What are Chronograph Watches?

In simple terms, a chronograph is a fancy stopwatch. Not to be confused with a chronometer, it's a type of watch that can have up to three buttons for start, stop, and reset functions. A chronograph, which comes from words that mean "time" and "writing," once had a small pen attached to track how much time had elapsed. Today, mens chronograph watches and similar versions for women are stylish timepieces that can be used for any purpose involving a need to clock time with precision.

What Are Possible Purposes for Chronograph Watches?

The first chronograph invented in 1815 by Louis Moinet was used by French King Louis XVIII to track times in horse races. After the Wright Brothers introduced the world to the concept of flying, chronographs became widely used in aviation. Even today, many pilots still wear these types of watches in the event that their instruments fail. For non-aviators and civilians, these "fancy stopwatches" can track a variety of things, from a 100-yard dash and a patient's pulse to the length of a phone call and how long it takes to brew a cup of coffee.

How Does a Chronograph Watch Work?

Long before smartphones and smartwatches, the go-to "device" was the chronograph. It's still an interactive type of watch for many wearers. A finely made mechanical or hand-wound chronograph works by creating tension as the smaller dials move to track time elapsed. Push the button, and an accurate display of time elapsed is shown. When the reset button is pressed, all hands rapidly snap back to their original position as tension is quickly released.

What Should You Look for In a Chronograph?

There are many things to consider when looking for a new chronograph watch. Other than your budget, you want to know how you'll use your watch. If you'll be using your watch in various lighting situations, opt for a chronograph with luminous markings. If you'll be using your watch for multiple purposes at once, you should choose one that can time more than your intended duration. Many wearers also prefer watches of this nature with power reserves and models that are water resistant.

Companies like Égard that sell mens chronograph watches tend to offer a variety of styles that include classic silver, gold bands, and equally appealing two-tone designs. Functionality is another important factor customers preferring modern chronograph watches also consider. For instance, a tachymeter on the bezel is a nice feature to have if you want to measure distance based on speed or track speed based on travel time.

If you're looking for a watch to track time with precision, consider buying a chronograph watch.