What Is A Chronograph Watch? The word "chronograph" is derived from the Greek words for time and writing ("chronos" and "graph"). A chronograph watch is a type of watch that can act as a stop watch, measuring intervals of time when the wearer presses pushers on either side of the crown. Types of Chronograph Watches A watch's primary purpose is to tell time; often this is done through visual demonstration of minute and hour hands.
Sometimes a watch will also display the date. Anything beyond this information is called a "complication". The following are chronograph watches that feature special, enhanced or extra complications. While all chronographs can track elapsed time (seconds, minutes and - on some models - even hours passed), as well as time of day, there are some chronographs that can also record fractions of the second. This is achieved by use of a special dial or a scale at the very edge of the watch's dial. A digital chronograph is able to read the 1/100 of a second, quartz chronograph - 1/10 of a second, and the mechanical - 1/5 of a second.
In order to restart the stopwatch feature on most chronograph mens watches, they must first be reset. "Flyback chronographs" are chronograph watches that can be restarted while still running, (without having to go through the usual series of presses). Calendar watches display the day, month and year, sequentially, but must be reset five times during the year, (on the first day of March, May, July, October and December), as well as on leap years.
A perpetual calendar watch is based on the Julian calendar (as opposed to the Gregorian calendar upon which that most of us rely). This calendar makes allowances for leap years and therefore only need to be corrected three times in 400 years! Also called "striking watches", repeaters were first created before the advent of electricity, allowing people to check the time even when it was not possible to flip a light switch or read an illuminated dial. These watches convey the time by striking a sound, much the same as a bell tower. Minute repeaters are by far one of the most complicated and intricate watch styles available, and frequently range from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
A very high-quality exception to this rule is the Citizen Calibre 9000. Available at KenmarWatches.com, the Citizen Watch Calibre 9000 offers perpetual calendar, dual time, and minute repeater complications for well under $400. Other popular watch complications include moon phase displays and multiple time zones.
Some watches have panels that show the inner workings of the watch, or other more obscure and specialized complications. A Final Chime-In About Chronographs Although chronograph styles appear to be ubiquitous to almost every watch collection in the world, names like Accutron, Bulova, Casio, Citizen, Hamilton, Invicta, Pulsar, Seiko, Technomarine, Tissot, Torgoen, Zodiac are known for their quality and precision. Recent entries, at reasonable prices, include watches by Nike, Adidas, Oakley and Nautica. It is important to note that a chronograph is different than a chronometer, which is a high-precision watch that contains movements that have passed testing by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse de Chronomètres (COSC), an agency of the Swiss government.
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About Author: James Manning is a recognized horologist authority and avid collector of watches and timekeeping devices.Reach him at www.kenmarwatches.com