A tachymeter is a scale or function found on analog or chronograph watches that allows the user to measure speed or other quantities based on time. Typically, it is represented as a ring or a set of markings on the outer edge of the watch’s dial. The tachymeters are designed to calculate the speed of an object over a known distance. The user starts the chronograph functions, such as a stopwatch, when an object begins moving and stops it when an object reaches the end of the distance.
The tachymeter scale provides a reading indicating the speed in units per hour or per minute, depending on the scale’s configuration.
To use the tachymeter, one needs to know the distance over which the object is traveling. For example, if a distance is 1 kilometer, the user would start the chronograph. If an object starts moving and stops when it reaches the end of the kilometer.
The tachymeter scale would show the object’s speed in kilometers per hour. A tachymeter is used in various fields, including:
other activities that require measuring speed
However, it is notable that with the proliferation of digital devices and GPS technology, a tachymeter has become less prevalent in modern timekeeping.
Work of tachymeter in watches
The tachymeter is found on analog chronograph watches, which have stopwatch functions. Here’s how it works:
- Start the chronograph. When you want to measure the speed of an object, you start the chronograph function on your watch. This activates the stopwatch feature.
- Timing the object. Once the object begins moving, you track the time it takes for the object to travel a specific distance. The distance could be in kilometers, miles, or any other unit depending on the tachymeter scale.
- Reading the tachymeter scale. After the object has completed its travel, you stop the chronograph. The tachymeter scale on the watch dial allows you to read the speed directly.
The tachymeter scale is usually marked on the outer edge of the watch dial, often in a contrasting color. It consists of numerical values representing units of speed, such as kilometers per hour (km/h) or miles per hour (mph).
Without knowing the distance, it is not possible to accurately determine the speed using a tachymeter. While tachymeters were popular in the past, the rise of digital devices and GPS technology has led to their decreased usage in modern timekeeping. However, they still remain a desirable feature for some individuals, especially those involved in motorsports, aviation, and other activities where measuring speed is crucial.