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Thread: Chronograph question

  1. #1
    Master ryanb741's Avatar
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    Chronograph question

    I've had a few chronos come in/en route of late. This one pictured is the most useful. Has a 12 hour chrono. It is a watch I was sceptical about, even at a vastly reduced RRP. Since getting it I've realised it is actually a brilliant watch and worth the same money as a SPEEDY pro and therefore the RRP was probably justified.

    I also have a Sinn 158 inbound that I've just realised has a 30 minute chronograph. What on earth is the point of this? Why would you want to restrict the duration of time counted to below 30 mins? So I'm guessing these 30 minute chronos were created for a reason?

    Would welcome any insight here

  2. #2
    Isnít it just because some designers want to get rid of the third subdial (where you would find a 12-hr totaliser) without recourse to a nifty movement with a central minute hand counter (that would relocate the 60min totaliser off the sub dials)?
    Last edited by JGJG; 23rd February 2020 at 22:26.

  3. #3
    Nifty Prospex 50th by the way :)

  4. #4
    Master
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    Heck, Omega went so far as to see no need for a minute counter..

    Guess it depends what you need a chrono for. In honesty most of the time a 30 minute counter is more than enough. 12 hour comes into play when slow cooking or parking.

  5. #5
    Surely if the hour chrono is between markers the minute chrono reads 30 to 60 or am I missing something here?

  6. #6
    Aren't the origins of such counters for pilots - back in ye slightly olden days the planes wouldn't be up in the air for longer than 30 minutes?

    I'm pretty sure someone said that the last time I asked something similar during my quest for a 12hr chrono with 60 minute counter.

  7. #7
    Master Sinnlover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughtrimble View Post
    Aren't the origins of such counters for pilots - back in ye slightly olden days the planes wouldn't be up in the air for longer than 30 minutes?

    I'm pretty sure someone said that the last time I asked something similar during my quest for a 12hr chrono with 60 minute counter.
    Yes you are correct (I think I might have been one of the ones who answered)
    The 158 is based on the Heuer Bund chrono originally used by pilots
    Most military pilot chronos of this era only have a 30 min counter because the navigation sectors flown at the time were no longer than 30 mins (early jets did not carry much fuel). As said for most people timing 30 mins is more than enough for most people nowadays

    The thing that I find strange on some modern chronos is the minute marker divided in to 3 minutes sections for the first 9 minutes.
    This was originally used to time phone call so is completely useless now.

  8. #8
    Master
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    One more reason to add to all the plausible reasons above.. a 60 minute sub dial would just be very small and difficult to read!

  9. #9
    Master flugzeit's Avatar
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    This discussion has taken place many times, and there are plenty of resources in the military forums that elucidate the question. But, if I recall correctly, one of our members on here (@HappyJack) is highly knowledgeable about such matters.

    -flugzeit

  10. #10
    Master sweets's Avatar
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    Much as I respect Ryan, I do not see any exceptional benefit to the chronograph layout on the Seiko, It is the same as any other 12-hr chronograph with a 30 minute sub-dial, which is inconvenient at best, because you need to refer to the 12-hr subdial to read what you want from the minute sub-dial. You simpy cannot tell whether you are looking at 20 mins od 50 mins without seeing whether the 12-hr pointer is at an hour, or a half hour.
    The Lemania 134x and 51xx chronographs (and older and more modern versions) are infinitely more convenient in terms of only ever needing one hand to read each criteria. Personally, I think the Tutima Commando is the clearest of the lot.



    2hrs, 10 mins, 29 secs.

    But the A-13A is pretty close, albeit 60 minute, not 12-hr.



    3 mins 29 secs.

    No sub-dial layout can compare for legibility, you can read this at the end of your arm, no squinting at details to read these.

    Dave

  11. #11
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sinnlover View Post
    Yes you are correct (I think I might have been one of the ones who answered)
    The 158 is based on the Heuer Bund chrono originally used by pilots
    Most military pilot chronos of this era only have a 30 min counter because the navigation sectors flown at the time were no longer than 30 mins (early jets did not carry much fuel). As said for most people timing 30 mins is more than enough for most people nowadays

    The thing that I find strange on some modern chronos is the minute marker divided in to 3 minutes sections for the first 9 minutes.
    This was originally used to time phone call so is completely useless now.
    On the contrary, those divisions are quite useful for timing boiled eggs.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I hate being bipolar, its brilliant.

  12. #12
    Craftsman trott3r's Avatar
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    Agreed on readability of 30mins dial compared to 60

  13. #13
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by JGJG View Post
    Isnít it just because some designers want to get rid of the third subdial (where you would find a 12-hr totaliser) without recourse to a nifty movement with a central minute hand counter (that would relocate the 60min totaliser off the sub dials)?
    That might apply for the reissued and vintage inspired designs but it definitely doesnít apply to the actual vintage pieces....
    Valjoux made different movements with some of them having 12h totalisers and some of them without at the same time. E.g valjoux 23 vs 72 and 7733 vs 7736. Legibility and cost might have been factors at play then...


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  14. #14
    Grand Master abraxas's Avatar
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    Many vintage chronos had 45 minute totalizers... I suppose for timing football matches... but it is an odd number in the design of things.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Ar.parask View Post
    That might apply for the reissued and vintage inspired designs but it definitely doesnít apply to the actual vintage pieces....
    Valjoux made different movements with some of them having 12h totalisers and some of them without at the same time. E.g valjoux 23 vs 72 and 7733 vs 7736. Legibility and cost might have been factors at play then...


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    Yep, re-reading the OP, Ryan actually had three questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by ryanb741 View Post
    [...1] What on earth is the point of [a 30 minute chronograph]?
    [2] Why would you want to restrict the duration of time counted to below 30 mins?
    [3] So I'm guessing these 30 minute chronos were created for a reason?
    My comments above really referred to the first two questions; you are of course right to offer a caveat where the third might apply to early chronos 👍

  16. #16
    Master
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    Central minutes is the killer chrono feature. As someone who actually uses their chrono albeit for fairly trivial tasks such a cooking, parking and children's punishments and is beginning to suffer middle aged long-sightedness, it is invaluable.

    Such a shame that Seiko have recently gone to the trouble of producing a new mechanical chrono movement and not decided to give it centre minutes.

    Wrt to twelve hour counters, I love the look of a tri-compax but actually 9 times out of ten you'll know to within an hour when you started timing the event so you can normally work out the hours from the time.

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