Chronograph watches: what are they?
Timepieces with Chronographs
Feeling dizzy from the abundance of counters? No panic! In this article, we will analyse in detail what chronograph is in a wristwatch, how to use it and who needs it.
Chronographs: what are they?
Chronographs are among the most popular watches for measuring short periods of time. The central second hand serves as a stopwatch, while the regular second hand is concealed within one of the small counters. We will discuss counters in more detail later. It is common to confuse two concepts: chronograph and chronometer. The term chronometer was once applied to any watch, but today it is customary to refer to a class of exceptionally accurate watches that have undergone a series of tests and received the appropriate certification (the most famous of which is the Swiss COSC).
Is there a way to determine outwardly whether or not we are looking at a chronograph? Classic chronographs have two buttons on both sides of the crown, as well as three additional counters on the dial. A few models feature one button (or the crown itself acts as a button) and two or four counters.
Chronographs and their types
What is the purpose of a chronograph - to serve the original purpose or just for the sake of beauty? To avoid confusion, let us examine various types of chronographs.
Chronographs are classified according to their mechanism type: mechanical or quartz.
Quartz chronographs provide more accurate readings and are easier to operate. In spite of this, mechanical chronographs are often more attractive. During the pre-quartz era, they won the heart of racing enthusiasts (although they were not wrist watches, but rather table watches in the 19th century). Imagine that the second hand did not only keep track of when the horse ran, but also recorded its readings (put an ink dot next to it). Therefore, chronographo is the Greek name for the function: chronos means "time" and grapho means "writing". It is true that modern chronographs do not write anything, but they are perfectly accurate, and they do not only indicate the seconds.
Chronographs are classified as standard or ultra-precise based on accuracy. Standard chronographs measure time to an accuracy of 1 or 1/20 seconds. The accuracy of some chronographs can range from 1/1000 of a second to 1/1000 of a second, but record- breaking chronographs are available from some brands. There is no doubt that such accuracy is impractical in everyday life, however, they are professional chronographs designed to benefit professionals - for instance, coaches who prepare their athletes for competition.
Styles include sports chronographs and classic chronographs. Chronographs were originally intended for use in sports. As quartz and electronic watches became more prevalent, liquid crystal screens replaced arrows. The convenience of sports chronograph watches is greater than that of refined classics. In spite of this, classic models are often omitted from the nomination for "style and beauty".
Setup of the chronograph
Rather than recite lengthy paragraphs from the instructions, we will summarize the most important points regarding the operation and adjustment of chronograph watches.
Chronograph batteries drain more rapidly as they are used more frequently. Be sure to turn it off after using it.
Usually, the stopwatch (large central hand) is confused with the second hand (hidden within a small counter).
Top button = start/stop. Bottom button = reset.
As a matter of habit, a group of small counters may seem complicated and incomprehensible, but in reality everything is very straightforward. It is easy to locate an ordinary seconds counter among the other counters just by remembering its location among the others. Do not worry about the rest: there are few cases in which they may be necessary.
The chronograph, for example, has counters that indicate the number of minutes or hours that have already been logged. In the event that you would like to know the exact time of travel from one city to another, then these counters may prove helpful, but they are almost always idle.
A final feature is the presence of counters that enhance the accuracy of readings. This is also a rare occurrence in everyday life (and more frequent in sports). A division on the right counter of the EGO 1898.0.9 watch is equivalent to 0.02 seconds, which is 1/50 of a second.
For detailed instructions on using the chronograph in a watch, please refer to the technical data sheet. NIKA offers two collections of chronographs for men and women: Celebrity and Ego. All chronographs are equipped with either a Ronda 5030 (Switzerland) or a Miyota 6S50 (Japan) movement. Here is a complete list of chronograph watches.
‘A chronograph is sometimes accompanied by a tachymeter, which is another obscure but intriguing instrument. Tachymeters are used to measure a vehicle's speed. Assume that you are racing on a Sapsan and wish to see if it is able to outperform high-speed Japanese trains. As you pass a kilometer post, you press the chronograph's top pusher. After passing the next pole, you press the top button once more. On the tachymeter scale, the stopwatch hand will display not only the elapsed seconds, but also the train's speed (km/h).’
Selecting a chronograph
As a revolutionary invention and a professional tool, the chronograph has been supplanted by sports stopwatches (or even smartphones) and is only used by narrow specialists (athletes, teachers, doctors). It is common for chronograph watches to be purchased for their aesthetic appeal. With the same pleasure, both men and women can enjoy the benefits of chronograph watches- not having to choose between convenience, status and beauty, but having everything together in one container. In essence, it is an elegant round watch decorated with a rich and sophisticated finish.
Watches with chronographs are popular among men because they appear more brutal or sportier than watches with suit cases. The gold chronograph watch can sometimes be described as neither classic nor sporty - this is an intermediate option for men who are particularly demanding in terms of their watches. Moreover, the original straps add a sporty touch to any classic watch.
In addition to being larger and more entertaining than the usual classics, chronographs can also be coupled with bracelets in a very stylish manner.
In light of this, you have probably determined that life would not be the same without these adorable counters. What should you consider when choosing a chronograph? Browse the NIKA watch online store, and you are certain to find a model that appeals to you. Watches are primarily valued for their aesthetic appeal, everything else is secondary. You should, however, pay attention to the presence of the following important details:
- Contrasting or simply clear counters;
- Large numbers (including the date, if applicable);
- Mechanism that is reliable.