How to use Chronograph Watch? A Simple How-To Guide

How to use Chronograph Watch?

The chronograph watch, an invention that dates back to the early 19th century, is a timepiece that combines the functions of a standard watch with those of a stopwatch. This guide aims to demystify the chronograph watch, providing you with practical insights on how to use it effectively.

Anatomy of a Chronograph Watch

  • Main Dial: Like any watch, the main dial displays the current time.
  • Sub-Dials: These smaller dials record elapsed time, typically in seconds, minutes, and hours.
  • Pushers: Located on the side of the watch, these buttons control the stopwatch functions.
  • Crown: The main control for setting the time and often used in conjunction with the pushers.

Starting with the Basics: Setting Time

Before delving into the stopwatch functionality, it’s important to know how to set the time on your chronograph watch. This typically involves:

  • Pulling the crown out to its first or second position.
  • Turning the crown to adjust the hands to the correct time.
  • Pushing the crown back in to resume normal operation.

Using the Chronograph Function

Here’s where the real fun begins. To use the stopwatch:

  • Start: Press the top pusher to start timing. The second hand on a sub-dial will start moving.
  • Stop: Press the top pusher again to stop timing. Note the elapsed time on the sub-dials.
  • Reset: Press the bottom pusher to reset the stopwatch hands to zero.

Understanding Sub-Dials

The arrangement and function of sub-dials can vary, but generally:

  • The top sub-dial often measures elapsed minutes.
  • The bottom sub-dial may measure elapsed hours.
  • The left sub-dial typically shows running seconds of the current time.

Advanced Features

Some chronograph watches come with additional features like:

  • Tachymeter: A scale used to calculate speed based on travel time.
  • Telemeter: Measures the distance of an event based on the time it takes for sound to travel from that event to you.
  • Pulsometer: Used to calculate heart rate.

Caring for Your Chronograph Watch

  • Regular maintenance is crucial for accuracy and longevity.
  • Avoid exposing your watch to extreme temperatures and magnetic fields.
  • Cleaning should be done with a soft, dry cloth.

Tips and Tricks

  • Use the chronograph function to time everyday activities, such as cooking or exercise.
  • Practice using the pushers to get a feel for the stopwatch mechanism.
  • Remember, using the chronograph function frequently can affect the watch’s timekeeping accuracy and power reserve.

Choosing the Right Chronograph Watch

When selecting a chronograph watch, consider:

  • Style: From sporty to elegant, there’s a style for every occasion.
  • Brand and Quality: Research brands for quality and reliability.
  • Features: Decide what additional features are important to you.

The History and Evolution of the Chronograph Watch

  • The first chronograph was invented in 1816 by Louis Moinet.
  • Originally used for tracking astronomical objects, it has evolved into a popular fashion and sports accessory.


The chronograph watch is more than just a timepiece; it’s a tool, a fashion statement, and a piece of history on your wrist. With the knowledge of how to use and care for it, your chronograph watch can be a functional and stylish companion for years to come.

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