Apart from telling the time, a chronograph watch has additional functions. A standard watch is essentially a timepiece that says the time in a very simple manner. A chronograph watch, on the other hand, is more complicated and functional. It’s capable of stopping, proceeding, resetting, and restarting recorded time. Consider it a stopwatch in the simplest form, though chronographs undoubtedly have additional functions.
Chronographs are actually more complex than conventional timepieces, especially mechanical chronographs. The additional elements and complexities translate into thicker cases and higher price. But none of this would decrease the chronograph’s success and popularity among watch collectors. Learn more about what a chronograph is right here.
If you want to own your first chronograph timepiece, here’s how you can choose the perfect watch for you:
Watch Movement: Quartz Versus Mechanical
The market has numerous options to choose from, and there are many different types of watches that suits your lifestyle. So what exactly makes a quartz chronograph watch different from a mechanical chronograph watch?
The major difference between the two is that the mechanical watch is designed to run without any battery, while the quartz watch needs a battery. In most cases, the battery will need to be replaced after the watch is used, while the mechanical watch will last for many years without needing a change.
For practical purposes, however, the quartz chronograph is a good choice. Features like the flyback (which is essential in quartz watches) are considerably less costly in a mechanical watch. Another smart way to go with quartz watches is by picking models that run on solar power. Keep your solar-powered quartz watch under direct sunlight for a couple of hours, and you have more or less six more months of power.
However, with superior accuracy and craftsmanship, mechanical movements are often preferred over quartz movements for luxury watches. Therefore, you can choose between practicality over craftsmanship when considering buying a chronograph watch perfect for your taste, budget, and lifestyle.
Additional Features And Elements Of A Chronograph Watch
One of the additional elements of the chronograph watch is the tachymeter function. Tachymeter is a term used in technical writing to measure the speed with which an object moves vertically. The most important aspect of the tachymeter function is its accuracy. As the tachymeter is responsible for telling time, it must be very accurate at telling time. Ideally, a watch with a tachymeter function should measure the time accurately within 0.35 seconds.
If you’re an avid racer, for one, you can use the tachymeter function on your chronograph to measure vehicle speeds accurately, which is considered the most accurate device for measuring time. However, there are more technical characteristics unique to chronographs that enthusiasts seem to admire. Some of these are the following:
- Collectors highly prize chronograph movements with a column wheel and vertical clutch. It’s regarded as more challenging to manufacture and provides a more pleasant, tactile feel when working the chronograph's buttons.
- Luxury materials such as sapphire crystal, ceramic, and titanium bring value to a chronograph timepiece.
- Exotic movements and some forms of chronographs such as monopushers often appear to be more expensive but not always for their intrinsic value.
Size Of The Chronograph Watch
Bear in mind that chronographs are usually on the larger side, both in width and thickness. As a result, it’s not uncommon for manufacturers to release time-only and chronograph watches simultaneously in the same range, allowing you to see the exact size difference produced by the stopwatch feature. To start, mechanical chronograph movements are heavy, and if they’re automated, you can assume considerable thickness, which has been a compromise for many watch buyers.
Budget For A Chronograph Watch
Chronographs are priced from a couple of hundreds of bucks to millions of dollars. At the low end of the price range, quartz chronographs can very well meet your needs, and an occasional mechanical chronograph powered by an inexpensive movement is available for not much more. You may try Nezumi Stockholm collections of chronograph watches and other options for a great buy, which range from around USD$300.
Meanwhile, something under USD$2,000 has traditionally been considered entry level for Swiss automatic chronographs. However, microbrands and the grey market have pushed those starting rates down to the point that they can now be found for less than USD$1,000 on occasion. Some of the most expensive famous chronographs reach four to five figures at MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price), so that’s a once-in-a-lifetime buy if you could afford them.
Before you decide to buy a chronograph watch, you must consider the factors mentioned in this article. A chronograph watch is used as a timepiece because they provide the user with the ability to keep track of time while performing tasks such as using a plane, walking across a room, or typing on a computer.
These watches were initially designed to enable people to measure time while they were working on something. Still, now they’re also popular with athletes and sportspeople who use the accuracy and precision provided by a timepiece of this type.
Is the chronograph watch made for you and fit for your lifestyle? Then don’t have a second thought to add this timepiece to your watch collection.