Rattrapante Chronograph Breakdown

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Rattrapante Chronograph Breakdown

Post by koimaster » February 1st 2022, 11:09am

The chronograph is an interesting category of complications, in that there are so many variations of the stopwatch function, each with their respective unique features. Here at Wound For Life, one of our favorite types of chronograph is the rattrapante, or as its more commonly known, the “split-seconds” chronograph. While oft confused with the similarly functioning “flyback” chronograph, the two are quite different, and when analysed, the rattrapante is arguably the more desirable variant.

Rattrapante is a french word, coming from the verb “rattraper”, meaning to catch up. When inspecting a watch with this type of movement, you’ll notice that on the center stack of hands, there is an extra chronograph seconds hand. Its purpose is to allow the user to track multiple times in succession without having to reset the chronograph. Once you’ve started the chronograph using the pusher at two o’clock, the two hands will track elapsed seconds simultaneously, until you’ve engaged the second stage of the chronograph. Usually, this is done using a pusher found at either ten o’clock, or integrated into the watch’s crown. Doing so will stop one of the hands, while the second will remain to track the time passed.

Where the flyback allows one to quickly stop and restart the chronograph using the single push of a button, the rattrapante lets one look back at the first timing, without having to remember it. With the exception of very few instances (potentially in military aviation scenarios), the rattrapante’s additional functionality will be found more useful than a flyback. Additionally, the effort to produce a rattrapante is greater, as it requires far more intricate clutch work — this is also the primary reason rattrapantes are typically so expensive.



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