3 Basic Tips to Maintain Your Chronograph From a Watch Expert

Mar 09, 2010
Carl F. Bucherer 00.10927.08.13.02-3

The chronograph watch is the quintessential sports watch and one of the most popular complications among mechanical automatic timepieces in the world. Invented by a Frenchman named Rieussec in 1821, a chronograph is a chronometric (time-measuring) device that contains a mechanism that allows it to stop at least one hand to facilitate reading of the elapsed time. The Greek words “chronos” and “graph” stand for “time” and “writing”. Around 1910, the chronograph was introduced as a wrist watch. It quickly became a very sought after type of watch, only to gain in popularity through the years. When the Swatch watch company started the production of affordable and fashionable chronograph watches in early 1990, they sold like wildfire, as did the later versions. Today, with almost every respectable watch company claiming a chronograph within its collection, one can ensure optimal health for their chronograph watch with three simple steps:

1) BEWARE OF THE DATE: Most watch salesmen will never tell you about one of the most essential DO NOTS when it comes to chronograph watches, but it is best to NEVER change the date function on a chronograph watch when the time is between the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions. Instead, it is best to change the date when both the hour and minute hands are in the lower half of the watch between the 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions (for example, think 6:30). By following this simple step you will avoid the mistake of stripping gears within the chronograph movement and provide better precision over time.

2) WIND YOUR WATCH: We all take for granted the fact that most automatic watches are still running when we pick them up to wear but fail to realize that when you’re not wearing an automatic chronograph watch it loses power and precision over time. As the coil in the mainspring slowly unwinds releasing energy through the power train of the watch movement, it generates power throughout the movement that eventually fades with the uncoiling of the mainspring. As horology improves the power reserve and energy efficiency of movements, it is best to appreciate the fine Swiss movement and wind your watch to ensure full power energy levels… but be careful to never over wind your watch!

3) WEAR & CARE: The most basic maintenance of a chronograph watch, and all watches for that matter, is to wear and care for your timepiece. Think of your chronograph movement as a sports car engine that you need to keep well lubricated and full of energy. It’s best to frequently run these high performance engines, but in the case of timepieces that don’t get much use, consider investing in a good and affordable watch winder such as a Wolf Designs winder that will wind your watch for you when not being worn and keep all of the oils and lubricants fresh, thus requiring less maintenance in the long run.

Find Expert Chronograph Watch Repair at King Jewelers

We hope our 3 step guide to maintaining your chronograph watch has prepared you with all the knowledge you need to care for your timepiece. Whether you are looking to have your watch serviced, or are in need of expert watch repair, King Jewelers has certified European watchmakers in-house. Visit our Green Hills showroom for authorized watch repair services to keep your Swiss watch running on time. Looking to purchase a chronograph watch? Browse our selection of chronograph watches from over 20 luxury watch brands. Online orders of chronograph watches include free 2-day shipping.


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