Have you ever wondered why chronographs are so incredibly popular, while possessing a complexity that so many owners barely ever use?
For more than a century, many watch companies have produced chronographs and several chronographs have attained good reputation in the watch industry. The Breitling Navitimer, Rolex Daytona, and TAG Heuer Monaco are just a few examples of them. Those chronograph watches have risen to the level of legendary horological icons.
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Even before the Quartz Crisis, which made mechanical timepieces almost dead, these chronographs were critical instruments that played a significant role in the moments when athletes, astronauts, engineers, mathematicians, and pilots were pushing the limits of human ability.
Chronograph should be seen as more than a complication. While that may appear arrogant, there is some sense to it. The chronograph is a watch function, yet its existence gives birth to a style that is essentially distinct to the watch itself. You can spot Chronograph watches from a mile away.
Chronographs are not just visually distinctive. They are also the only sort of watch in which the user actively interacts with the movement. Turning the bezel on a diver’s watch, for example, is interaction, but it is not the same as activating the watch’s movement.
Of course, there is some engagement when we wind a watch or set the time manually, but the interaction with a chronograph is unique. Clutches are moving, and certain wheels are engaging and reacting with one another due to our usage, and the physical pleasure of using a chronograph is unmistakable!
There’s something unique about using a chronograph to time something as opposed to touching the screen on your smartphone. First and foremost, there is only one push. There is no need to pick a phone, unlock it, select an app, and so forth.
That pusher is on your wrist, and the chronograph is ready to start whenever you need it. You’re only one push away from timing meals, your wife’s contractions, or how long your plank is. The time that passes will always be visible for you at a glance.