What exactly is a watch bridge? Well, the typical definition of this vital watch part states: a bridge is a complementary part fixed to the main plate to form the frame of a watch movement. However, if you’re not really familiar with watch terminology and parts, this definition may not be incredibly helpful to you.
To learn more about watch bridges, keep reading:
The Bridge and Its Associated Parts
To reiterate in more general terms, a watch bridge is a watch part attached to the main plate to help form the frame of a watch movement.
A movement is the completed, finished individual mechanism contained inside the case of the watch (it does not include the case or dial itself). The other parts are mounted inside the frame, part of the ébauche. An ebauche is usually understood to mean an unassembled, unfinished movement, including the major structural components (e.g. plates, bridges, etc.) and sometimes parts of the wheel train and other moving parts.
Note: Something important to remember about a bridge—DON’T touch it. In fact, don’t touch the bridges or wheels of any automatic watch with your fingers. The oil from your fingers can actually rust the parts and etch the plates of the movement. Going along with that, don’t blow on the movement either. It could add moisture that would also lead to unwanted rusting.
Watches that have anglage on the bridge typically are a sign of a high-quality watch. Anglage refers to the finishing of the bridge. For example, all watches that have anglaged edges appear more refined and polished. The anglage also helps eliminate sharp edges that can chip or scratch other movement parts during watch servicing.
Before purchasing a watch, it is a smart idea to be familiar with the various parts of it. Without enough information, it’s hard to know whether you are getting a high-quality watch with exceptional features or a poor quality watch that will fall apart after a few weeks.
It’s important to review a watch description carefully and thoroughly. The description of the watch you want to buy should be detailed enough so you know exactly what you're getting. If it isn't, you might want to ask the company or seller for more information.
The Orient Watch Company provides detailed descriptions of each of their watches for sale. On top of that, their main Web page as well as many watch forums go into even more details about the unique features and watch parts that make up an Orient mechanical watch.