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How To Use A Chronograph Watch

This Article is a part of a collection written by editors of This Article was written by: Tony Traina.

A chronograph is a flexible software that can be utilized to time all types of issues. Right here’s how you can use it. 

What Is A Chronograph? 


Should you’re the proprietor of a chronograph, you understand that it’s greater than only a watch – it’s a flexible software that can be utilized to time all types of issues. However in the event you’re new to chronograph watches, or simply not fairly positive what all these fingers and dials imply in your watch, that is the article is for you.


A chronograph is a kind of watch that has a built-in stopwatch operate, along with the conventional timekeeping operate. This makes it a great tool for timing occasions, equivalent to your morning run or  cooking that hardboiled egg after your jog. So as to use a chronograph watch, you’ll have to familiarize your self with the assorted buttons and dials on the watch.

OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 310 30 42 50 01 002 10 10 OME XNRVT5

Speedmaster Skilled Moonwatch 310.

How To Use A Chronograph


Most chronographs have two buttons on the aspect of the case (one above and one under the crown that’s used to set the time) which might be used to start out, cease, and reset the stopwatch operate. It’s so simple as this: 

  1. To begin the stopwatch, press the highest button;
  2. To pause (or cease) the stopwatch, press the highest button once more; 
  3. To reset the stopwatch (i.e., ship the chronograph again to zero), press the underside button


Along with the buttons, a chronograph watch will even have quite a lot of dials or subdials which might be used to show the elapsed time. To learn the elapsed time on a chronograph, you’ll want to take a look at these dials and add up the occasions displayed on every one. So, whereas the big, central hand will hold ticking away to maintain monitor of the seconds elapsed, every of those subdials will inform you what number of minutes or hours have elapsed because you started the chronograph. 

IWC Pilot Le Petit Prince IW3777 17 10 10 IWC KQGP72

IWC Pilot Le Petit Prince IW3777-17

Typically, you’ll see chronographs with two or three subdials. Let’s check out two completely different watches for instance what these subdials talk. This IWC Pilot “Le Petite Prince” Chronograph has three subdials. First, check out that center subdial, the one which has a pink hand within the center and counts to 60. That subdial is not part of the chronograph operate; it’s merely the seconds hand such as you’d see on most different watches or clocks, chronograph or not. In the meantime, the subdials on the high and backside monitor the overall elapsed time of the chronograph: The highest subdial retains monitor of the minutes (as much as half-hour), whereas the underside retains monitor of the hours (as much as 12 hours). 

Breitling Top Time A23310 10 10 BRT GBQPCL

Breitling Prime Time A23310

In the meantime, this Breitling Prime Time Chronograph has simply two subdials. Which means it solely has a subdial that retains monitor of elapsed minutes, on the suitable of the dial. The left-hand dial is the seconds hand. Because the chronograph ticks away the seconds, you’ll see the minute and hour counters begin to transfer ahead, preserving monitor of the time elapsed on that morning run of yours. When you’ve reached the end line, easy press the highest button to cease the chronograph and also you’ll see how a lot time has elapsed. Then, you’ll be able to reset the chronograph by hitting the reset button on the underside so that you’re able to time your subsequent exercise of the day (hardboiled eggs, anybody?)


Utilizing a chronograph is straightforward – it’s presupposed to be! – however it may possibly take some observe to change into proficient at studying the elapsed time on the watch’s dials. However with slightly observe, you’ll be timing jogs, eggs, and the rest like a professional very quickly.


Discover the proper chronograph on Crown and Caliber.



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