What is a Chronograph Watch Used for?

A chronograph watch… You’ve probably heard of chronographs but do you know what differentiates them from other luxury watches? Keep reading and we’ll explain a bit about what makes them special and what a chronograph watch is used for.

What Makes a Watch a Chronograph? 

Simply put, a chronograph is a watch with a built-in stopwatch that precisely measures elapsed time. The watch movement can be manual, self-winding, or quartz. Pushers (buttons) on the side of the watch allow the wearer to easily start, stop, and reset the stopwatch without interfering with the timepiece’s regular function.

IWC Pilot

Note: A chronograph is not necessarily the same as a chronometer. A chronometer is an individual watch that has earned the highly coveted COSC certification for its exceptional quality and accuracy. A COSC certificate adds substantially to a watch’s value.

Uses for Chronograph Watches: Work & Play

As you might imagine, chronograph movements are essential for sporting events, including races of all kinds. Chronograph watches are also used by divers to keep track of how much time they can safely remain underwater. Military personnel, doctors, and pilots also rely on the functionality of a chronograph in their work. A chronograph (the Omega Speedmaster) even saved the lives of the Apollo 13 astronauts!

Omega Speedmaster

However, not everyone who wears a chronograph uses it in their job. Many owners treasure their chronographs for the watch’s sporty good looks. The option of using it as a stopwatch is just a bonus!

Popular Chronograph Watch features:

  • Split-second chronograph
  • Tachymeter scale
  • Telemeter scale

The above features offer additional functionality. To learn more about them, see The Gentleman’s Gazette.

Reading a Chronograph Watch

You’ll find that reading a chronograph is easy once you understand what the subdials are for and which hand does what. First, the long hand in the center of your watch looks like a typical second hand but it is not. That’s actually the chronograph second hand and it only moves when you’re using the chronograph.

TAG Heuer Formula 1

The watch’s actual second hand is in one of the small subdials. You can tell which one it is because it’s always moving. The other subdials vary by watchmaker and model but they generally keep track of how many fractions of a second, minutes, and/or hours the stopwatch has been running.

Chronograph Watches for Sale at WatchShopping.com

If you would like to learn more about what a chronograph watch is used for or select one to purchase, contact WatchShopping.com. We would be delighted to help you find a chronograph you’ll be happy with for many years to come.

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