UK definitions

Discussion in 'European & Other Pocket Watches' started by novicetimekeeper, Feb 11, 2019.

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  1. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

    Jul 26, 2015
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    I'll put this here as you gents would know. On a physics teachers forum debate rages, well it has been raised, that Spanish students have been saying chronometer when they mean stopwatch and whether on not they get marked down for that by a UK exam board.

    The question asked just now was is a stopwatch a chronograph? I always think of a chronograph as being a watch that has a stopwatch complication, but is it a chronograph if it is a stopwatch alone?
     
  2. Omexa

    Omexa Registered User
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    Hi, I think they are getting into murky waters; almost every Pocket Watch sold in South America that has "Chronometre", on the Dial , is listed as a Chronometer; very few are. Regards Ray
     
  3. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    I think that's why the Spanish students want to say chronometer, but that would be marked down by the exam board. We get the students to say stopwatch or timer, but the question was raised is a stopwatch a chronograph. I don't know, I think of a chronograph as a watch with a stopwatch complication.
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Nick,

    There's certainly a clear distinction between the traditional UK understanding of 'chronometer' as an instrument with a detent escapement, and the Swiss/Continental understanding of any instrument which passes some standard or other of performance. It has nothing to do with the functions of a chronograph or a stopwatch

    Inasmuch as modern stopwatches have the function of starting, stopping and returning to zero, they're the same as chronographs, but what they don't do, which a chronograph does, is to keep the movement running continuously so that they also tell the time. As you say, a chronograph combines the functions of a normal watch and a stop-watch, so for the purpose of marking exam questions, I don't think they are the same.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  5. novicetimekeeper

    novicetimekeeper Registered User

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    All of ours are electronic now, so they have a clock running all the time plus an alarm and calendar function, so I guess that makes them electronic chronographs. I have to disable the alarms and would prefer we bought without but the ones that just do the stopwatch function are more expensive!
     
  6. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    To me a chronograph is one of two complicAtions beased on its meaning which is time recorder. The first and archaic is a device on watch which places ink drops on teh dial while it is running called an inking chronograph. These are now long gone.

    The other is a complication that engages an otherwise separate train to start and stop on command and to return to zero on command as patented by Adolph Nicole in 1862. It may also have additional counters for minutes and hours.

    There are several confusing alternatives.

    Before Nicole's invention, stop watches were independent seconds watches with a second mainspring and train that worked from the common escape wheel. There were two types, fractional second jumpers, 1/4 or 1/5 second, and dead seconds which moved the independent seconds hand once per second. They were more complicated than Nicole's design and did not have the return to zero so they quickly went out of production after 1865.

    A chronometer, as noted elsewhere, is either detent or a lever watch, subject to testing and today they have to pass those tests. A chronograph may also be a chronometer if and when it goes to testing as many high end wrist chronographs do.

    To Ray's comment, the Swiss had two testing observatories that certified watches at three grades, with two performance levels in each grade making six possible levels of performance, and as noted they did not have to make even the minimal grade if they were submitted. The top grade was first class and if a watch was marked 1st class bulletin it was a top end chronometer. Lesser levels were marked chronometer and were still very good.
     
  7. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    For high school level students, I would think that timer would refer to a device that only kept track of elapsed time and a chronograph would be one that recorded the passing of time in addition to displaying the current time. Stopwatch is an alternate name for timers that include a stop as well as a start function. Clepsydras and incense clocks as well as sand glasses are also timers.

    For native Spanish speakers cronometre is directly translated to pocket watch in English. That one will be tough but maybe not if they just accept it as a non-standard translation and are told that the English word chronometer means a precision time keeper.
     
  8. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I just translated chronograph into Spanish via Google and got "cronógrafo"
    Lots of people in lots of places speak Spanish in a lot of dialects but at best Chronometer for chronograph is the same mistake lots of people make; and, I am certain that the many Spanish speaking watch enthusiasts dislike this as much as US English speakers.
     

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