Introducing the Watch Encyclopedia

Welcome to the best way to learn about luxury watches. La Patiala is your one-stop destination for in-depth information about watch brands, movements, complications, the different types of watches, and métiers d’art.

Watch Essentials

When I first started writing about watches, I was quickly overwhelmed; modern watches are complex, with many moving parts, and the industry is vast. It was difficult to find the information I needed to understand the basics of horology as well as its place in the larger luxury world. I kept searching for how to learn about luxury watches and didn’t discover the resources I was looking for. 

While there are plenty of excellent watch websites, they focus primarily on new releases or sales. Even if they did have the information I needed, it was buried deep in the archives and not easily accessible. Luckily, as a journalist, I had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland multiple times a year for trade shows, watch events and launches, and tour manufactures where I could see firsthand how watches were made. I asked watchmakers and brand representatives all of the questions I could come up with, and as I examined hundreds of watches in person, I began to understand watchmaking and the industry. 

As my watch education deepened, I still couldn’t find the resources that gave me the in-depth background I was looking for to help me understand what made brands like Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, and Rolex such legends or explained how certain complications worked in an easy-to-understand way. 

The Watch Encyclopedia

Watch Anatomy: The Different Parts of a Watch

Over the course of my career, I’ve been able to ask all of the questions imaginable —even the embarrassing ones — and I created La Patiala’s Watch Encyclopedia to share that knowledge. I hope it gives you the confidence to dive into the watch world, begin collecting, and feel confident in your purchases. If there’s a question I didn’t answer, please send me an email, and I’d be happy to write a feature to answer it. After all, if you have a question, you can be assured that plenty of other people have the same one. 

What makes our watch stories different from other websites? First, it’s easy to navigate. Stories are separated by category and organized in alphabetical order in a beautiful layout. Whether you want to learn about watch essentials, movements and complications, the different types of watches, métiers d’art, or women’s watches, you’ll find it here. Second, La Patiala focuses exclusively on luxury timepieces, so there aren’t inexpensive watches powered by a quartz movement in the mix. Finally, the content is evergreen and constantly updated, so you can come back and learn at your leisure. 

Don’t know where to start? I recommend you begin with Watch Essentials. At its core, a watch is a complex mechanical device, and there are a lot of technical terms and pieces of information to familiarize yourself with. Here, you’ll discover the basics of watch manufacturing and a glossary that explains terms like quartz crystals, mechanical-winding watches, and the balance spring. It also includes features on the history of watches, like what happened to watch companies during World War I and II, and when the need for a portable timepiece led to the creation of the pocket watch. You will discover the most important horological figures, including Abraham-Louis Breguet, John Harwood, and Gérald Genta. Finally, it will help you understand the different types of components in a watch movement, such as chronograph and minute hands, and the difference between stainless steel and gold watches. 

I hope you enjoy exploring the Watch Encyclopedia and learning about the marvel of a mechanical watch as much as I enjoyed writing it. If you have any questions or features you’d like to see, please send me an email

Kristen Shirley

Founder of La Patiala 

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