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Seiko Clock Terms

Glossary of Seiko Clock Terms

Anniversary Clock

A traditional type of mantel clock with a rotating pendulum encased in a glass dome. The name comes from mechanical movements, which needed winding once a year.

Ascending Alarm

An electronic alarm which starts off softly and gradually becomes louder in stages.

Carriage Clock

A traditional type of mantel, desk or table clock characterized by having a handle on top. Originally a functional feature, the handle is now most often ornamental.


An intricate process in which a skilled craftsman creates a highly decorative design. A copper plate is deeply etched with the artist’s pattern. Silver plating is bonded to the raised surfaces and polished. Then special enamel paints are applied and fired in a kiln several times to achieve a hard glossy surface.

Dual Chime

An electronic clock movement that can be set to select one of two chimes. These are most commonly either Westminster/Whittington or St. Michael/Westminster.

Dual Time Feature

Two different time zones are displayed on the clock dial. These dials can be a combination of two separate analog subdials or an analog digital subdial.

Get Up & Glow?

Through the process of electro-luminescence, the dial or hands are illuminated at the touch of a button.

EASY-TO-SET Front Rotating Alarm Bezel

The ring or “bezel” around the clock dial can be rotated to easily set the alarm time. This is the most convenient alarm setting feature available.

Light Sensor

A device that automatically disengages all alarms and melodies when there is no available light. Light sensors are available in some mantel clocks and wall clocks with chimes or musical movements.

Luminous Hands and Markers

Markers on dials or hands glow in the dark for a period of time.

Nighttime Silencer

A mechanism featured in a chime clock that automatically shuts off the chime at 11:00 P.M. and resumes functioning at 6:00 A.M.

Radio Controlled Clock (R - Wave)

A clock having a special movement capable of receiving a time signal transmitted by the National Institute of Standards. This radio signal enables the clock to keep time accurately up to one second in one million years and will automatically adjust the time according to either standard or daylight savings time.


The pendulum of a clock, which originally served the function of “regulating” a mechanical time keeping mechanism, is now a popular ornamental feature.

Rotating Pendulum

An ornamental pendulum that moves in a circle, stops, and then rotates in the opposite direction, or rotates in a continuous circle.

Schoolhouse Clock

A traditional style wall clock featuring a long rectangular wooden case with a pendulum.

Skeleton Clock

A “see through” design that exposes the clock movement wheel assembly to view. There is usually a sub-second hand.

Snooze Alarm

This alarm, once stopped, allows for three to five minutes additional sleep before the alarm resumes sounding.

Step Second Hand

Unique to quartz clocks, this “start-stop-start” motion precisely measures time in one second intervals.

Quiet Sweep Second Hand

The second hand moves in one continuous motion and has the advantage of being extremely quiet while operating.


This is a traditional style whose name is based upon its resemblance to a small drum-like tambourine.

24 Hour Time

Also known as military time. To convert 12 hour time to 24 hour time add 12 to any PM time. For example: 2:00 P.M. is 12 + 2 or 14:00 in 24 hour time. To convert 24 hour time to 12 hour time, subtract 12 from 13:00 through 24:00. For example: 14:00 in 24 hour time is 14 - 12 or 2:00 P.M. in 12 hour time.

Retired Clocks

Clocks that have been discontinued and no longer available.


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