Watch Lingo

The world of watch Trading and horology (like many other fields) is filled with acronyms, short-hand references, and lingo.  Most enthusiasts, dealers, and traders use these terms to make their life easier while also signifying their own clout. If they use the correct short-form to communicate with other buyers/sellers it shows their prowess as someone who knows what they’re talking about (seemingly) and is part of becoming a veteran in the game.

There’s been many watch traders asking about what certain acronyms mean, so in an attempt to level the playing field, and ensure you all can understand what you’re dealing with, I’ve put together a guide to help you navigate the dance.  

Keep in mind there’s many different short-form terms so not all of them are covered here, but this should cover a majority of what you’ll come up against, and if it doesn’t, the term is probably still represented here but another term is being subbed for it.  


WTB – Want to Buy (usually when listing on the Forums and Facebook Groups)

NTQ – Need to Quote = For when you need a price on a watch that you’re sourcing for yourself or a customer

NTB – Need to Buy

FS – For Sale 

FSOT – For Sale or Trade

WTT – Want to Trade

ISO – In Search Of

FTO – For Trade Only

FSO – For Sale Only

OBO – Or Best Offer

Soft Call – When someone is looking for a watch to Buy but doesn’t have a serious commitment.  Usually they’re just feeling out for a price

Medium Call – May have a seriously interested customer or desire for a watch but probably doesn’t have a deposit in hand or the funds secured.

Hard Call – Basically a sole order now just looking for the watch that fits the description condition and price wise.  

Sold Order – The funds are secured and now the person requesting the watch just needs one for their customer.

PP – PayPal

PP F&F – PayPal Friends and Family (for payment not incurring 3% eBay fees)

PP G&S – PayPal Goods & Services

Your Label – You pay for the shipping 

My Label – I pay for shipping 

$X,XXX + Ship – Asking price of the listed watch plus cost of shipping the watch not included 

Naked – Watch only no boxes or papers

Complete – Comes with watch, boxes, booklets, papers, and any accessories that come standard with the watch

Full Kit – Alternate meaning for complete 

Slider – The watch can pass as basically new

B&P – Box and Papers

NIB – New in Box

BNIB – Brand New in Box

LNIB – Like New in Box

Wire – Bank Wire

Net to You – What the person walks away with after all fees 

CONUS – Shipped within the Continental USA (not Hawaii or Alaska)

Fully Linked (or Full Links) – Comes with all original numbered links in the watch bracelet from the dealer

Bezel Protector – Plastic Case that goes on top of the outer Bezel when new to protect from scratches etc.

Ref – Reference number of the watch.  This is the model number not the serial number

Mint – Should be 98%+ seemingly new

Excellent – 90%+ condition

Fair/Good – 80-90% condition

Beater – Not necessarily related to condition but a term to describe the watch worn that one doesn’t care as much about.  May be lower price or a functional/tool watch. Sometimes noted as a joke because actually the watch is nice 

Daily – A go-to daily watch

Submersible – Diver function watch

Chrono – Usually denotes the Chronograph feature of a watch

Retail Ready – The watch has been made to seem almost like new as if for a retail customer.  Usually refers to polishing

COSC – Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres which is a high standard of measurement of timekeeping falling within the parameters of -4 to + 6 seconds per day of loss or over fast.  

Bump – When one bumps their watch listing post or someone else bumps it to the top of search

TTT – To the Top (predominantly in forums) like “Bump”

Grail – Your Ultimate Dream watch

SS – Stainless Steel

RG – Rose Gold

YG – Yellow Gold

WG – White Gold

Skeleton – movement can be seen usually from the front and the back view of the watch case

MOP – Mother of Pearl Dial

Lume – Luminescence short form for how the watch glows in the dark

TIA – Thanks in Advance 


There are many more slang, short-form, and acronyms used in different countries, groups, and contexts.  Most of the time you can Google search what they mean or simply ask someone. The ones above are the core of the ones that should cover you day-in and day-out.

For more references based around the functionality and horological bases of the watch world, you can check out this link.

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