A machine-tool that rotates a workpiece while applying a cutting tool to give the piece the required shape. The lathe, with its multiple accessories, is the traditional watchmaker's most versatile tool.
- The lathes most commonly used by watchmakers are the Jacot hand lathe for polishing pivots;
- the screw-cutting lathe for making threads;
- the screw-head lathe for shortening or polishing a screw;
- the centre lathe for shaping and polishing wheels (fitted with a dividing plate it was, in the past, used to divide and cut gear teeth, see wheel-cutting engine);
- and the face lathe which complemented the centre lathe as it could turn certain parts right to the centre.