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Thread: pilots chronographs variations of use

  1. #1
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    pilots chronographs variations of use

    I really like my Zenith tipo cp2 and my Sinn 103





    but though they have things in common they are different.

    The original Zenith was assigned to Italian pilots flying Starfighters I believe, the chronograph is only 30 minutes.

    The Sinn has a much longer running chronograph is this for for military transport/civilian use?

    Why do military fighter pilots only need a 30 minute chrono,what are they timing as opposed to say the Sinn chronograph?

  2. #2
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Early jet fighters (the F104 starfighter being a point in case) had limited duration as such each leg of a flight was never very long, so 30 mins was considered adequate. The F104 could be empty of fuel in minutes if afterburner was used with gusto. It’s range on internal fuel was under 1000 miles as such even on cruise power the tanks would be empty very quickly.

    Most military issues Chronographs have 30 min totalisers and have had since their introduction. Eg Hanhart to Seiko Gen2
    In a larger multi crew aircraft you would use a dedicated stop watch / clock as there was more space in the cockpit to fit one.
    Last edited by Sinnlover; 3rd December 2019 at 22:45.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by bwest76 View Post

    The original Zenith was assigned to Italian pilots flying Starfighters I believe, the chronograph is only 30 minutes.
    Starfighters didn't fly for longer than 30 minutes anyway so no point ?

    Although my Rainbow Flyback will count 12 hours in 30 minute increments so must have been the post starfighter model

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bwest76 View Post
    I really like my Zenith tipo cp2 and my Sinn 103


    Barnes Bridge or Hammersmith Bridge? Difficult to tell with the out of focus background.

  5. #5
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    So what is the history of the Breitling 806? Did pilots really use the slide rule for calculations - it’s certainly designed for it. And the totalisers marks at 3,6, 9 minutes - what about that? Martyn


  6. #6
    It's mainly readability; a 60 minute scale is too fine and so difficult to read accurately, a 45 min scale is even less intuitive than 30min, a 15 min scale was used on the issued Breguet and German aircraft clocks - but then again you are using an unintuitive scale and must refer to another hand to judge whether it is 14, 29, 44mins etc. Another is as used by the South African pilots; a centre mounted chrono minute & second hand which arguably gives the better solution:


  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    So what is the history of the Breitling 806? Did pilots really use the slide rule for calculations - it’s certainly designed for it. And the totalisers marks at 3,6, 9 minutes - what about that? Martyn

    For the very unpiloty reason of phone calls previously being charged in three minute increments!

  8. #8
    I love this watch.

    Is that the recent re-issue or an original?

    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    So what is the history of the Breitling 806? Did pilots really use the slide rule for calculations - it’s certainly designed for it. And the totalisers marks at 3,6, 9 minutes - what about that? Martyn


  9. #9
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    For the very unpiloty reason of phone calls previously being charged in three minute increments!
    Time for a thread revival? See this link...Chronograph 3, 6, 9 and 4, 8, 12 minute marks.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by PickleB View Post
    Time for a thread revival? See this link...Chronograph 3, 6, 9 and 4, 8, 12 minute marks.
    Very interesting thoughts.
    Is there no advertising blurb anywhere stating why a company featured this on their watch? You'd think any excuse for a bit of technical aviation reasoning thrown in would make them mention it as often as possible. Phone call timing being less...glamorous.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by proby24 View Post
    I love this watch.

    Is that the recent re-issue or an original?
    mine is the re-issue - very authentic down to the domed acrylic glass but powered by the modern B-01 modified to be manual wind.

    I have a theory the 3,6,9 possibly are designed for boiling eggs? I know my breakfast egg is perfect at 3mins!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartynJC (UK) View Post
    So what is the history of the Breitling 806? Did pilots really use the slide rule for calculations - it’s certainly designed for it. And the totalisers marks at 3,6, 9 minutes - what about that? Martyn

    Sorry, what is the time?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tertius View Post
    Barnes Bridge or Hammersmith Bridge? Difficult to tell with the out of focus background.
    Hammersmith bridge near the pubs and park I was walking my brothers dog.
    Some old lady’s told me it used to be houses but was bombed during the war.

    These 2 seem to be what Sinn regard as full on pilots.

    One question is what sort of thing would they be timing?





  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy111s View Post
    It's mainly readability; a 60 minute scale is too fine and so difficult to read accurately, a 45 min scale is even less intuitive than 30min, a 15 min scale was used on the issued Breguet and German aircraft clocks - but then again you are using an unintuitive scale and must refer to another hand to judge whether it is 14, 29, 44mins etc. Another is as used by the South African pilots; a centre mounted chrono minute & second hand which arguably gives the better solution:

    That is a stunner!


    Sent from my iPhone using TZ-UK mobile app

  15. #15
    Master Seiko7A38's Avatar
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    Well perhaps someone can shed some light on this variation ?

    Allow me to lower the tone for a moment. As most of you know, I collect Seiko 7A38's in all their various forms - good, bad and ugly. Certainly one of the fugliest were the Kamatz 500 series of quartz chronographs, manufactured by self-styled French aviator René Attias, in the late 1980's. The most common was the model 517000, which came in a variety of dial colours with either 'Diver' markings or compass points on their quarter markers. The 'Panda' is quite attractive, IMO.



    I've got loads of them, here's just a few of my collection (a batch that I re-furbished recently).



    Edit: A couple of years ago, I bought a sizeable batch of them (11, almost all NOS) for $10 apiece, to break up for spare movements.

    My favourite variation is the model # 518000 'Oscar Bravo', which has a rotary slide rule bezel.





    But there was a third version, which had eluded me for a long time - the model # 519000 'Tango Charlie'.
    These are a couple of photos of one that I'd right-clicked and saved from an eBay listing in June 2009:




    Last week, I finally managed to get my hands on one. It's not the best of examples. I've done a bit of work on it, but obviously still need to re-paint the missing bezel numbers and graduations:



    So - $64K Question: Can anybody here tell me what the bezel graduations (and inner fixed scale) are supposed to do ?

    I asked the question over on pprune a few years ago, without success and have also asked David Attias (René's son, who now supposedly runs Navitec), but so far no-one has been able to give me an answer.
    Last edited by Seiko7A38; 5th December 2019 at 11:22.

  16. #16
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    For a different brand but is this any help (link):

    ...Composed of five basic models available in more than 60 versions, Navitec’s Tango Charlie watches are delivered with five interchangeable and graduated bezels (60-minute chronograph; VS 80-90; VS 100-110; VS 120-130 and VS 140-150 that permit estimated flight times or estimated times of arrival for different types of aircraft flying between 80 and 150 knots, or even on ultra light aircraft flying between 80 and 150 kilometres per hour)...

    ...?


    PS I see that your pictures have different bezels...one had VS 110 in red and the other has VS 130.

    PPS Wiki tells me that VS is the an aircraft's stall speed or minimum steady flight speed at which it is still controllable. Perhaps that is relevant?
    Last edited by PickleB; 5th December 2019 at 13:20.

  17. #17
    Master Seiko7A38's Avatar
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    I think you may well be on the right track. Thanks very much for the input.

    Assuming you're correct, it's a little odd that they did the bezel engravings as VS, rather than VS.

    And you're right, I hadn't noticed, but the bezel of the one I just bought is engraved with (Max) figures of 110 and 100 (which needs a lot of re-touching), whereas the one I saw on listed on eBay 10 years ago had 130 and 120 (and alternating large / small numbers).

    Here's a couple of photos of the only other Kamatz 519000 'Tango Charlie' I've ever seen online, listed last year on Mercari.com.jp.
    That one has 170 and 160 !! Not only that, but the graduation division marks are much longer on that bezel.




    Bugger ! That means I've still got at least another couple of variants to collect.

    Quote Originally Posted by PickleB View Post
    For a different brand but is this any help (link):
    The name at the top of the article is the same: René Attias. They sold the Kamatz brand in 1990.
    Navitec is their current brand, run by the son, David Attias.

    Last edited by Seiko7A38; 5th December 2019 at 14:41.

  18. #18
    Master Seiko7A38's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seiko7A38 View Post
    .... the only other Kamatz 519000 'Tango Charlie' I've ever seen online ....
    Not strictly true. There was also this one, missing the all-important bezel. I didn't like to tell her.


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