Tachymeter. TA-CHY-ME-TER. Because of the name, you are sure to think it is definitely something fancy, something that maybe a doctor's assistant might use during surgery. Well, no. Or maybe. Anyways a tachymeter watch is nothing more than a watch that features a tachymeter, an additional scale engraved on the rim of a watch for additional measures.

Tachymeters are for measuring the speed of a traveling object with respect to time. More often than not, a tachymeter comes together with a chronograph.

Using both together allows the user to measure how long it takes for an event to occur and even with which frequency it's likely to occur again. Thus, featuring a tachymeter allows one to calculate speeds in kilometers or miles per hour without you having to do the math.  

It enables you to know just how far away in time an event is by way of simple arithmetic. Thus, a tachymeter watch puts a very useful feature in your already handy wristwatch and, yes, a doctor might find a use to it.

The Tachymeter – Where Does It Come From?

The commercial tachymeter first saw light in the late 1930s, though its history dates back much further than this. Originally, its use was not for timing races which is its common use today. Rather, it was for measuring engine revolutions. In other words, how fast was the engine of a car is currently turning.

In order to measure revolutions per minute, they placed interval timers at various locations along an automobile racecourse. Each timer had a known distance between them. As a car passes each marker, the driver can then push a button on the tachymeter watch to record its passing time. On and on until the next marker.

After each push of the button, the watch would stop and allow them to read off how many revolutions per minute the car was turning. The seconds it took it to travel from one marker to another divided by the revolutions the engine completed at the same time told how fast it rode during that section.

The tachymeter watches it's not just for cars, though. It also sees use in other types of races like horses or runners and also quite a few other occupations that could use some precise time measuring. Here's why:

Using a Tachymeter Watch

The tachymeter comes as two wheels mounted on separate axles; in the case of a watch, the tachymeter is in the rim of the watch. The chronograph's the other 'wheel' and it's 'inside' the watch surrounded by the rim and, therefore, the tachymeter.  They both spin at different speeds once the timer its let on. One wheel, the chronograph, has a circumference that is equal to one unit of time. The other wheel, however, moves around its axle at a certain pre-determined speed.

The tachymeter function on most chronographs activates by pressing the "start/stop" button with the thumb while holding the watch. The button, most of the time, locates directly opposite of where you would hold the watch during normal use.

Start or Stop the Tachymeter Watch

By the action of you pressing the start/stop button, you effectively send a signal to the two wheels. They will both then begin to spin at their pre-determined speeds. Say you were to line up the hands of the watch with zero on either wheel. This would allow you to directly read off how long of a time something took by looking at the distance between the zero mark and either the minute or hour hand. The latter depends on against which measure of time you are measuring

You can measure speed with a tachymeter in two different ways. The first method is measuring how long it takes for an event to come to pass. Think about being in a garden and looking at a large bee pollinate the flowers nearby. A tachymeter would allow you to measure how long it would take for it to pollinate two similar flowers. This could work especially well if the flowers you happen to measure during that time are a bit apart from one another.

The second method for you to estimate how far away something was by knowing its time using simple arithmetic = distance = speed x time). To use this method, you must know the exact distance between the starting point and endpoint, then divide that number into 60 or 1,000 to find out how long it was in order to cover that distance.

Once known the time, you can read off how far away it was by looking at the tachymeter scale on your watch. Pilots are one group of people that do find the tachymeter watch especially helpful. They do frequently need to measure the distance over the ground without having any landmarks or instruments to help them navigate.

The Tachymeter Watch

A tachymeter watch is still commonly in use today in professions where time needs measuring in a precise manner but often without instruments or landmarks.

Tachymeters were originally for pilots and racing drivers who needed help in accurately measuring distance over the ground. However, even auto mechanic finds them handy when they need to measure the circumference of tires. Police officers also use them to catch speeding drivers.

Both a physicist and a student in a basic physics class can also use them in pretty much the same way. With it, they can measure how long it takes for an event to occur.

The Megalith Tachymeter Watch

As a brand that puts a special emphasis on style, it is not surprising that we at Megalith feature the tachymeter watch among our curated selection. The reason for that is simple but very in tune with our vision as a brand: a tachymeter watch is both useful and stylish.

While people familiar with a more regular-looking assortment of watches certainly will look perplexed at a tachymeter watch. This impression, however, fades rather quickly. While its look might be slightly more intimidating than that of a regular watch, it's intuitive enough for them to catch on quickly to its functionality.

Maybe if you have another tachymeter watch at hand, you can measure how long it takes two different people to figure it out.

Jokes aside, the specific design of the tachymeter watch affords us even more opportunities for further customization. Have a look at the stylish selection of tachymeter watches Megalith has to offer you.