What is a Chronograph Watch?

In the world of today, watches do much more than just telling the time. Some watches have a stopwatch functionality and that is what chronograph watches are all about. Chronograph watches can record time and can also be used to measure speed and distance and give precise results.

Although it may seem that chronograph watches seem like a relatively modern invention, they’re actually not at all. The idea of a chronograph watch dates back to the early 1800s when King Louis XVIII demanded his watchmaker to come up with a timepiece that can keep a record of the elapsed time. His motive behind this idea was to record the time in horse races. His creative watchmaker used ink to mark the time that had passed and just like that, ink became the early mechanism behind chronograph watches. The idea of using ink to record obviously seemed impractical and that invited watchmakers all over the world to come up with their own ideas of a chronograph watch. After intensive and collective efforts, the modern chronograph watch that we know today came into existence.

In this article, we will dive into the realm of chronograph watches and discover their working and special features. So without further ado, let’s get right to it!

What Exactly is a Chronograph Watch? 

In simple terms, a chronograph watch is basically a stopwatch. It is used to record the time that has passed for any event. It works like a typical watch, telling time and slaying in style, the only additional feature it offers is recording the elapsed time.

Chronograph watches have a few dials on the face of the watch and also contain three buttons that are situated on the side of the watch face. Usually, the number of dials on a chronograph watch is three, one for each unit of time measurement: hours, minutes, and seconds. These are all situated on the watch face. On the side of the watch face are three buttons; one is the conventional crown of the watch, and the other two are start/stop and reset buttons. Some classy chronograph watches also contain a tachymeter which is used to measure the speed and distance of the user.

Chronograph watches are highly sophisticated and elegant timepieces. They have an exquisite design and they are bound to give your watch collection the spotlight it deserves. These watches are usually worn by athletes as it helps them to keep a record of their performance, but any watch enthusiast who has a passion for collecting classy timepieces definitely needs to get their hands on a chronograph watch.

Working of a Chronograph Watch: 

The basic working of a chronograph watch is similar to other traditional watches, but the internal mechanism of chronograph watches is slightly more complex than typical time telling watches. Chronograph watches have an additional hand that moves independently and is solely used for recording time. These watches are equipped with an additional mechanism that is used to operate the stopwatch function.

This additional time recording mechanism consists of a spring that stores energy and releases this energy to move the gears and thus move the chronograph hand to record time. Since chronograph watches have one or two additional mechanisms, so these are slightly more expensive than conventional timepieces. These watches require greater mastery and craftsmanship, and more elements as compared to a simple watch.

Special Features of a Chronograph Watch: 

Most people unexpectedly buy a chronograph watch without knowing its special features. They treat their timepiece as a normal watch, not knowing the wonders it holds. Some special features that can help you in identifying chronograph watches are given below:

1. Stopwatch Function: 

The most distinct feature of a chronograph watch is its stopwatch function. You can identify your timepieces as a chronograph if you see two buttons on the side of the watch face apart from the crown of the watch. One of these buttons is a stop/start button whereas the other one is a reset button. Upon pressing the start/stop button, the watch starts its time recording function. Upon pressing the reset button, the time recording hand returns to its original place. The chronograph hands are present on the dial of the watch face. Firstly, the hand in the second’s dial will start moving, followed by the hand in the minute’s dial, and lastly in the hour’s dial.

2. Tachymeter: 

Tachymeter is an elegant and unique feature that is present in only some of the chronograph watches. The tachymeter is basically a scale that is present on the dial covering of the watch and has various numbers scribbled upon it. The number markings on the tachymeter are used to measure the speed and distance of the user. To find out more about the tachymeter, you can check our other article that is exclusively on tachymeter and its working.

Curious to learn more about the tachometer? Discover our full article about how to use the tachymeter function on your watch here.

That’s all about chronograph watches! We hope you found this article helpful!

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