One of the most common features of a watch, especially on sports watches, is the chronograph. Currently, a chronograph is associated with being a stopwatch, allowing you to time, stop and repeat. There are many different uses for a chronograph, including recording a person’s pulse and calculating distance.

One word that frequently appears with chronographs is rattrapante. What you may not know is what it means to your chronograph.

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Rattrapante Chronograph

What is rattrapante? This is another way of saying a split-second chronograph, to differentiate it from a flyback chronograph. This means you can time two events at the same time. Rattrapante is a word in French derived from rattraper, which means chases or reclaims.

In appearance, a Rattrapante chronograph differs only slightly from a single chronograph. The distinctive feature seen on the rattrapante chronograph is that the two-second hands are stacked on top.

When you activate a single chronograph, the hand will keep an eye on the elapsed time by adding the minutes. What if you want to count other events but keep track of the elapsed time in total? This is where the rattrapante function counts the same events that started simultaneously but did not end simultaneously.

Rattrapante Chronograph

How to use it is by activating the chronograph at the same time. After the first event occurs, you will use the pusher to stop the one hand, and the other hand will continue to count the total time. You need to press the pusher again to make the first hand that stops chasing the current hands.

Until the hands can be identified and become two, they travel together, and this is why the name is split-seconds or rattrapante. In most rattrapante chronograph watches, the two hands are distinguished by a different shape or color of the tail.

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Rattrapante Chronograph

Today, you will find an increasing number of brands producing the rattrapante chronograph. Although they may go by other names, such as double chronograph, Doppel chronograph, or split second, they all feature the chronograph’s second hand.

If you are interested in a rattrapante chronograph watch, please visit your nearest The Time Place boutique.