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A chronograph is a specific type of watch that is used as a stopwatch combined with a display watch. A basic chronograph has an independent sweep second hand; it can be started, stopped, and returned to zero by successive pressure on the stem. Louis Moinet invented the chronograph in 1816
There are many modern day uses for the chronograph, but the original use for this device, and also the reason it was invented, was to please King Louis XVIII in 1821. The King greatly enjoyed watching horse races, but wanted to know exactly how long each race lasted, so Nicolas Rieussec was hired to invent a contraption that would do the job. As a result, he created the first ever commercialized chronograph.
The first chronograph was invented by Louis Moinet in 1816, although it was Nicolas Rieussec who developed the first marketed chronograph and the term 'chronograph' dates all the way back to 1776 when a man named Jean-Moyes Pouzait came up with an idea for a device that could record the time of flight of projectiles. The term, Chronograph comes from the Greek word for "chronos" and "graph", which is translated to time and writing. Early versions of the chronograph are the only ones that actually used any "writing". They would write on the dial with a small pen attached to the index; the length of the pen mark would indicate how much time has elapsed. This vastly differs from the modern day chronograph, where the stopwatch feature is electronic or digital. This caused there to be a push to change the name to chronoscope.
In 1844 there was a breakthrough with the chronograph; unlike the constantly moving needle in the original chronograph, Adolphe Nicole’s updated version of the chronograph was the first to include the re-setting feature, which now allowed successive measurements.
The automatic chronograph was invented in 1969 by the watch companies Heuer, Breitling, and Hamilton, and movement specialist Dubois Depraz, who were all in a partnership. They developed this technology secretly, in hopes that other companies would not see their efforts and beat them to the patent. It was in Geneva and in New York that this partnership shared the first automatic chronograph with the world on March 3, 1969. This first automatic chronographs were labeled "Chrono-matic".
Many people confuse chronograph with a chronometer, but in order to be labeled a chronometer the watch must be certified by the COSC, the official Swiss Chronometer testing institute. Many companies such as Rolex, Chrony, Swiss, Nautica, and Louis Moinet sell their own styles of chronographs. While today most chronographs are in the form of wrist watches, in the early 19th century pocket chronographs were very popular.
Originally the term chronograph was mainly used in connection with artillery and the velocity of missiles. The Chronograph’s main function is to allow a comparison of observation between a time base and, before the electronic stopwatch was invented, a permanent recording of the observer’s findings. For example, the first application of the chronograph was to record the time elapsed during horse races.
Some more important uses of the chronograph include the Langley Chronograph, which is used by the US Navy to record, calculate, and analyze data given off by aero plane launching catapults. Another famous usage of the chronograph was during all of NASA’s Apollo missions to the moon, each astronaut was equipped with a fully functioning chronograph, the Omega Speedmaster. You can now find chronographs that are used to record heart beats within hospitals, calculate speed and/or distance on an athletic field, or even as simple as a cooking tool for the kitchen.
Most chronographs are extremely complicated devices, which require a lot of background in engineering to fully understand how they work but this is not the case with the original chronograph. Rieussec’s chronograph was fairly simple and easy to understand. It was composed of two faces, a top and bottom face. The bottom face held a pool of ink, while the upper had a pen-like needle attached to it. When activated, the upper face pushed down on the lower face, while revolving around a central axis, which pulled the needle. This dragged the ink, in a circular fashion, recording the time elapsed by the line of ink that the motion created. There was room left for improvement, because Rieussec’s chronograph was not easily ready for multiple uses.
This paved the way for the hundreds of patents that have been handed out to people for updating and upgrading this device. Automatic, non-digital chronographs do not require a battery, because the arm or wrist of the wearer creates kinetic energy, which results in the total energy source needed for this device to work. Throughout the day, while the wearer of the watch is walking, the swinging motion of his arm forces a semicircular rotor to turn on a pivot within the watch. The rotor is attached to a ratchet that winds the mainspring in the watch, so that it is ready for use at all times.
The modern day chronograph works by pushing a start button, normally located at the two o clock position, to begin recording time, and by pushing the same button to stop the recording. When the button is pushed to start the recording, a series of three (in more complicated and more precise chronographs there are more wheels) train wheels start turning. The smallest has a revolution time of one second, the next sixty seconds, and the final one has a revolution time of sixty minutes. The three train wheels interact with one another and record how long it has been since the start button has been activated.
The original chronographs that Rieussec invented were called tape chronographs. They consisted of a tape that was constantly being dragged along at a controlled speed. When activated, a pen would be pushed onto the tape and begin recording until deactivated.
The two main types of modern day chronographs are the automatic chronograph and the digital chronograph. The difference between the two is that the automatic chronograph depends solely on kinetic energy as its power source, while the digital chronograph is much like the common stopwatch and uses a battery to gain power. Other, more specific, types of chronographs include calendar chronographs, split second chronographs, tachometer chronographs, telemeter chronographs, tide chronographs, and asthometer chronographs. Each of these chronographs has an added feature that sets them apart from the regular automatic or digital chronograph.
Automatic chronograph 
The first automatic chronograph was invented and patented by the [Swiss watch] manufacturer now known as Tag Heuer in 1969. This watch was the first one ever to be equipped with an automatic movement system. Later other watches from the same series—the Carrera Calibre was produced with an automatic chronograph. A few years later brands like Rolex and Omega also patented their own automatic chronograph systems.
See also 
- Louis Moinet Inventor of the Chronograph
- Double chronograph
- Flyback chronograph
- Chronometer (disambiguation)
- Marine chronometer
- of the chronograph
- Doggett, Rachel, Susan Jaskot, Robert Rand, Silvio A. Bedini, and Ricardo J. Quinones. Time: the Greatest Innovator: Timekeeping and Time Consciousness in Early Modern Europe. Washington, D.C.: Folger Shakespeare Library, 1986.
- Hood, Peter. How Time Is Measured. London: Oxford U.P., 1969. Print.
- Cowan, Harrison J. Time and Its Measurement; from the Stone Age to the Nuclear Age. Cleveland: World Pub., 1958. Print.
- Chronographs Spencer Emergency Solutions. Accessed 25 March 2012
- De, Carle Donald. Watch and Clock Encyclopedia. Ipswich [England: N.A.G., 1983. Print.
- "Chronometer". Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th Edition (2011)
- Stein, Jeffrey M. (2008), Project 99 – The Race to Develop the First Automatic Chronograph
- So what is a Chronograph and why is a Chronometer? chronograph.org.uk Accessed 25 MAR 2012.
- Baugh, Frank G., and Ludy T. Benjamin Jr. "Walter Miles, Pop Warner, B. C. Graves, and the Psychology of Football". Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences 42.1 (2006): 3–18. Academic Search Premier. Web. 14 Nov. 2011.
- Vroom, G. B. (1923), THE LANGLEY CHRONOGRAPH. Journal of the American Society for Naval Engineers, 35: 375–380. doi:10.1111/j.1559-3584.1923.tb00184.x
- Jin-He, Tao. "The General Method For Fixing the Gauges of Relativistic Astronomical Reference Systems". Astrophysics & Space Science 302.1-4 (2006): 93–98. Academic Search Premier.
- Mond, Robert L., and Meyer Wilderman. "A New Improved Type of Chronograph". Philosophical Magazine Series 6 (2003). Taylor and Francis, 16 Apr. 2009.
- Chronograph Functions Chronomaster Mechanical Watches. Accessed 25 March 2012.
- Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre
- Chronograph watches Keulen, Robert. 1996. Accessed 25 MAR 2012