clock, watch, timepiece

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  • vamink

    Senior Member
    English-England
    About $3,000. :)

    "Timepiece" is a popular word with people who sell very expensive watches. I've never heard it used anywhere else. Presumably, it could be applied to a clock as well, although "piece" suggest something relatively small.
    Timepiece is the name of the old fashioned watches normally worn attached to a chain in your waistcoat.

    watch=warn on your wrist
    clock= on the wall
    grandfather clock= clock in a tower shaped box with a large pendulem inside. (normally made as tall as a person)
     

    vamink

    Senior Member
    English-England
    Perhaps that is that BE usage. In AE, such watches are known as pocket watches.
    Hmm, we also call them pocket watches. I think it's just that timepiece is an old-fashioned term so it evokes the image of those old-fashioned watches. (I wouldn't use the term unless I was refering to a pocket-watch, or being old-fashioned/posh for some reason)
    Anyway, my mistake :)
     
    "Clock" is also used in chess. I am a chessplayer myself and though I have never played chess with a non-native (I am Russian myself) I have used this word several times so far. Definitely, it is not "chess watch", it is "chess clock".
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    My first reaction was : anything that measures and displays the time is a timepiece. Clocks, sundials and watches are examples of timepieces. Clocks can be very big or very small but one designed to be carried on one's person is called a watch - a wrist-watch or a pocket watch are examples. A stopwatch, however, doesn't usually tell the time of day, rather it measures quite accurately the time from button-push to button-push.

    Then I read the thread an see that "timepiece" has been used by marketers to imply quality, and may have picked up other connotations in specific usages. However, the OED's definition is the one I guessed when seeing the thread title. Sometimes you're lucky on such things :D
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    Timepiece is the name of the old fashioned watches normally worn attached to a chain in your waistcoat.
    No, those items were called "watches". Timepiece means anything (clock, watch, etc.) that indicates the time.

    watch=warn on your wrist
    No, a watch may also be carried in a pocket, or worn on a chain around the neck, or be part of a jeweled pin or ring. The important thing is that it is carried on the person.

    clock= on the wall
    No, a clock may also be on a desk, or on a table, or on the mantlepiece, or in a tower of the parish church or city hall.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In BE there's a difference in usage between the horologist and the lay person. This is most obvious in the answers which have been given about 'timepiece'.

    For a horologist the difference between a clock and a timepiece is that a timepiece does not strike on the hour: a timepiece can be repeating, however; that means that if you activate the repeat mechanism (maybe by pulling a cord or pushing on a lever or button) the timepiece will repeat (indicate the last hour, or even half-hour, past, by striking, probably on bells). This was useful in the days before electric light, to give a rough indication of the time in the dark.
     
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