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Split Second / Doppel Chronograph Watch

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Split Second / Doppel Chronograph Watch

Old 29th Nov 2019, 13:34
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Split Second / Doppel Chronograph Watch

Any ideas on the best way to use a Split Second / Doppel chronograph in flying?
Especially interested in using it for instrument flying.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 15:10
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If you are flying, the last thing you want to be doing is fiddling with a watch, particularly one with lots of dails, buttons, bezels, pictures of Mickey Mouse, etc. Apart from anything else, while you are looking at it you are not scanning your instruments.
Look carefully at your instrument panel, you should find a clock, with a stop watch function, nicely placed where you can include it in your scan.
At one time I used to use my personal watch to check that the panel clock was set accurately, check it was wound up (long time ago), and then use the panel clock exclusively.
Then when GPS came along, I used the GPS time to check the panel clock.
Never owned one of these "pilot watches", I understand that they are popular with wannabees and posers, useful for impressing the more gullible type of female and apart from that are merely a weight on your wallet and your wrist. (If you find you keep drifting into a left turn it is the weight of the watch).
Stands back and awaits incoming
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 17:11
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Oxenos, well said, clear white luminous numbers, hms hands and may be a date so you get the date right for the log.

When we had the chance of getting a stop watch we jumped at it as it looked 'real cool' as for use in the air, never used it.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 17:22
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Only thing I ever used the chronograph function for on the watch I was issued with was to record flying time (either brakes off/brakes on, or rotors running/rotors stopped) for my flying pay claim. We were paid flying pay by the hour, or part of hour, flown, with the part of an hour counting as a full hour for flying pay purposes. Had a lot of 1hr 5min sorties...
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 18:36
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VP, like the BBC claiming mileage allowance, to get a lot of miles when you fly.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 18:59
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Originally Posted by ATPMBA View Post
Any ideas on the best way to use a Split Second / Doppel chronograph in flying?
Take it off and leave it on the ground before you go? Less weight airborne might save you a little bit of fuel.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 19:00
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Originally Posted by Pontius Navigator View Post
VP, like the BBC claiming mileage allowance, to get a lot of miles when you fly.
Became a standing joke with the crews I regularly flew with. We'd be on our way back when a question would be directed at me as to whether I needed "another five minutes" or not...

Mind you, the rate for flying didn't change at all for ~20 years; it was still around 8 something per hour or part of hour flown when I stopped flying for work. Not a lot in the scheme of things, given that for years my life insurance premium was fairly heavily loaded because of flying.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 20:48
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Split second means you have two chrono second hands which are stacked. One of them is released and frozen when the third chronograph button is pushed while the other one continues timing. When the third button is pressed again it catches up. Typical application is lap timing for racing. Can't really think of an aviation related use. It's considered a grand complication though like a perpetual calendar.
There is a aviation related chronograph complication which had it's right to live in times of dead reconing: The flyback chronograph which can be reset and restarted by a single button push instead of three.
As a humble VFR GA pilot flying on steam gauges I find a bidirectional turning bezel quite useful to memorize times until I find time to note them down on my scrap paper I have flying around somewhere.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 23:32
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Bay of Biscay, even when the 'Independents' got jets, was difficult to get a groundspeed. I used to point the weather radar at some ship that was side on and click the tachy button as the blip went through a range line. Pretty well spot on groundspeed on the outer dial. Mind you, by the time I could afford such a watch, it was getting hard to see the minute numbers. 150 in 1985. (discounted) The Seiko 7A38 series are very collectable now. They have four synchronous motors and are something of a challenge to work on.

Most of my American ones are still there. :-(








The UK ones have a couple or three of the ones bought home. The top left is the 7A38-7000 that started it all. Having problems finding the shot of the UK ones. Have lost interest just lately. I wouldn't have done if I'd bought Rolex GMT Masters at 89 quid in '63

Still searching. s'funny. It won't upload the jpg - stops at 50%. I'll try a new post.





Last edited by Loose rivets; 29th Nov 2019 at 23:53.
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Old 29th Nov 2019, 23:59
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Very odd, though not really, it's happened before. This file completes so I don't know why the full one doesn't. I quit and ran CCleaner but to no avail.

The -5000 ones with the moon are not very popular. After the 7A28 (james bond) and 38, Seiko hollered, . . . now we bring you the moon. 385 quid IIRC. Much more difficult to build up.

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Old 30th Nov 2019, 00:23
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What can you do with the watch? Use it as a compass.

Swing it around your head a few times, and let it go. It has now "gone west", so look 90 degrees to the right, and you have North. Continue at your own pace.
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Old 30th Nov 2019, 02:14
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Swing it around your head a few times, and let it go. It has now "gone west"
A Will Hay film, c 1946.
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Old 30th Nov 2019, 07:19
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Had - still have but don't use - a Glycine GMTmaster. The hour hand only went around once in 24 hrs instead of twice, useful when flying, or stopping, through various time zones, just leave the hour hand on GMT and move an outside bezel to show local time. Trouble was ... one doesn't really "read" a watch more just look at the picture, so having 06.00 and 18.00 in the 90 and 270 degree positions wasn't easy to get used to. Don't like digital displays, either, one doesn't get an impression of passing time.

For accurate time when using the sextant, tune into the WWV - Fort Collins Colorado, or WWVH, Hawaii, time signal on the HF radio, and set the Nav. panel clock. That way it only had to keep accurate time for the duration of that Nav. sector,.
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Old 30th Nov 2019, 17:15
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Loose rivets,

From the pix it appears you're quite involved in watch repair. Do you build watches for sale out of donor parts or is it just a hobby with no goal beyond that ?
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Old 1st Dec 2019, 00:22
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While in Texas, grandparenting, I had a smashing den with computering/writing up one end and a large desk used as an electronics hobby place, the other. I'd put the innards of a watch up on a large screen and then scoot over to the bench and look at the watch. Then go back for eight pairs of ready-readers which I'd balance on me nose. I'd need a really good camera to work with watches these days, but real hi-def miniature cameras are horribly costly.

In answer to your question, it was to be an investment as well as fun. I said that I'd treble my money, but the Rivetess protested that I didn't sell any, so how could I be making money? Nearly every day the postie would give me a box or two and the excitement of opening them up was better then Christmas. I spotted one on ebay, in a pile of cheap jewellery and paid $9 for the lot. Spares, thinks I. When I'd stripped and cleaned it, it was far too good to break up. $150-ish, perhaps. I had a heck of a lot of luck. So many had all four coils contiguous and generally restorable, but back home, there seems to be a lot with poor innards. I got one as a 'spares' quality and all four coils had been wilfully vandalized. They are utterly impossible to repair. The wire is slightly magnetic and will break if you blow on it.

Certainly, $1,000 had become $3000 in a few months and I was learning how to buy. But then life got in the way and I found myself back in the UK. The trouble is, I couldn't get a shipping company to bring my stuff home. Last time, in 1990, I got a 1/4 container door to door, $1500. (the desk I'm writing at weighs 350lbs and was just one bit of the load.) This time no one wanted a small job, despite shipping having increased by an order of magnitude, and what's more, jewellery is not covered. Anyway, due to life, I missed my one year repatriation deal and goodness knows what it would cost to import my watches.

I had a burst of enthusiasm a while back and bought quite a few, but the work involved on the average one is quite high. Suddenly the prices are going up and the gems are very rare. One collector who has hundreds utterly beautiful examples, has his phone beep when one appears anywhere in the world. It's hard to compete with that.

The circuits are delicate and don't often survive a battery leak. I have had some success but it's very testing.

The Seiko gold plate, is poor. They plate onto 'base metal' which is nothing like their stainless steel. Also, although the back screws on, the front bezel presses on and in my opinion is a real let-down. They don't seem to fall off, but to clean and polish the case, one has to take it off. Sometimes they slip back on, but if it needs a new gasket, an $11 simple O ring, good luck with getting that started without nipping it.

Here's a bit of circuit taken through my old Watson microscope. The green circuit corrosion exceeds the focus depth.



This back and case probably represents 3 or 4 hours of work. Just taking the pushers out can be demanding. Putting the circlips back on, even more so. This is an attempts I made at re-cutting the striations in the metal. Fair, but no cigar.


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Old 1st Dec 2019, 00:34
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This is an example of a leaky battery one. I knew this would be a challenge.

I assume the component is a capacitor across the main power supply. If I was more settled, I probably could change that.

The bottom picture shows the back plate and circuit removed. The Main bridge has 7 spindles and is a serious challenge to replace. Mostly because one is an armature and magnetically flops to one side - determinedly.

The harp shaped springs I managed to get the last few from Seiko in NY. Mostly, they're robbed from scrap. It's surprising, but this one cleaned up quite well.

I have one watch which I'm going to sell from Honest Rob's Watch Emporium, as the luckiest watch in the world. Pre-disasterized as Robin Williams said in one of his films. I handed it to a pal to look at, at my front door, completely forgetting A/ He's utterly non-mechanical, and B/ I'd not put the back on properly. Suddenly, the movement was on the concrete drive, face up, looking at me. Oh well, more spares.

These hands will bend if you blow on them, but not one was touched. It was running, and there didn't seem to be a hint of a problem. Then I noticed it had hit on the substantial back-plate edge. That was it. Even the massive motor armatures were spinning true, and it keeps perfect time. I suppose it should be a keeper.









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Old 1st Dec 2019, 15:23
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I used to point the weather radar at some ship that was side on and click the tachy button as the blip went through a range line. Pretty well spot on groundspeed on the outer dial.
Brilliant, I could never figure a practical use for that, mainly because any aircraft I flew in had lots more kit to give me a ground speed.
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Old 1st Dec 2019, 15:34
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Originally Posted by ExSp33db1rd View Post
The hour hand only went around once in 24 hrs instead of twice, useful when flying, or stopping, through various time zones, just leave the hour hand on GMT and move an outside bezel to show local time. Trouble was ... one doesn't really "read" a watch more just look at the picture, so having 06.00 and 18.00 in the 90 and 270 degree positions wasn't easy to get used to..
I got a Seiko Navitimer back in the 60s for a few quid. They are well over 500 now. four hands with a 24 hour hand. That and a rotating bezzle was good for GMT. Only issue was the bezzle was slack. After years of sitting in a box it was not very accurate. Tried to get a jeweller to regulate it but he gave up. I have had much more success but perhaps better if I knew what I was doing. 😁
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Old 1st Dec 2019, 20:16
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I used to point the weather radar at some ship that was side on and click the tachy button as the blip went through a range line
I once did a trip out of Aberdeen where the helicopter's area nav was U/S. The destination was the Forties field which was only 90 miles out so it was a case of establishing on the VOR radial and after sixty miles or so the field would be seen on radar.

About thirty miles out and established I noticed my FO beavering away with his watch and the radar set at 25 miles. I deduced that he was working out his groundspeed with a ship that was ahead. When he had finished I asked him the result.

126 knots was the answer.

I pressed a button on the DME display and it changed from 35 to 128.

He had never been told.
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Old 1st Dec 2019, 20:18
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Originally Posted by ATPMBA View Post
Any ideas on the best way to use a Split Second / Doppel chronograph in flying?
Especially interested in using it for instrument flying.
Basically it comes down to; how long can you hold your breath before making a decision
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