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Article: Chronograph watch, everything you need to know to make the right choice

Montre chronographe : Qu'est ce que c'est ?-Charlie Paris

Chronograph watch, everything you need to know to make the right choice

The chronograph watch is a watch with complications that is regularly found in the watchmaking sector. This type of watch makes it possible to measure short times from a given moment. A chronograph watch is a line of men's watches or women's watches with classic functions that, in addition to displaying the time, has an independent timing mechanism. 


History and origins of the chronograph watch

Considered as one of the classic models of watchmaking, the chronograph watch has fascinated for generations due to its mechanism and its operation. Despite a touch of mystery about its true origins, the model can pride itself on having been designed by a Parisian watchmaker. The term chronograph comes from the ancient Greek Kronos meaning time, and Graphô meaning to write. Indeed, on the first chronographs, the push button activation caused a circular deposit of ink on a sheet. One calculated the time that had elapsed thanks to the length of the line deposited by the chronograph. If the first chronograph watches exist since the beginning of the 19th century, it is only in 1934 that the reset pusher exists.

We cannot talk about the chronograph watch without mentioning some names that have written its history in the French capital. Indeed, several men are supposed to have been the precursors of the mechanism in Paris.

  • Louis Moinet, a native of Bourges who moved to Paris during his lifetime, is credited with being the first to invent the principle of the Chronograph under the name of "Compteur de Tierces" in 1816.
  • It is only six years later that the word "Chronograph" is used and patented for the first time by Nicolas-Matthieu Rieussec. A Parisian by birth and watchmaker to King Louis XVIII, he is considered today as the inventor of the model because of his revolutionary system. This last one allowed to deposit a point of ink on the dial thanks to a pressure of the pusher. It was then possible to calculate the elapsed time thanks to the task. The invention of the Chronograph watch therefore has French origins. 
  • Other watch connoisseurs mention the name of Abraham-Louis Breguet. In 1801, this famous Swiss watchmaker based in Paris created the "tourbillon", a watchmaking complication that is the basis of the chronograph mechanism and improves the precision of a mechanical men's watch.

Different men and a city in common allowed the birth and development of one of the most appreciated models of the world watch industry which originated in Paris. The Chronographe watch is therefore originally a Made in France watch.


Difference between chronograph watch and chronometer watch: The chronograph watch is not to be confused with the chronometer watch.  The name chronometer is applied to a watch of very high precision. Indeed, for a watch to be called a chronometer watch, its function must be extremely precise. The chronometer function is certified by an organization called the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). For a chronometer watch to be approved by the COSC, it must undergo 7 tests at different ambient temperatures ranging from 8 to 38 degrees. The COSC performs these tests to measure and control the accuracy of its watch movement. 

How to use a chronograph watch? 

The chronograph watch is a complication watch that requires, like all complication watches, a specific use. The timing mechanism on a chronograph watch is triggered by pushers. To operate the Horizon Charlie Paris chronograph watch, you must:

  • Press once on the upper pusher to start the chronometer
  • Press again on the upper pusher to stop the chronometer. You can then watch the time that has elapsed between the start and the stop of your stopwatch. 
  • You can reset the stopwatch by pressing the lower push-button of the watch once.

The time of your watch is set in the traditional way, i.e. by pulling your crown and turning it upwards to set the time.


Which chronograph watch should I choose?

At Charlie Paris, we have created the perfect chronograph watch for us. It's the Horizon watch, which features a chronograph-related counter, the minute counter, which is located above the small seconds counter of the watch. With a design that is both elegant and sporty, we offer a Horizon chronograph watch in different colors, with a white, blue or black dial. With a 40mm diameter case, the Horizon watch fits perfectly on men's wrists. Designed, engineered and assembled in France, our men's chronograph watch features an interchangeable strap system. Thanks to them, you can give your watch a dressy look by associating a leather strap or a more sporty side to your watch by opting for a nylon strap.

We have chosen to use high quality materials for our chronograph watch. The sapphire glass we use is a very resistant component, the second hardest material after diamond. This glass has the advantage of breaking and scratching very easily. In addition, for all our watches we have chosen to work with 316L steel, an alloy known for its durability and also its high resistance to corrosion. 316L steel is a stainless steel whose brilliance lasts over time and does not tarnish. With these two quality materials, your Horizon watch will last a lifetime. 

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