How to Use a Chronograph Watch

Written by Kimberley | 26/05/2016

Firstly, let’s start by answering a question that could be on lots of your minds. What is a Chronograph watch? This type of watch is simply a watch that can be used as a stopwatch as well as a standard display watch. A chronograph watch keeps track of seconds minutes and hours.

A great advantage of this watch is it can be used for a wide variety of tasks. From timing how long it takes your tea to brew, or how long it takes to do the dash from the car park to office. To start the chronograph, press the button at 2 o’clock, stop by pressing the same button again. Reset by pushing the button at 4 o’clock.


Dials on a Chronograph Watch

A chronograph watch tends to have 3 dials, these register the time elapse – an hour dial, a minute dial and a second dial (also known as a sub-second dial). The dials can be situated on different places on the watch depending on the manufacturer. On most the second dial is at 9 o’clock, the minute dial at 12’oclock and the hour dial at 6 o’clock.


The majority of chronograph watches will have a tachymeter on the bezel (the groove ring holding the cover of the watch face in position). A tachymeter is used to calculate a speed based on travel time or measure distance based on speed.

The formula for this is: T = 3600/t. T represents the numbers on the tachymeter’s scale, t is the time in seconds this is measured by the watches chronograph function for the event to happen 3600 is the number of seconds in an hour.

An example is if it takes you 30 seconds to travel one mile the corresponding number on tachymeter is 120. This calculates as you’re traveling 120 miles per hour.

Tachymeter to Measure Distance

Firstly, to use the tachymeter to measure distance you need to know what speed you are travelling. To do this start at zero seconds and stop once the tachymeter reads your speed. Therefore, if you are traveling at 60mph once the tachymeter has reached 60 you then know you’ve traveled one mile.

If you are travelling at a speed slower than 60 such as 45mph you need to multiply the speed by two and then divide by the same factor once you’ve reached the multiplied speed to get your distance.

Sounds complicated, you’ll soon get used to it and will become simple. You can now explore a large range of Chronograph Watches at Mainline Menswear.

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