My biggest watch pet peeve

Hello everyone, wishing you all well.

As I’ve been watching & rewatching many craft & tailored and also Hodinkee talking watches episodes on YouTube, I noticed one thing and i realized it’s probably one of the big watch pet peeve of mine and that it leaving your chronograph running for hours & probably running forever? Is it just me or do many people just leave the chronograph running? Won’t this increase wear & tear on the movement? For me I always make sure to reset the Chronograph even on my digital watches. What do you guys think?

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I believe this has been discussed a few times… I’m too lazy to search for you but try searching there’s been some good info there… happy searching…

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You can track a different timezone like that with some watches. Pretty cool imo, probably wears the movement down horribly tho.

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Vertical clutch = no wear

Horizontal clutch = some wear

But, you know, ultimately the chronograph was designed to be run. Not really gonna create all that much more wear or tear than you do in a typical mechanical movement by having your mechanical watch run.

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Personally, I like seeing that hand moving. I don’t always, but sometimes I leave the Speedy running.

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Mr.Dee.Bater

Vertical clutch = no wear

Horizontal clutch = some wear

But, you know, ultimately the chronograph was designed to be run. Not really gonna create all that much more wear or tear than you do in a typical mechanical movement by having your mechanical watch run.

No way! 😮 I’m a fascinated to hear more! @ChronoGuy Mel, pipe in here with your plethora of knowledge as well, if you don’t mind. Your @name popped in my head as the guy to inquire with on this subject 😄

In videos featuring Chronographs, they are always pictured with the chronograph running.

I thought it was an aesthetic decision for the video. That an inactive chrono hand kind of blocks the logo, and subdials look boring when immobile, so best to only show it running.

I thought that, Despite the videos, nobody walks around with their chrono running constantly. Whenever you glance down, logo is partially blocked by a parked chrono hand.

I assumed running it constantly drains the spring quickly, and results in shorter service windows. So not advised.

But apparently I’m totally clued out!

Are most people with chronos letting them run constantly when they wear the watch?

Apologies for knowing nothing!

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Ichibunz

I believe this has been discussed a few times… I’m too lazy to search for you but try searching there’s been some good info there… happy searching…

Sign of a maturing forum I guess. Topics/questions starting to be repeated multiple times and folks who’ve seen them many times starting to get irritated by it and pointing to the search function.

I don’t let my chronos run for no reason, for no reason other than it would be for no reason.

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Fieldwalker

No way! 😮 I’m a fascinated to hear more! @ChronoGuy Mel, pipe in here with your plethora of knowledge as well, if you don’t mind. Your @name popped in my head as the guy to inquire with on this subject 😄

In videos featuring Chronographs, they are always pictured with the chronograph running.

I thought it was an aesthetic decision for the video. That an inactive chrono hand kind of blocks the logo, and subdials look boring when immobile, so best to only show it running.

I thought that, Despite the videos, nobody walks around with their chrono running constantly. Whenever you glance down, logo is partially blocked by a parked chrono hand.

I assumed running it constantly drains the spring quickly, and results in shorter service windows. So not advised.

But apparently I’m totally clued out!

Are most people with chronos letting them run constantly when they wear the watch?

Apologies for knowing nothing!

As @Mr.Dee.Bater states, it's actually better to run a chronograph with a vertical clutch because there is more pressure on the chronograph hand when it is not running because the brake is applied.

However, there are two types of chronograph movements to start with:

1) Column-Wheel System

2) Cam-Actuated System

The Column-Wheel System can be operated by either a Vertical Clutch or a Horizontal Clutch.

Cam-Actuated Systems are much cheaper to produce so are much more common and are what you find in most mid-tier automatic chronographs primarily using the Valjoux 7750 or the homages made by Sellita and others.

Think of Cam-Actuated Systems as less elegant and more brute force movements that do not have the smooth operating capability of a Column-Wheel System. Continuously running a Cam-Actuated chronograph will create greater wear on the movement and result in shortening the life of the movement.

I quote from the Revolution Watch article linked below:

"The operation of a cam system is firmer, requires more effort to engage, and many users have claimed that it is not as pleasant to the touch. Also, it is not recommended to use the function for long periods because of the constant wear between the coupling wheels and the higher energy expenditure."

On the other hand, the ideal Column-Wheel System with a Vertical Clutch is considered the best functioning chronograph movement (and the most expensive to produce). To summarize the point from the Revolution Watch article below:

"The vertical coupling clutch employs a pair of levers or arms that keep the chronograph wheel “floating” above the ever-rotating calibre drive wheel. When released, both arms allow the clutch to fall on the seconds wheel, which then starts to rotate, thanks to the friction between them. Inside the watch, when the clutch drops, both wheels begin to turn simultaneously. This offers significant advantages: precise starting and stopping of the seconds hand and the ability to use the chronograph function for long periods without affecting the watch’s accuracy due to minimal wear. Also, there is no loss in the balance wheel’s amplitude."

Conclusion

"All things considered, though, the vertical-clutch and column-wheel system seems to strike the best balance between haute horlogerie savoir faire and practical use because of lessened wear on the components."

Here is a link to the Revolution Watch article:

https://revolutionwatch.com/rules-chronograph-engagement/

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The Speedmaster pictured at the top of this article uses the Omega caliber 1861 which is based on the Cam-Actuated Lemania 1873 which is a manual chronograph movement.

I would not recommend continuously running the Speedmaster pictured since it is a Cam-Actuated System and continuous use of the chronograph function will result in excessive wear of the movement. See my earlier comment above.

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I don’t wear a chrono often but I do not leave the function running for no reason. I do have a coworker who does that, and wears them often. I like the way that hand looks just pointing at the top. I don’t know why but running it while timing nothing in particular is just wrong.

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Very useful and interesting information folks. Thank you for that. Now the next challenge is figuring out what type of system is in each watch!