What is a Tachymeter on a Watch and How to Read & Use it

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What is a tachymeter? Tachymeter is a numerical bezel around the chronograph.  It allows you to measure speed based on travel time and distance based on speed.

A tachymeter is a versatile tool. You can measure distance or speed in statute miles, nautical miles, kilometers, and meters. There are also four types of tachymeter in the market. However, the digital one is easy to use than the other classic types.

With this tool, you can also measure the number of production/hours for any product. The digital tachymeter can be used only to measure speed or distance. Here we will cover each and every point of the tachymeter.

So read on & learn more…

What is Tachymeter (tachymeter definition)

What is a tachymeter? It is a type of bezel around the timepiece. The Tachymeter allows you to check the speed in mph/km. In some models, you can found the scale outside of the watch dial as an internal scale.

The maximum measurable range of this tool is 60 seconds. Many of you are willing to know how to set tachymeter watch. Setting or using it is too simple. But we should also consider the types of this tool.

Read Next:  What is Watch Lug

Types of Tachymeter

As I told you that there are different types of it as well. So let’s have a look at them

1. Fixed bezel

The fixed bezel is one of the oldest types of this tool. It was used in Rolex, Tag, and other popular brands. The fixed bezel is also known as the circumferential bezel.

You can see this type of tool on the fixed outer bezel. The Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is an example of a fixed bezel. You can also found this type on the fixed inner bezel.

2. Snail-type

The snail-type is also a popular type of tachymeter scale. This type was known as a spiraling or a circling tachymeter. The snail-type is designed in the middle of the watch dial.

It looks like a fixed inner scale. This allows you to measure a wide range of speeds than other types. With the snail-type, you can measure speed slower than 60 cycles per hour.

3. Moving bezel

The moving bezel is a stylish type of tool. However, this is rare. You will find many watches with moving bezels but the moving bezel with numbers is rare.

It is rare because fixing a scale on a moving bezel is difficult. With the other types of bezel, you cannot measure an average speed of more than one kilometer. But the rotating bezel allows you to measure speed for every kilometer.

4. Digital

The digital Tachymeter is easier to use than the classic one. Also, a digital Tachymeter is less expensive and accurate.

It shows the scale on the display screen once you start and stop the timer. This is a perfect choice if you want to use it while driving. It will give you a stylish and sporty look as well.

What does Tachymeter Mean

This tool is a typical bezel on the watch that is used to measure speed, distance, and other things. It is like an oval scale on the bezel of the timekeeper. It is a numerical scale around the edge of the dial.

You will see this tool mostly on a chronograph timepiece. In the 19th century, pocket watches were the first model of the watch with a tachymeter. After 1930, some brands start making wrist and smartwatches with this tool.

How to Use a Tachymeter

There are wide uses of the Tachymeter. You can use it to measure speed, distance, and other things. If you want to measure speed and distance with this tool, then you have to follow this equation T=3600/t.

“T” is the scale value. You can also follow this guide and steps to measure speed, distance, and other things. So read on…

Measuring speed

The tachymeter scale is used to measure speed from mark “A” to mark “B” It will be easy to understand with an example. Suppose you are watching a bike race competition. You need to measure the speed of the biker when he crosses the mark “A” and the mark “B”

What you can do is to start the timer when the biker crosses the mark “A” And then stop the timer when the biker crosses mark “B” Suppose the second-hand lines up with the 90 on the scale.

This means the speed of the biker between these two marks is 90 mph or km. But you should know the distance between the two points. If you want to measure speed in mph, then measure distance and mph. Also, if you want to measure speed km/hours, then measure distance in km.

Steps to measure the speed

  • Know the distance between desired marks
  • Then start the timer when the unit crosses the first mark.
  • Stop the timer when the unit crosses the second mark.
  • The chronograph second-hand line up with a number on the dial is your speed
  • You can measure speed in mph and km as well.

Measuring distance

The Tachymeter on the watch also allows us to measure the distance between two marks. Many of us may don’t know that this tool is also useful to measure distance. The process to measure distance is easy and simple.

To measure distance, you should know the speed of your preferred unit. Also, it should be above 60. Make sure that the speed is constant.

Suppose you are traveling in a car and your constant speed is around 100. Now when the car crosses from the desired mark start the chronograph. When the chronograph second-hand reaches 100 on the scale, stop the chronograph watch.

Note one thing that once you reach the number of speeds on the scale, that means you have traveled 1 mile. Suppose the 100 on a scale is lineups with 35 on the watch dial (varies according to models).

It shows after every 35 seconds you are traveling 1 mile. You can follow this format to measure distance in km. But the speed should also be in km.

Steps to measure the distance

  • Know your constant speed
  • When the unit passes through the first mark start the chronograph
  • Then stop the chronograph when the chronograph second-hand lineups with your speed on the scale.
  • Once the second-hand reaches the desired mark, that means you have traveled 1 mile

Measuring other things

What are those other things that we can measure with this tool? You can measure anything on this tool over a given period. Suppose you are working in a factory and you want to know the production of products per hour.

This tool allows you to measure this thing as well. Got surprised! Well, it is a versatile tool that you can use to measure many things.

Imagine you want to measure the speed of production in a factory. To do this, start the timer once the production begins. Then stop the timer when the product has been produced.

Where the second-hand stops are the number of products/hour. Imagine the second-hand reaches at 80 on a scale, which means you are going to make 80 units of products per hour.

Steps to measure production

  • Start the chronograph when production stats.
  • Stop the chronograph when the product is ready.
  • Take readings on the scale.
  • The reading you get is the production of product/hour.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How does a tachymeter watch work?
It helps to measure speed and distance according to the time traveled over a distance or speed.

What is the formula to calculate speed in Tachymeter?
The formula to calculate speed is 3600/t. In this formula, “T” is the scale value.

How to pronounce Tachymeter?
Many people pronounce this word in different ways. Some people pronounce it like a tachymeter. But it is a tach-y-meter. You can try to spell out the way you pronounce and practice to correct them.

What is the function of a Tachymeter in a watch?
A tachymeter on the watch allows you to measure speed and distance with ease. 

Final Verdict

After reading our article, you will be able to use Tachymeter with ease. This is an old feature. However, it is still useful for bikers and racers. The classic is more valuable than the digital Tachymeter. There is a wide range of uses of the classic Tachymeter.

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