Step-by-Step Guide: How to Read a Tachymeter Scale on Your Watch

Watches are not just stylish accessories; they also serve as functional tools for various purposes. One of the features that can be found on some chronograph watches is a tachymeter scale. A tachymeter scale allows you to measure speed based on time, making it a handy tool for a variety of activities. In this step-by-step guide, we will explain how to read a tachymeter scale on your watch.

Understanding the Tachymeter Scale

Before diving into how to use a tachymeter scale, it’s essential to understand what it represents. A tachymeter scale is typically printed on the outer edge of the watch’s dial or bezel. It consists of numbers and markers that are used to calculate speed over a specific distance.

The tachymeter scale is commonly used for measuring the speed of moving objects, such as cars, motorcycles, or tachymeter vs chronograph  runners. It works by calculating the time it takes to cover a known distance, usually one kilometer or one mile. To make this calculation, you need to use the chronograph function on your watch, which is a stopwatch feature.

Step 1: Start the Chronograph

To use the tachymeter scale, first, start the chronograph function on your watch. This usually involves pushing a button, often labeled “start” or “chrono.” Once the chronograph is running, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Measure the Time

Now, you’ll need to measure the time it takes for the object you’re tracking to cover a specific distance. This could be one kilometer or one mile, depending on your preference. To do this, start the chronograph as the object passes the starting point and stop it when it reaches the ending point. The time displayed on the chronograph is crucial for the tachymeter calculation.

Step 3: Read the Tachymeter Scale

The tachymeter scale on your watch typically features numbers from 60 to 400 or more, depending on the watch’s design. These numbers represent the speed units, such as kilometers per hour (km/h) or miles per hour (mph). To read the tachymeter scale:

  1. Locate the number on the scale that corresponds to the time it took for the object to cover the specified distance. For example, if it took 30 seconds to cover one kilometer, find the number 120 on the tachymeter scale.
  2. Now, align the number you found on the scale with the chronograph’s second hand, which should be pointing at the time it took.
  3. The point where the second hand intersects the tachymeter scale indicates the speed of the object in the chosen units. In our example, if the second hand aligns with 120, the speed would be 120 km/h.

Step 4: Interpret the Result

Congratulations! You’ve successfully used the tachymeter scale to measure the speed of an object. Keep in mind that the tachymeter scale is a tool for approximate speed measurements, and it works best for objects with constant speeds over the measured distance.


Understanding how to read a tachymeter scale on your watch can be a useful skill for various situations, from tracking the speed of a car during a road trip to measuring your running pace. By following this step-by-step guide, you can harness the power of this feature on your chronograph watch and make accurate speed calculations with ease. So, the next time you’re wearing a watch with a tachymeter scale, don’t hesitate to put it to good use!

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