What is a Chronograph and How Does it Work

You bought that awesome watch with all the fancy features and gadgets. Maybe you didn’t know what half of them were and it’s very possible one of these extras was a chronograph. Sounded cool but perhaps you have no idea what it actually does and it’s more than likely you haven’t even used it yet. Probably because you don’t know how to activate it either.

learn how to use a chronographDon’t worry, we’ve got you covered. It’s all really very simple and you may find yourself using the chronograph more often than you ever thought.

What is a Chronograph?

The chronograph is among the most common complications you can find on a watch in any price range. The function essentially works like a stopwatch, utilizing a collection of subdials and buttons, activate the chronograph with one click and the second hand comes to life. Completing one revolution around the face, the subdials will record each trip around the dial that the second hand makes. To stop the chronograph, just click the button again. You will find chronographs are available in a variety of durations. Many of them will record up to thirty minutes, others can clock time at up to half a day.

The function can be used for a whole list of things, whether you’re timing your trip to and from work, clocking your exercise routine, using it to keep an eye on dinner in the oven, make sure you get back to that parking meter in time, pretty much anything that requires the recording of time passing.

How the Chronograph Works

Chronographs can be rather simple or incredibly complex. This is usually based upon how expensive your timepiece was to purchase. The more ornate the mechanics, the more your watch will likely cost. But no matter how intricate your chronograph, the fundamentals are pretty much the same.

You start the chronograph by pressing the appropriate push button on your watch, engaging an operating lever that in turn pulls a pillar wheel thus removing the brake and releasing the chronograph runner. The function is working at this point and the hour and minute recording wheels are in position.

As the runner makes a trip around the dial, it moves an intermediate wheel tooth by tooth, which simultaneously moves the minute recording wheel by one tooth at a time. The wheels will then record each minute that passes until the hour wheel is activated at the 60 minute interval, and so on. When you want to stop the chronograph, click the button again and that activates the brake which prevents the chronograph runner from moving.

So, you’ve basically got a stopwatch on your timepiece. Pretty simple stuff. Now, the next time you need to chronicle a set interval of time, just look down at your watch and push the button. The chronograph will do the rest.

Video Tutorial



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