What Is A Chronograph Watch?


What Is A Chronograph Watch, image of Jakob Wagner.

What is a Chronograph Watch?

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. Watch buying should firstly be about what best suits your tastes and wrist, then you can worry about the rest. 

In this article, we’ll give you some insights into buying the best chronograph watch for your style and budget, and feature Nordgreen's Pioneer collection. So, let’s get started with a few facts on what a chronograph is.


So, What is the Chronograph Definition?

Essentially, the chronograph feature is a stopwatch. The primary difference that a chronometer has from a watch is that it is accurate in keeping time, whereas you’ll most likely deal with watches stopping or slowing-down, causing it to lose its accuracy. 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 chronometer. 

The Chrono meaning has Greek origins. The chronometer definition means, ‘time writer.’ The first Chrono watch being a pocket watch was made by Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec (July 20, 1781 – June 18, 1866), a French watchmaker. Rieussec was the first to live up to the chronograph meaning when it comes to pocket watches and created a timepiece 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. 

What Is A Chronograph Watch, image of design layout.

What’s a Tachymeter and How to Use a Tachymeter?

One of the critical components a chronograph watch is its ability to measure time. Not all chronograph watches have a tachymeter. A tachymeter use is a specific feature of a Chrono watch. 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. 

When looking at what kind of mechanism you want in your chronometer watch, you can choose from a mechanical watch, having a manual wind up, an automatic chronograph which is often powered kinetically by your natural arm movement, or quartz movement powered by receiving pulse signals from a battery.

A tachymeter watch 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, 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!

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 the tachymeter sits and 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.

The Pioneer Chronograph By Nordgreen

What Is A Chronograph Watch, image of Pioneer on arm.

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 Native, Philosopher, 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. It is considered a men’s chronograph watch due to its 42mm dial size, but ladies, if you prefer a larger dial millimeter and it fits, go for it! 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 dials for the minute that you can also have in blue, black, or white. The Pioneer is a chronometer watch with second-hand use only when the stopwatch is in use, so the continual seconds are monitored by the right dial. The easy functionality of this timepiece will become second nature to your everyday use. 

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. Enclosed in a beautiful stainless steel casing that additionally comes in silver, rose gold, and gold, topped with a sapphire domed glass, the Pioneer Chronograph boasts all of these attributes but at a fraction of competitive prices. 


What Is A Chronograph Watch, image of gunmetal Pioneer with a black dial and army green nylon strap.

As an owner of a Nordgreen Pioneer with a gunmetal case and black dial which I love, I have to complement its beautifully designed rounded edges and spacious watch face encasement. It suits my casual work attire and when I want to spruce up my look for a more formal appeal, I swap out my Army green nylon strap for a gunmetal mesh strap and can recommend investing in a few of Nordgreen’s interchangeable straps to keep your accessories versatile with your attire. 

Written by George McFarley III, Images by Esther Günnewig.







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