Search The Jargon
 
Latest Jargon Added
  • Chronograph
    An instrument which measures accurate divisions in time, the most basic of which is commonly(...)
  • Balance Wheel
    The Balance Wheel forms part of an assembly which functions to regulate the speed at which the(...)
  • Gear Train
    A gear train is a collection of wheels and pinions with varying amounts of teeth and pinion(...)

Chronograph

An instrument which measures accurate divisions in time, the most basic of which is commonly referred to as a stopwatch.

A chronograph provides a facility to start and stop a time recording process within a timepiece. This then provides the user with a visual display of the exact amount of time elapsed between the start and stop functions being executed.

Breitling Chronograph
Chronograph Watch Movement

An additional function is also provided in order to reset the Chronograph to the zero position.

A watch movement with a chronograph complication will allow the user to perform these functions independently of the running of the watch. This allows the watch to continue recording real time without being affected by the stopwatch process.

A most basic chronograph mechanism may record seconds and minutes. Others may record tenths of seconds, whilst others may record hours. And, of course any combination of the above.

Some Chronographs may additionally have a movable bezel to provide a tachymeter function allowing the user to calculate speed and distance as well as time elapsed.

Chronograph Watch Case
Chronograph Watch with Tachymeter

A chronograph can usually be identified as having one or more smaller dials, or sub-dials, set within the main dial with their own independent indicators, or hands for hour and minute recording. Seconds recording will usually be represented by the center seconds hand, and in this case, the real time continuously running seconds hand may be found within it’s own sub dial.

Chronograph (Wikipedia)
Electa Pocket Chronograph (ca. 1890s) manufactured by the Gallet Watch Company in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
Gallet MultiChron Astronomic (ca. 1959)—complex mechanical chronograph with 12-hour recoding capabilities, automatic day, date, month, and moon phase display
Tianjin Sea-Gull ST1901 chronograph movement (based on the Swiss Venus 175)
Citizen Atessa Eco-Drive ATV53-3023 analog-digital chronograph with 4 area Radio Controlled reception (North America, Europe, China, Japan).

A chronograph is a specific type of watch that is used as a stopwatch combined with a display watch. A basic chronograph has an independent sweep second hand; it can be started, stopped, and returned to zero by successive pressure on the stem. More complex chronographs use additional complications and can have multiple independent hands to measure seconds, minutes, hours and even tenths of a second. In addition, many modern chronographs use moveable bezels as tachymeters for rapid calculations of speed or distance. Louis Moinet invented the chronograph in 1816 for use in tracking astronomical objects. Chronographs were also used heavily in artillery fire in the mid to late 1800s. More modern uses of chronographs involve piloting airplanes, car racing, diving and submarine maneuvering.

« Jargon Buster Index

Leave a Comment

  Subscribe  
Notify of