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 appears frequently with chronographs is rattrapante. What you may not know is what it means in relation to your 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 of each other.

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 rattrapante function is, counts the same events that started at one time but did not end simultaneously.

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 just 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, this is why the name is split-seconds or rattrapante. In the most  rattrapante chronograph watches, the two hands are distinguished by a different shape or color of the tail.

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

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