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Clock Terms

Arabic Dial:

Most familiar numeral (1, 2, 3, 4, etc.) used on a dial for clocks as distinguished from Roman numerals (I, II, III, IV).

Ascending Alarm:

Alarm that increases volume.


The grooved rim around the dial into which the crystal is set.


Polished round disk at the lower end of a pendulum.

Chapter Ring:

A decorative ring on the clock's dial upon which the hour markers are indicated.


A glass or plastic piece that covers the dial for both protection and decoration.


The face of clocks. A decorative plate on which the hours are indicated.


Decorative ornament, usually in wood or brass, placed on top of the clock's cabinet. Used most frequently in mantel, wall and long case clocks.


Pointed metal indicators, usually decorative, which mark the hour, minutes and seconds on the clock's dial.

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD):

Time is displayed continuously in digits. Electrical current is applied to a layer of liquid crystals between two layers of transparent material. The crystals form the digits.

Light emitting Diode (LED):

Numbers telling the hour and minutes light up. Electrical current transmits coded signals that translate into numbers.

Minute Track:

A square or circular track divided into 60 equal segments. It may appear on the outer perimeter of the dial or in the dial center.


The inner mechanism of clocks: may be weight-driven, spring-driven, battery-operated or electric.


Swinging rod and weight (bob) suspended below the clock's movement. The pendulum determines the rate at which the movement measures time.