Tachymeter: What you need to know

Mastering the Tachymeter: A Comprehensive Guide for Watch Enthusiasts


One of the most important tools you can have in your arsenal is the tachymeter watch. This small but powerful feature can help you measure speed, distance, and more. However, for many people, the tachymeter can be a bit confusing. In this comprehensive guide, we'll take a closer look at what the tachymeter is, how it works, and how you can use it to get the most out of your watch.


Introduction to the Tachymeter

The tachymeter is a feature that is found on many watches, particularly those designed for racing and other high-speed activities. It is essentially a scale that is printed on the bezel or dial of the watch, and it is used to measure speed over a specific distance.

The tachymeter scale is typically marked from 60 to 500 (or sometimes even higher), and it measures the number of units that can be covered in one hour. For example, if an object travels one kilometer in 30 seconds, its speed can be read off the tachymeter as 120.


What is a Tachymeter used for?

The tachymeter is primarily used for measuring speed, but it can also be used for other purposes. For example, it can be used to measure distance, calculate the time it takes to cover a certain distance, and even estimate fuel consumption.

In addition to its practical uses, the tachymeter is also a popular design feature on many watches. It adds a sporty and sophisticated look to the watch, and it's often used as a selling point for high-end timepieces.


How to read a Tachymeter

Reading a tachymeter may seem intimidating at first, but it's actually quite simple once you know how. To use the tachymeter to measure speed, you'll need to start a timer (such as a chronograph) when the object you're measuring starts moving.

Once the object has traveled a known distance (such as one kilometer), stop the timer and read the number on the tachymeter that corresponds to the time elapsed on the timer. This number represents the speed of the object in units per hour (such as kilometers per hour).


Tachymeter vs Chronograph

The tachymeter and chronograph are often confused with each other, but they are two separate features. While the tachymeter measures speed over a specific distance, the chronograph is a stopwatch that can be used to time events.

However, the two features are often found together on watches, and they can be used in conjunction to measure speed and time. For example, you could use the chronograph to time how long it takes to travel a certain distance, and then use the tachymeter to calculate the speed.


Tachymeter and Speed Calculation

The tachymeter is an important tool for calculating speed, but it's important to note that it has limitations. The tachymeter can only be used to measure objects that are moving at a constant speed, and it doesn't take into account any changes in speed that may occur.

In addition, the tachymeter is most accurate when measuring speeds of around 60 to 500 units per hour. If an object is traveling at a slower or faster speed, the tachymeter may not be as accurate.


How to use the Tachymeter for non-racing purposes

While the tachymeter is often associated with racing and other high-speed activities, it can also be used for non-racing purposes. For example, you could use the tachymeter to measure the time it takes to walk or run a certain distance, or even to calculate the time it takes to cook a meal.

To use the tachymeter for non-racing purposes, you'll need to adjust the scale to match the units you're measuring. For example, if you're measuring the time it takes to cook a meal, you could adjust the scale to measure minutes instead of hours.


Tachymeter and watch accuracy

The tachymeter can also be used to check the accuracy of your watch. To do this, you'll need to start your watch at a known time (such as when a clock strikes a certain hour), and then use the tachymeter to measure the time it takes for the watch to reach a certain point (such as when the clock strikes the next hour).

If your watch is accurate, the time measured by the tachymeter should match up with the actual time. If there is a discrepancy, you may need to have your watch serviced or adjusted.



In conclusion, the tachymeter is an important tool for watch enthusiasts. It can be used to measure speed, distance, and more, and it's often found on high-end watches. However, it's important to understand how the tachymeter works and its limitations in order to get the most out of it. By following the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you'll be well on your way to mastering the tachymeter and taking your watch game to the next level.


Own a Tachymeter

Looking to add a tachymeter to your watch collection? Check out our selection of high-quality timepieces with this powerful feature.