The chronograph is easily one of the most popular and misunderstood watch complications in the world these days. Frequently spending its life unused on the wrist, in reality, the chronograph is a fancy term for a stopwatch. Employing the pushers on the face of the watch, it is possible to keep track of time.
The pusher in two o’clock stops and starts the sweep seconds hand. The pusher at four o’clock resets the sweep seconds hand. To reset the sweep seconds hand on many chronographs, you have to prevent it first. However, a type of chronograph known as a flyback chronograph lets you keep the sweep seconds hand running since you reset it. But that’s a topic for another post.
What can you time with a chronograph? Everything and anything. It can be used for baking, cooking, coaching sports, racing, diving and keeping tabs on how long your kid has been in time out. But it has even been credited with saving the lives of the astronauts on board Apollo 13 as the shuttle sat 200,000 miles from Earth with no discernible method to find home. And that is a story so awesome it deserves telling.
It was April 15, 1970. The crew of Apollo 13 had started only 56 minutes past. Now 200,000 miles from Earth, an explosion erupted crippling the shuttle and causing its own computers to fail. For two days, the astronauts sat helplessly in orbit while their loved ones, friends, and coworkers awaited their certain death. Thankfully, President Eisenhower had signed up a current order that required all astronauts to be armed with a chronograph watches.
Flying blind, the crew created the concept that they could use the chronograph to period a vital engine burn with the hopes of aligning the shuttle so they could safely return to ground. Using these mechanical watches, the crew successfully aligned their trajectory and safely splashed back on earth to come back as heroes.
When the world’s most innovative computers neglected , a simple wristwatch managed to conserve their lives. Since that time, pilots from around the world wear chronographs on the chance which, in case their flight systems fail, maybe they too can save the lives of these on board.
Today, the most frequent usage of a chronograph would be to time races. Whether it be a horse race or automobile race, the chronograph is utilized by a handful of professionals that rely on these issues every day. That said, they still only account for a small proportion of the population that wears a chronograph but hasn’t used its signature function.
Some people are chronograph men and women, some individuals aren’t. There’s no shame in being on both sides of the fence . We adore chronographs here at HSS and, as such, want to supply you with some advice if you’re in the market to get one for yourself.
How to Buy a Good Chronograph
Regardless of how much you spend on your watch — though please remember that watch collecting isn’t just a game for rich dudes — here’s what you should search for.
Legibility. Start looking for a chronograph that is easy to read in a glance. It should also be clear without other designs or complications sharing its space on the dial.
Simplicity of use. You’ll want to pick one with a few pushers as it makes it far easier to work when the time is of the character. You also want to make sure it isn’t going to reset itself if you are timing something that exceeds its allotted length. The very last thing you want is to your lookout to reset itself mid-way through use. So pick one that you know isn’t going to begin over or cease automatically. If you’re going using a caked watch that has multiple functions, you will also need to ensure that the chronograph does not automatically pause or stop if you change to another function.
Contemplate the elements.
Other than that, consider any chronograph a fantastic addition to your own collection. It’s the quintessential sports watches but is also perfect if you ever use it to time a hardboiled egg.