5 extraordinary functions of your chronograph watch1:32 pm
One of the most useful complications ever put in a mechanical watch has been the chronograph. A chronograph watch is a fine balance of mechanical expertise and horological art. Introduced in the market more than a 100 years ago for aviation and professional time keeping, these watches still maintain their utility in the present times apart from being extremely gorgeous on the wrist. If you are the proud owner of a chronograph watch, we would like to introduce you to the 5 extraordinary functions of your timing instrument (that may just be revelations).
Most chronograph watches have two buttons to operate the time recording mechanism, independent of the main timekeeping function. Buttons are usually on the same side as the crown for easy access. The button above the crown is usually the start/stop button and the button below is usually the lap/reset button. The large seconds hand is almost always for use of the chronograph timekeeping.
1. Aviation – Breitling Chronoliner
Timing is critical for aviation, that is why Pilots prefer to wear a chronograph wrist watch just in case their systems experience problems or even sudden failure. They use a simple mechanical chronograph watch to take off and safely land the planes. They also record other flight timings and procedures with their chronograph wrist watches. An iconic pilot’s watch, the Breitling (inventors of the chronograph wrist watch) featured here is an ideal example of a chronograph as an aviation instrument.
How it works
The steel and black Breitling chronograph looks stunning with a matte black main dial and silver subdials. The seconds hand is a large white arrow head capable of measuring 1/4th of a second. The 30 minute counter sub-dial is located at the 12 o’clock position and the 12 hour counter sub-dial at the 6 o’clock position. The small sub-dial on the 9 o’clock position is for main timekeeping and not a part of the chronograph system. A pilot can start the timekeeping by pressing the start/stop pusher on the top right part of the case. For measuring split time the lower pusher is pressed, and finally the first button is pressed again to stop the timing. To see the last recorded split time the lower pusher is pressed after time recording has been stopped. A second press resets the chronograph.
2. Car Travel – TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Edition
Motor car drivers find a chronograph wrist watch extremely useful during their journey. They can double check the speed of their car with the help of the tachymeter scale in the chronograph watch. Timing different parts of the journey also help assessing the performance. One of the best references for this particular feature of your chronograph would be the motor sport inspired TAG Heuer watch, especially for those who live to drive.
Functioning of the watch
An exceptionally stunning and unconventional watch, the TAG Heuer Jack Heuer Edition has the chronograph buttons on the top of the watch case above the 12’o’clock marker. The large central red seconds counter hand, 30 minute counter on the 9’o’clock position and 12 hour counter at the 3’o’clock position measure the drive time. The dial has tachymeter markings on the outer circle to measure the speed of the car. This can be done by pressing the start button and stopping the chronograph after one km or mile is completed. The large red seconds hand will stop at the speed in the corresponding km or miles per hour on the dial’s tachymeter.
3. On the High Seas – Bvlgari Octo
On the high seas a chronograph watch helps in navigation. Knowing the average speed of the yacht, the captain can use the timing of the chronograph to calculate the distance travelled in a certain span of time. If a storm is spotted at a distance, a start of the chronograph on seeing thunder and stop on hearing the sound gives an accurate idea of the distance of the storm from the boat. This is done by reading the seconds hand on the watch’s tachymeter.
Here’s how to use the Bvlgari Octo
The Bvlgari Octo has a unique brushed stainless steel case design with beveled corners. The tachymeter markings are engraved on the fixed stainless steel round bezel perched on a bold and angular case. The chronograph uses the large seconds hand and subdials at the 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock positions for 30 minute and hour recordings. The start/stop button is positioned above the crown and the split/reset button is below the crown, nicely concealed by the robust case design.
4. Sports timing – Omega Seamaster Diver 300
A chronograph wrist watch is very useful in sports timing. First used in the Olympic games to calculate the exact fraction of a second which is often the only difference between the participants of an exciting race with a nail biting finish. A friendly match of cricket or soccer can also be timed with a sports chronograph wrist watch. Featured here, the special edition Omega Seamaster Diver’s is a great watch for sports lovers.
What you can do with your Omega Seamaster Diver 300M
The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M features a sand-blasted grade 5 titanium dial with applied indexes coated with white Super-LumiNova that emits a blue light. The watch has three sub-dials on the main dial – a small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock, a 12-hour sub-dial at 6 o’clock and a 30-minute sub-dial at 3 o’clock which also indicates the five-minute countdown.
A great aide during a friendly or professional sporting event, the Omega is precise, reliable, and extremely rugged. High water resistance and a rubber strap make it suitable for swimming and other water sports too.
5. Whenever it’s important – The Calibre De Cartier Chronograph
Often in our lives we require accurate measurement of time and sporting a chronograph on the wrist is a very stylish and fashionable way of doing this as opposed to using a bulky and confusing mobile phone. For instance, we need to know the exact time at which certain ingredients are to be added while cooking or when exactly to turn off the stove to prevent a dish from getting overdone. The perfect cup of coffee or tea can only be made when the brewing time is measured precisely. The chronograph can also be used to measure the pulse of a person or for other medical purposes.
Probably one of the most elegant chronographs ever made, the Cartier Calibre De Cartier Chronograph is a haute way to measure time.
The brushed and polished stainless steel case has concentric circles on the outer dial and inner sub-dials. The large black central seconds hand, 30 minute counter at 3 o’clock position and 12 hour counter at 9 o’clock are used exclusively by the stopwatch feature. Again the first pusher is for start/stop and the lower pusher is for split/reset. Ready for any precise time capturing required.
By Pranav Karol
Features Writer, The Watch Guide
A watch enthusiast who is very passionate about performance watches. A keen observer of the horological world and its latest developments.