This video will explain how to use different types of chronograph watches. A chronograph is essentially a stopwatch, used to measure elapsed times.
A standard chronograph watch typically has a pair of chronograph pushers on the right-hand side of the watch case, surrounding the winding crown. One pusher is usually positioned at 2 o’clock while the other is positioned at 4 o’clock. These two pushers serve to start, stop, and reset the chronograph hand on the dial. On a standard chronograph dial, there are normally three subsidiary dials. One is for the running seconds hand, one is to record the elapsed minutes of the chronograph hand, and one is to record the elapsed hours of the chronograph hand.
To use the chronograph function on a watch, press the pusher at 2 o’clock to start the chronograph hand on the dial. To stop the chronograph hand, press the same pusher. To reset the chronograph hand back to zero, press the pusher at 4 o’clock. Some watches have screw-down chronograph pushers, so you will have to unscrew them first before using the chronograph function. Always make sure to screw the pushers back into place when you’re not using them. Never activate a chronograph when the watch is submerged in water.
Most chronograph watches also include a tachymeter scale on the bezel or on the dial of the watch. A tachymeter can be used to measure speed based on time traveled over a fixed distance. For example, let’s say you want to measure how fast a car travels over one mile. Activate the chronograph hand when the car takes off and stop the chronograph hand when the car crosses the finish line. Where the chronograph points to on the tachymeter is how fast the car was going in miles per hour.
Another type of chronograph is the flyback chronograph. On this type of chronograph watch, the chronograph hand can be reset without having to stop it first. To activate the chronograph hand, press the pusher at 2 o’clock and then reset it back to zero by pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock. The chronograph hand will “fly back” to the starting position and then immediately continue running.
Yet another style of chronograph is the split seconds chronograph, also known as the double chronograph or Rattrapante. Much more complex than a standard chronograph, a split seconds chronograph allows you to time intermediate events thanks to two chronograph hands and an additional pusher, usually located at 10 o’clock. A split seconds chronograph watch can, for example, time two runners in the same race. To use the split seconds chronograph, press the pusher at 2 o’clock when the competitors start running to activate both chronograph hands. When the first runner crosses the finish line, press the pusher at 10 o’clock to stop one chronograph hand. When the second runner crosses the finish line, press the pusher at 2 o’clock to stop the other chronograph hand. Now you can read both race times.
Whenever possible, always refer to the official manufacturer’s instruction manual for more details on how to use your specific chronograph watch model.