What Is a Chronograph?

What Is a Chronograph?

The world of fine timepieces can seem very daunting, full of fancy functions and jargon. One of the most common complications found in high-end watches in the modern era is the chronograph, a word that sounds familiar even to novices. But what exactly is a chronograph?

Simply put, a chronograph is a stopwatch. Modern chronographs developed from a design first unveiled in 1816 by Louis Moinet as an instrument to aid astronomers. Since that time, chronographs are now more commonly used to time races—everything from humans to horses to cars—and assist in navigation and exploration.

Chronograph Functions

  • Most chronograph functions are activated using pushers on the side of the watch, usually above and below the winding crown. These pushers are used to initiate the movement of the seconds hand, stop the hand, and reset it.
  • Special rattrapante or split-second chronographs have two separate seconds hands that can be activated in succession, allowing an observer to time individual laps more easily.
  • Famous modern chronograph models include the Rolex Daytona, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore, Patek Philippe Ref 5270P Grand Complications, and the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph.

Interested in buying, selling, or securing a loan on a chronograph timepiece? Get in touch with our experts at Chicago Loan Company, conveniently located in the Loop. For more information please contact us by calling 312-236-2929 or emailing info@chicagoloan.com.

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What Is a Chronograph?
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What Is a Chronograph?
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This article explains what a chronograph is: It's origin, functions and uses. It also explores famous chronographs like the Rolex Daytona & Audemars Piguet.
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Chicago Loan Company
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