Chronometer

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Chronometer

New postby Marty101 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:20 pm

This Forum seemed appropriate for this question concerning chronometers vs railroad grade pocket watches. I was asked the other day what made the Hampden #555 a chronometer. My answer was "I don't know."
Is there an easy way to spot or define the difference? Hampden alone has four or five 16s chronometers;some are adjusted to 3 positions and some 5 positions,like the model #555. I'm sure some chronometers have less than 21 jewels,and it wouldn't surprise me to hear some have less than 17 jewels.
-And how do "railroad chronometers" tie into this? :?
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Re: Chronometer

New postby brownsrplm » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:04 pm

Marty,
I too am perplexed about this as I own two chronometers myself. The name implies they are adjusted to extra fine specs, however I have found no evidence to that affect anywhere. If it were a clock, now that is a different story as they are highly prized!! I also add; Rolex is labeled as a "superlative chronometer" as are some Omega's and other high end wrist watches.
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Re: Chronometer

New postby Marty101 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:55 pm

Ray,I thank you for joining me. Could it be possible the whole thing is bull? Advertising ploys? Railroad grade with 21j/5-6 positions or chronometer that has 17j and 3 pos.-?-give me the RR watch every time. I see nothing to convince me that a chronometer is anything more than a gents watch in comparison.
-There! Have I ranted enough now to get some attention?! :lol:
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Re: Chronometer

New postby brownsrplm » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:11 pm

Well if it makes you any more confused, of the two chronometers I have; one is lever set and 5 positions and the other is pendant set and 3 positions.
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Re: Chronometer

New postby Marty101 » Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:52 pm

Isn't there one brave soul out there willing to define "Railroad Chronometer?" :lol: We have enough examples to establish a "type" if you will;with models from Hampden,E.Howard,and etc. I am sure. I think the problem lies with defining "chronometer".
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Re: Chronometer

New postby Neilywatch » Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:43 pm

There is a standard definition for a watch adjusted to chronometer specs. If I remember correctly - and you can google this - a watch adjusted to chronometer specs is one that timekeeping will not range outside of 6 sec/day overall in all positions combined from x degrees Celsius to x degrees Celsius over a specified number of days.

A superlative chronometer is a watch adjusted to an even higher standard - like +/-3 sec/day.

In the case of the Hampden unless someone can find the original rating certificates for these watches - its just a "name".
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Re: Chronometer

New postby Stephan » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:19 am

Learning all the time.
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Re: Chronometer

New postby Marty101 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:09 am

Scanning Steve's link,and then follow-up links,the word "chronometer" has different meanings. It does seem to involve the time era,location,purpose and the definitions during and for each. Touchy and fun. Concerning my personal interests in mechanical antiques, it seems to me the only time the word takes real meaning is when "marine" is used in front of it,or during competitions of chronometer watches impractical for much else.
And of course for railroad pocket watches. :D
I think gold escape wheels and diamond jewel caps are two of the defining features of the best mechanical chronometers,railroad or not. Concerning position (excluding temperature and isochronism)I am not sure what "all positions" might mean or what that number that is...but I think 6 is a good guess. I also think any railroad grade pocket watch in America might be legitimately called a "Railroad Chronometer".
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Re: Chronometer

New postby Neilywatch » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:49 pm

There are actually 8 positions plus temperature and isochronism.

dial up
dial down
pendant up
pendant down
pendant left
pendant right
I think the last 2 are pendant leaning in and pendant leaning out.
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Re: Chronometer

New postby Marty101 » Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:10 pm

Thanks for that Neil. It's actually the 1st time I've seen a list like yours. Most lists I've seen leave out the last two and add the temp' and iso' to make 8 pos.
You know,that reminds me of Elgin's #571-C. Can't make that 9th pos. without using your list though...but that's a topic for another forum.
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Re: Chronometer

New postby brownsrplm » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:17 am

I own a 9 position 571-C and asked the question on the green board. The answer I was given was different than Neil's which was; face up, down, pendant up, down, pendant sideways left, right and adjusted to isochronism and (2) temps. As I recall there was even a brochure from Elgin attached to the responders post. He also indicated that it was more or less a marketing ploy and nothing more. The idea of being adjusted to hot & cold makes sense in light of areas that have extreme temp changes during the year.
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Re: Chronometer

New postby Marty101 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:43 am

Are you saying the adjustment to temperature is divided into TWO - hot and cold? Man,that sounds like Swiss fake stuff. Hype for sure...and if that's the case,what about luke warm? :lol:
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Re: Chronometer

New postby Stephan » Tue Apr 14, 2015 12:00 pm

I must confess for me a chronometer is one of those movements with the fancy escapement and a really long hairspring.

The others are nice as well but don't look much different than their simpler relatives.

You can't see adjustments. Just the label that tells you they are there :(
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Re: Chronometer

New postby Tom Huber » Tue Apr 14, 2015 3:32 pm

brownsrplm wrote:I own a 9 position 571-C and asked the question on the green board. The answer I was given was different than Neil's which was; face up, down, pendant up, down, pendant sideways left, right and adjusted to isochronism and (2) temps. As I recall there was even a brochure from Elgin attached to the responders post. He also indicated that it was more or less a marketing ploy and nothing more. The idea of being adjusted to hot & cold makes sense in light of areas that have extreme temp changes during the year.


Hi Ray, FYI. No such thing as a 9 position adjustment 571. It is 9 adjustments--heat, cold, isocronism and 6 positions.

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Re: Chronometer

New postby Neilywatch » Tue Apr 14, 2015 6:06 pm

I'll stand corrected on that temperature is actually 2 adjustments, I did know that but neglected to say so. But I do remember those 2 extra positional adjustments with the pendant in and out were not utilized on all chronometers.

ITs not marketing - temperature really does have an effect on rate.
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