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How does a chronograph work?

How does a chronograph work?

Chronograph work

The word Chronograph is used for time recorders. Chronograph watches usually have a stopwatch function. Periods could be measured using a chronograph watch as you do with the stopwatch. A chronograph watch displays time and date too.  

Chronograph watches also come with different scales to calculate speed etc. the tachymeter scale is mainly used for this job and available in numerous models. Pulsometer and telemeter scales are not very common. A Pulsometer scale is used to measure the pulse of the patient. While the telemeter scale is used to measure the distance etc., for example, you can check how far a storm is approaching you. 

The chronograph watch lover falls typically into two categories. Some are interested in timing events like racing and running. While others love the sportier look having no specific interest in watches functionality.  In the wristwatches category, the chronograph is a multi-tool watch. It’s not surprising that many watch lovers want to have these functions in their watches. 

What Is A Chronograph? 

What is a chronograph?

It’s a pretty simple watch with the stopwatch function—the chronograph watch built on movement. The measurement of the elapsed time is the actual function of the watch. So, knowing the precise length of the time is needed. Chronograph watches come with quartz-powered, manual-powered, and self-winding. The value of the watch increases with the increase of complications in the watch.  

How does a chronograph work?

A chronograph watch comes with three fundamental functions. 

  • Start function ( when the watch is activated)
  • Stop function (while taking the reading)
  • Reset back to zero (when the watch is ready to reuse)

Pushers on the right side of the chronograph watch help to operate these functions. You don’t need to interfere with the watch itself, and you can start, stop and reset it using these pushers.

It’s pretty simple to operate a chronograph watch. It contains the pieces; one push-piece is used to start and stop the watch while another is to reset the watch back to zero. Mostly these push-pieces are located at the right side of the watch. One is used to start and stop at 2 o’clock, and the other is used to reset the functions at 4 o’clock.

For the timing function, the major second-hand works. It measures the fractions of seconds and elapsed seconds for this purpose. To display the standard seconds, a subdial is there. This subdial is also called the small-second dial. It uses a small second hand and indicates the average seconds. 

It is essential to stop the chronograph function if you are not using the stopwatch. Else, the components of the watch wear very quickly. If you never prevent it and run continuously it will also result in putting unnecessary strains on the movement. Additional subdials are also there in a few chronograph watches to measure the minutes and hours. Periods of time could be measured using most chronograph watches, and it’s up to 12 hours. 

Some chronograph watches also come with only two subdials. One subdial for seconds and another for minutes count. The duration of these watches is 30 to 60 minutes usually. The single push-piece chronograph watch is not very common, instead very rare. A crown is responsible for all the steps like resetting, stopping, and starting. 

The sub-dials also give a comparison between time elapsing and base time, offering the extra functions. The top sub-dials could measure the minutes and 1/10 of seconds or hours and minutes generally. It integrates the movement of the watch. The Coulisse movement and column wheel are two common movements of the watch. 

Who Uses It?

Usually, doctors, soldiers, divers, racing drivers, astronauts, and pilots use chronograph watches. A few watch atheists also wore this watch who loved the quality of design and pushers of the watch. It’s a quality watch with the look and best functionality. The chronograph watch is fantastic if you need a few additional complicated functions in your timepiece. It is a very useful and most common complication available. It is best for everyday uses. You can manage to measure the timing while boiling an egg etc. 

Important facts about Chronograph, you need to know

  • A huge number of people use the chronograph function and on the other side most never know about this function. 
  • This watch requires much interaction from the wearer, as compared to the other watches. 
  • The chronograph is referred to as “time writer.” In the old versions of the watch, a small pen was used to mark the dial. This pen was attached to the index. The length of the time elapsed was used to measure by the length of the pen mark. 
  • The chronograph watch was invented at the start of the 1800s. a French watchmaker Rieussec invented this watch. The automatic chronograph watch was invented later in the 1960’s. The caliber 11 movement was unveiled by Deboius Depraz, the movement expert. He was partnered with the watch brands Hamilton, Heuer, and Breitling. Zenith launched the El Primero movement, and Seiko launched the 6139 auto-Chrono – an automatic chronograph. So, we cannot say precisely who invented that first. 

How to Use a Tachymeter?

Using a tachometer needs a Lil bit of mental math. You would measure different calculations as distance traveled and speed once you understand how to use a tachymeter. You can also measure fuel consumption using a special ruler around the bezel of the watch.

A scale around the bezel of the watch is present and is called a tachymeter. It may also appear around the outer edge of the main dial of the watch. Here is the formula to calculate the scale:

Scale value = 3600/ elapsed time (in seconds) 

You can convert the elapsed time using the scale. The scale could be converted from seconds per unit to an hour per unit. The most tachymeter is valid and available for all time elapsed. The time elapsed from 7.2 seconds to 60 seconds.   

The Speedmaster starts with 500 with a hash of 7.2 seconds. The tachymeter will not work well if you want to measure the speed of fewer than 7.2 seconds. To calculate the speed of anything longer than 60 seconds, you can effectively use the tachometer. But it would be best if you did some calculations. 

The distance from 1 mile to 1 kilometer could be measured through a tachymeter. It’s also important to note that tachymeters can only calculate the known distance. For the objects traveling a longer or shorter length, you can use a tachymeter and require some math. 

Use a Tachymeter to Measure Speed

The distance must be known between two points if you are using a tachymeter to measure the speed of any object. You can trace the distance between turn one and turn two by putting a known distance between the points. The average speed could be measured with the known information. 

On your chronograph, push the start button while passing through turn one and press stop when it reaches turn 2. It takes 40 seconds between turn one and turns 2, depending on your chronograph. Tachymeter could also be used to measure other units like a kilometer. 


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