
patterned after the large bell in the
clock tower of the House of Parliament
Bim-Bam - Descriptive term for clock chimes
which sound only at the half hour and
Blind Man's Chime - Also known as 4/4 Chime. This means that
a portion of the Westminster chime is played every quarter hour. Four notes on the
quarter-hour, eight notes on the half-hour, twelve notes on the three-quarter
hour, and on the hour it chimes sixteen notes and then strikes the hour. If you are in
another room or 'Blind', you can tell if its 15, 30 or 45 after by the number of
the notes or sequences of the chime.
- Polished round disc at lower end
of clock pendulum, usually adjustable,
to provide regulation of timekeeping
Bow Top - A design feature of
some wall, shelf and grandfather clock
cases, characterized by a curved top
Cabinet - The wooden case of a
wall, shelf or grandfather clock, that
encloses the dial and movement and usually
Cable Driven - A movement
powered by weights hanging by cables
from the movements.
Chime Rods - Stationary metal
rods that are finely tuned, that when
struck by small hammers create melodious
chimes and the hour gong.
Crown - The top of the clock.
Escapement - The device in
a clock which controls the action
of its mechanism by releasing the mainspring
or weight power at precise intervals.
Finial - A decorative ornament,
usually in wood or brass, forming the
upper extremity of a column or structure.
Often use to complement the design
of chime clock cabinets.
Finish - Process in which
the wood surface is smoothed, stained
Grandfather Clock - A general
term used to describe a floor clock
that is 80" or more in height.
Grandmother Clock - A floor
clock similar to, but smaller than grandfather
designs, usually less than 80"
Half Hour Strike - Chiming
feature of clocks which strike both
the half hour and hour, sometimes called
Hands - Pointed metal indicators,
usually decorative, which mark the hours,
minutes and seconds on the clock dial.
Inlaid Veneers - Thin layers
of carefully chosen wood delicately
set into a wood base to form a decorative
Keywound - A term used to
describe mechanical clocks powered by
Marquetry - Decorative inlaid
patterns of wood, ivory, etc. used in
Moon Dial/Lunar Dial - An
extra feature on some clocks, to indicate
correct phase of the moon each day.
The dial makes one complete revolution
every 29 1/2 days to coincide with the
Movement - The inner mechanism
of a clock; may be keywound, weight
driven, quartz, electric or electronic
Pediment - An architectural
term which, when applied to grandfather
clocks, describes the flat cabinet surface
immediately above the dial.
Pendulum - A swinging rod
and weight (bob), suspended below the
clock movement to regulate the movement's
Pilaster - A flat decorative
panel, usually rectangular in shape,
used for columnar effect in clock cabinet
Quarter Hour Strike - Chime
clocks which toll the quarter, half
and three-quarter hour, in addition
to every full hour.
Regulator - An adjustment
lever or screw, used to correct the
timekeeping rate of a clock.
School Clock - A traditional
wooden cabinet wall clock design usually
characterized by a round or octagonal
case, large Arabic numeral dial and
lower cabinet section with a glass door
through which the pendulum is visible.
Scroll - Gracefully curved
ornament suggesting a partially opened
parchment scroll, used to embellish
the top of a wooden clock cabinet, particularly
a grandfather style.
St. Michael Chimes - Dates
back to the Revolutionary War period
and used in St. Michael's Church steeple
in Charleston, SC.
Straight Sided - Clock style
in which the body of the clock is measured
evenly in width from the crown to the
Tempus Fugit - Latin phrase
meaning "Time Flies", frequently
engraved on a decorative panel above
Triple Chimes - An extra feature
on fine chime clocks, usually providing
selection of Westminster, Whittington
an St. Michael melodies, in addition
to a "Silent" choice.
Tubular Bell Chimes - Long,
hollow chimes carefully tuned to provide
most resonant tones and accurate pitch.
Veneers - Thin layers of carefully
chosen wood that are permanently bonded
to a wood base.
Waisted - Traditionally styled
clock with the crown and base wider
than the body of the clock that encases
Weight - Heavy metal piece
used to power certain types of chime
clock movements. Usually enclosed
in polished brass tubes to enhance the
Weight driven - A timekeeping
mechanism in which movement power is
provided by the gravitational effect
of heavy weights.
Westminster Chimes - Most
familiar of all chime melodies, associated
with the Victoria Clock Tower of the
House of Parliament in London. Originally
part of University Church clock in Cambridge.
Often used in door chimes.
Whittington Chimes - A lesser
known but equally melodious chime, from
church of St. Mary-le-Bow, where Dick
Whittington first heard the call to
become Lord Mayor of London.
Winchester Chimes - Melodious
chimes originating around 1093 from
the cathedral's central tower in Hampshire,