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Difference Between Chronograph and Multifunction Watches

Difference Between Chronograph and Multifunction Watches

To a lot of people Chronograph and Multifunction Watches are the same, however the difference in function couldn’t be more obvious.

A basic analog watch has the singular function of telling time, characterised by a singular dial showing twelve hour markings, an hour hand, a minute hand and in a lot of cases a second hand. The next complication usually added to a watch is the date function which in most cases is featured by including a date window on the dial. Featuring any additional complication is where the confusion starts.


[caption id="attachment_7669" align="alignnone" width="650"]Differences Between Chronograph and Multifunction Watches. 1 & 2 are Chronograph watches? INVICTA Multifunction & Chronograph Watch[/caption]

 Two Lovely Chronograph Watches, Right? Guess Again, One Isn’t.


[caption id="attachment_7668" align="alignnone" width="573"]Lucien Piccard Chronograph Watch Typical Chronograph[/caption]


A Chronograph Watch

A chronograph watch basically serves the purpose of measuring units of time independent of the time keeping function of your watch. To put it simply it has a stop watch function.

An analog chronograph watch will typically have at least two sub-dials, one featuring a second counter, the other a minute counter, in some cases you will find a micro second counter and/or an hour counter. Chronograph watches are also characterised by two pushers, one pusher to start and stop the chronograph, while the other pusher resets the chronograph to zero.

It is common to find people who want their chronograph sub-dials permanently ticking, one should note that chronographs are precision instruments and are designed to remain in fixed positions except when in use. Most people with chronograph watches seldom use the function as such multifunction watches instead.


[caption id="attachment_7667" align="alignnone" width="607"]Lucien Piccard Multifunction Watch Four Sub-dial Multifunction Watch[/caption]

A Multifunction Watch

A multifunction watch as the name suggests is a watch with multiple functions which may or may not include a chronograph. The most common type of multifunction watch is the calendar watch, featuring the day and date sub-dials. Other common features in multifunction watches include 24hour counter, moon phase indicator, month indicator.

A multifunction watch with just calendar function typically will not have pushers on the case of the watch, the added complications will function with the time keeping function and can be adjusted using the crown.

To the average person on the street, a calendar multifunction watch is more useful than a chronograph watch since one can read off information relevant to his everyday life, while chronographs are essential to precision time professionals.

In summary chronograph and multifunction watches look alike because of the presence of sub-dials, a common differentiator is the absence of pushers in basic multifunction watches. The best way to tell is to read the functions of the sub-dials on a multi dial watch.

Understand the functions of your watch and if you will never use your chronograph you should consider a multifunction watch.


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