1. Are you a current member with account or password issues?

    Please visit following page for more information

    Dismiss Notice

Why are 30 minute counters on chronographs "standard"?

Discussion in 'Watches' started by shrap, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,845
    Likes Received:
    204
    Does anyone know why most chronographs, automatic and quartz, have a 30 minute counter?

    I have a Citizen 2100 chronograph - link here. It has a 12-hour counter and a 60 minute counter. This is my first chronograph.

    Reading the minutes and hours is simple because they match up to how the normal watch-keeping functions work: the minute counter pointing to the right is 15 minutes, down is 30 minutes, left is 45 minutes, etc. The same with the hour counter. This is inline with the big hands and is intuitive.

    However, most chronographs including the famous Omega Speedmaster have a 30-minute counter. I think this means that the 30 minute counter goes around twice per hour, so when it's pointing straight up it can either mean 0 *or* 30 minutes. Likewise when it points downwards it could mean 15 *or* 45 minutes. This seems baffling and confusing - to find out how many minutes have past you would need to consult the hour dial also and figure out if the hand is past the halfway point of the hour mark. I suppose it could be beneficial if you needed more minute accuracy, but it seems like a really bad tradeoff.

    Does this bother anyone with chronographs? I flatly refuse to buy anything with a 30-minute counter for this reason, but I can't figure out how that became the "standard" in the first place.
     
  2. MandM

    MandM Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    Messages:
    438
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not sure how it became standard but my TAG Carerra is like that too.

    My guess (and only a guess) It might have to do with the accuracy and the readability. I know that on my TAG if they were to try to cram 60 minutes onto that little dial... I'd probably have trouble figuring out if it's 2 minutes in or 3 minutes. So they make it 30 minutes, easier to read, bigger spacing between each "tick"... then you just look at the hour counter.

    I don't see any real bad trade off. Considering the hour dial is only 1/2 inch away. Also... depending on the intended use of the Chrono... for instance my Carerra is a racing chrono... it's much better to have minutes and seconds more readable and accurate than it is for me to have to look at another dial a half inch away. It's meant to be timing laps... and most of those are timed in seconds or minutes rather than in the 30 minute or hour range.
     
  3. Valerian

    Valerian Tea-powered admin

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,266
    Likes Received:
    2,019
    After posting a whole thread about how I prefer digital watches, I naturally got the urge to look into analog watches :)rolleyes:), and decided I wanted to try a watch with a rotating bezel or a chronograph :)rolleyes:). When researching chronos, I noticed the same thing you did and found it equally baffling.

    I bought a Precista PRS-17C, which is a chrono with a rotating bezel (unidirectional, alas). It has full-size second and minute hands for the chrono functions and only the 12-hour counter is a small one. You can find some pics of it here.

    (Only had it for a few days. It's very thick, but otherwise I like it more than I expected.)
     
  4. artaxerxes

    artaxerxes Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    568
  5. Marlinaholic

    Marlinaholic Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    15
    My Seiko Titanium Chronograph SNA113 has a 60 minute one. I have a Maverick II Victorinox coming that I believe is 30. Looks like they are not real consistent among makers.
     
  6. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    Messages:
    1,845
    Likes Received:
    204
    Must be a serious pain to switch between watches if you need to use the chronograph...

    "It's been 15 minutes... err I mean 37 minutes..."