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What Is A Chronograph Watch?

Nordgreen watch, image of Pioneer Chronograph Watch-1

Buying the perfect watch is essential, as you will most likely wear it every day. There are several types of watches from analog to digital and even the features to consider. Let’s take the chronograph feature that Nordgreen has included in its upcoming Pioneer collection. But before you do, let’s look at a few facts on what a chronograph is.




Nordgreen watch, image of Pioneer Chronograph Watch-2

So, What makes it a Chronograph Watch?

Essentially, the chronograph feature is a   stopwatch. Typically, moon watches, field watches, and pilot watches carry this feature. However, when the chronograph is the primary feature on a timepiece, it is then called a Chronograph watch
Claiming its name from Greek origins, chronograph means, ‘time writer.’ The first chronograph watch being a pocket watch was made by Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec (July 20, 1781 – June 18, 1866), a French watchmaker. Rieussec created the chronograph to measure how long it took racehorses to complete a race, but over the next century, the chronograph watch would become a mainstay for divers and the avid watch collector.





Nordgreen watch, image of Pioneer Chronograph Watch-3

What’s a Tachymeter, and How Does It Work?                     

A common feature of a chronograph watch is its ability to measure time. Helping it to do so is the tachymeter, or a scale used to calculate time. The tachymeter sits around the bezel or the dial of the chronograph watch. It was introduced around the early 20th century as being fixed to the bezel. Today, both fixed and rotating tachymeter options are available. The tachymeter can measure speed and distance. But to do so, you’re going to need to do a little math. I know that it may seem daunting at first deciphering results from the chronograph watch, so let’s have a look. 






Measuring Speed

If you’re measuring for speed, you should first know the distance traveled. Take the total distance and divide the time it takes by 3600, and the outcome is your speed. Here’s an example: 

Formula: Tachymeter Dial = 3600/ Elapsed Time in Seconds 

Let’s say you want to see how fast you can drive a mile. If you drove the mile in 60 seconds, divide 60 into 3600, and your speed is 60mph. 

Measuring Distance

Now you want to measure how far you’ve traveled. To do so, you must know the speed at which you went. Starting the chronograph at zero, stopping once your tachymeter reads the rate at which you traveled. See? It’s that simple!




Nordgreen watch, image of Pioneer Chronograph Watch-8

If It Looks Like a Chronograph Watch

The key features of a chronograph watch include a 3-pusher design (start, stop and reset), the crown (adjusts the time), an independent sweep second hand, the watch bezel where a tachymeter can sit, which generally displays a measurement ruler of time per/hour. Other types of chronograph watches such as the Flyback and the Rattrapante.

If you are looking to record time for two simultaneously occurring events, the Flyback chronograph allows you to stop timing from recording one event, while the second event continues. What’s unique about the function of the Rattrapante is that two second-hands are moving in syncopation. For recording time in relay racing, for example, the Rattrapante chronograph has an additional push-button positioned at 10 o’clock, allowing time to be elapsed with an option to resume if desired. 

When looking for the right chronograph watch that suits your style and needs best, you may want to start with the classic chronograph feature with two push-buttons positioned on either side of the crown. For starters, check out the Pioneer Chronograph by Nordgreen.


Nordgreen watch, image of Pioneer Chronograph Watch-5

The Pioneer Chronograph By Nordgreen

Something new from the Copenhagen based startup Nordgreen, and it's like nothing else they've done thus far. Nordgreen has once again, together with renowned Danish designer Jakob Wagner challenged their design concepts to bring you the Pioneer Chronograph. Keeping in stride with their NativePhilosopher, and Infinity watches, they present the Pioneer Chronograph.

Denmark is known for its technological advancements in harnessing wind turbine energy and is a global frontrunner in windmill production. The tiny kingdom of Denmark is also famous for its practical and functional approach to interior design. Creating the Pioneer Chronograph as a tribute to Danish ingenuity comes as no surprise. 

The Pioneer embodies the classic purpose of a chronograph watch. The functions are kept simple, enabling the user to switch effortlessly between the stopwatch and standard timekeeping functions/tasks.

Controlled with a three pusher design for starting, stopping and resetting the stopwatch, and an easy to read fixed tachymeter for the minute and seconds, the functionality of this timepiece becomes second nature to the user. 

The modern design of the Pioneer falls in line with minimalist principles, as the watch is kept simple with two dials on the face and keeping you up to date with a numerical calendar dial. Encased in a beautiful stainless steel body topped, with a sapphire domed glass, the Pioneer Chronograph boasts all of these attributes but at a fraction of competitive prices. 

I’ve had a sneak peek at the Pioneer Chronograph and its beautifully designed rounded edges and spacious watch face encasement. With Christmas not far away, you’ll definitely want to add this to your Christmas wishlist for 2019!






Written by George McFarley III, Video and Images by Esther Günnewig.

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