How To Use Chronograph and Tachymeter in a Watch

How to use a Chronograph and Tachymeter in an analog watch? The chronograph is a stopwatch and the tachymeter helps calculate speed, distance, etc..

Right after the chronograph complication began to appear in th early 20th century, it became a viral among the young generation. From then, it became a top priority whenever watches were searched and sought. While most watch wearers did not know its worth and working, it still found its way as a great fashion statement from a successful space exploration. Because an astronaut of Apollo 13 utilized the tachymeter of Omega Speedmaster and gave this whole idea of chronograph an astounding ground to go on. And it just went on. Till today, when digital technology floods the market, we find it in analog watches. Watches are timeless and anything associated with it have the weird thing to freeze time.

Ask a random wearer why his chronograph’s central second hand is stationary? One survey shows that more than half the men who wear chronograph watches do not know its functions or ever used it for timing anything. Some simple steps can help operate it and use it to time races accurately or record the length of a phone call, or more precisely time taken to drive a certain distance. History says it saved the life of some astronauts when the main computer of a space exploration exploded and all on board computers were powerless.

Well, simply put, a chronograph is the nerdy version for a stopwatch. A chronograph watch usually has three or more pushers for its function abilities. We can follow the steps below to use it:

  • Press the upper pusher (positioned at 2 o’ clock mark) to start the stopwatch.
  • Press again to stop it.
  • The lower pusher (positioned at 4 o’ clock mark) resets the stopwatch to zero.

Note here, that the central second hand of the watch is responsible for time keeping. This hand does not move when the stopwatch is not running. Every time the lower button is pressed, the central second hand goes back to zero and resets itself. And one of the sub-dials serves to keep the time. Most will also have a sub-dial serving as the chronograph minute hand—shows how many minutes have elapsed since the start of the stopwatch. Some watches have just two sub-dials. For ones with three, the third is the chronograph hour hand in most cases(shows elapsed time in hours).

Next comes the difficulty as we try to comprehend the working of the tachymeter. Most, if not all chronograph watches will have a tachymeter bezel. It helps to calculate speed, distance traveled, etc. For speed, let’s follow the steps below:

  • Measure the distance between two points along a driving track
  • Say, it is 1 kilometer.
  • Now start the stopwatch when you pass Point1 and stop it at Point 2.
  • Read the mark on the bezel where the hand stops
  • If it reads 82, it means you were travelling at 82km/hour.

For distance:

  • Keep speed of car constant
  • Record and remember it (Say 75 km/hr)
  • Start the stopwatch and stop it when it reaches 75 mark on the bezel
  • The distance travelled between starting and stopping (the stopwatch) is 1 kilometer in this particular case.

Using it is not as complicated as making it. A chronograph should get your respect for all the complications the maker underwent to give it shape. Do not be one of the many men who simply wear a chronograph, and not using it. It is not always for astronauts, pilots, racers or divers. It is for ordinary men—to time ordinary things. Just a bit of mental maths and you turn ‘Cool’ instantly!

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