Stop seconds


There are many reasons why an individual may choose to purchase a wristwatch beyond merely wanting to know the prevailing time. A timepiece may serve as a memento of an anniversary, birthday or other important milestone. Alternatively, a watch may be chosen as an accessory, complementing a sartorial ensemble. For some purists, a fine exemplar of horology is as an object of beauty where aesthetics, craftsmanship and mechanical virtue unite together.

However, irrespective of the reasons for selecting a timepiece, precision is essential. A watchmaker will expend much time observing a movement operating, making small adjustments to the rate, a process termed regulation in order to deliver accuracy. Despite regulating the watch, there still remains a potential risk that the indicated time can be slightly incorrect. While the crown can be used to adjust the hour and minute hands, the seconds hand will continue to advance, introducing an error, potentially up to 59 seconds in magnitude.




Precision with a push of the crown

In the past, watches used for military purposes incorporated a ‘stop seconds’ or ‘hacking seconds’ function. This was an essential prerequisite when synchronising wristwatches with a reference clock before commencing a mission.

Today, Zeitwinkel endows its models with a stop seconds function. When the crown is pulled out, a lever engages with the balance wheel preventing it from rotating. This allows the wearer to adjust the hour and minute hands to the desired time while the seconds hand remains stationary. When the precise time on the wristwatch and the reference clock match, the crown is simply pushed back into position and the seconds hand continues its journey, synchronised to the second.

In some instances, watch collectors talk of ‘back hacking’, a process of turning the hour and minute hands counterclockwise, causing the seconds hand to halt. However, this action is not recommended as it can prove harmful to the movement, sometimes necessitating costly repairs. Quite simply, there is no substitute for a stop seconds function.

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