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Chronograph Subdial LAYOUT

  • 3 -- 6 -- 9 (Valjoux 7753 standard)

    Votes: 65 61.9%
  • 6 -- 9 -- 12 (Valjoux 7750 standard)

    Votes: 25 23.8%
  • 12 -- 3 -- 9

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • 12 -- 3 -- 6

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 3 -- 9

    Votes: 25 23.8%
  • 12 -- 6

    Votes: 1 1.0%
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It is a matter of geometry and the seconds subdial's critical 6 - 12 axis. When at the 6 position, the minute hand will be parallel to that axis occasionally, but regularly, blocking the second hand from view. With the subdial at 9, the hands can never be parallel to the 6 -12. Of course, some of the subdial will be covered with the minute hand, and you will "lose" the second hand when the minute hand covers the 3 - 9 axis, but that is not as important given that most people want to know the exact minute vice, 15 seconds prior to the minute.

All of this may be a reason why two versions of the famous Unitas handwound movement were created -- 6497 & 6498.

Good question, heb
This is still true of a sub-dial at 9 as well.
 

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You can see which ETA movements are "current" and which are "phased out" here (scroll down to "Mecaline"):


Interestingly, 2824-2 and 2892A2 show as "phased out" while the Valjouxes (7750, 7751, 7753, 7754) show as current.

Seeing as their main site doesn't show any of the Mecaline stuff anymore I expect the rest of them will be phased out before too long. Within the Swatch Group brands, the Valjoux movements are being replaced by C01 and updated A07 variants that are internal only and not offered to third parties, and thus won't show up on the site.
 

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Thin hands are an absolute must for chrono legibility. I’ve seen some that at first glance are nice looking watches, but then notice the fat hands that will do a lot of subdial blocking.
Probably the worst chronograph on the market as far as blockage is concerned is IWC's new Pilot Chronograph. Super fat hands and a chrono second hand's counterweight that ALWAYS blocks the upper portion of the constant second hand. I have one.
 

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The reason I like the 6-9-12 dial is for the date window at 3. 7750 top grade movement. Vance.
Watch Hand Analog watch Clock Wrist

movement. Hard to “beat”. Vance.
 
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Probably the worst chronograph on the market as far as blockage is concerned is IWC's new Pilot Chronograph. Super fat hands and a chrono second hand's counterweight that ALWAYS blocks the upper portion of the constant second hand. I have one.
While I’ve seen even worse offenders, that is a model I specifically had in mind when posting. Terrific looking watch that mimics instrumentation, but those same features aren’t doing any favors for the chrono, which seems like an added afterthought on the design.

I think you have to design a watch for the chrono, you can’t just add chrono to a nice design.
 

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I got my first chrono recently: a very attractive Citizen on a ridiculously low price Ashford flash sale. It’s a favorite from an appearance standpoint. It also got my brain going down the rabbit hole of design and legibility. My Citizen has lots of domed-crystal distortion, and shadow and contrast issues which impact legibility even for my 20/20 eyesight. (Though I know I’m getting close to reading glasses day…)

Since getting this watch, I’ve thought a lot about chrono usability and legibility.
 

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The 7750 often come with a daydate option at 3, which obviously would not work the same for a 7753.

Also the 7753 set date with an additional pusher correct? That's a whole lot more cumbersome to set date than using the crown for a 7750.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
The 7750 often come with a daydate option at 3, which obviously would not work the same for a 7753.

Also the 7753 set date with an additional pusher correct? That's a whole lot more cumbersome to set date than using the crown for a 7750.
This seems to be the most rational answer to my implied Q: Why 3-6-9 layout is less common than 6-9-12.

People like having the date function.
 

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The reason I like the 6-9-12 dial is for the date window at 3. 7750 top grade movement. Vance. View attachment 16626270
movement. Hard to “beat”. Vance.
Classic 7750. I like the balanced dial lay out with the logo/text and date at 3.
Not so keen on the numbers cut off by the sub dials though. But I guess that’s a separate discussion.
 

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I think VK have been quite adequate in satisfying the "lust" to see the subdials at 9, 6, and 3.
Sure, one might want the extra pleasure of having that in an automatic / mechanical, but for the price, it seems OK to me.
I have now several with the VK inside, and I find great pleasure in wearing them.
This sort of "cheap compromise," brushing aside the importance of the "dignity" of having a fine movement, is prolly akin to how men in the future will view -- many already do apparently -- more and more, robot "females" as "real" companions. The tech will get there, and at that point,.... one asks:
Does one really want to or need to find an high-maintenance genuine woman when she is gonna do the "brown thing" in one's bed, in a fit of bad mood? Or go with a "fake" that is as pleasant as one programs it to be?

View attachment 16624373 View attachment 16624377 View attachment 16624381
Not knocking quartz chronos in general, most autochronos are expensive to service, delicate, and THICC, so I get the appeal. What I'm knocking is unreadable 60-minute counters, and pointless 24-hour indicators. Citizen is just as guilty on that front. A chronograph isn't much use if the minute counter is so tiny that I can't tell the difference between 7 or 8 minutes. Seiko can make a constant force tourbillon, but they can't make a quartz chrono movement that can count more than one hour? What sense does that make?

I'd take a Zodiac Grandrally over anything VK based just on account of the fact that I can actually read what it says.

 

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While I’ve seen even worse offenders, that is a model I specifically had in mind when posting. Terrific looking watch that mimics instrumentation, but those same features aren’t doing any favors for the chrono, which seems like an added afterthought on the design.

I think you have to design a watch for the chrono, you can’t just add chrono to a nice design.
This is a particularly egregious example. Those hands are thicc.
Watch Brown Analog watch Rectangle Clock
 

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Not knocking quartz chronos in general, most autochronos are expensive to service, delicate, and THICC, so I get the appeal. What I'm knocking is unreadable 60-minute counters, and pointless 24-hour indicators. Citizen is just as guilty on that front. A chronograph isn't much use if the minute counter is so tiny that I can't tell the difference between 7 or 8 minutes. Seiko can make a constant force tourbillon, but they can't make a quartz chrono movement that can count more than one hour? What sense does that make?

I'd take a Zodiac Grandrally over anything VK based just on account of the fact that I can actually read what it says.

I too tire of unreadable 60 minute counters. My Citizen, as attractive as it is, is a primary offender, but an unscientific survey of browsing seems like most chronos use 60 min subdials. I wonder why?
Here's a particularly bad example. Not only is the subdial 60 minute, but it doesn't even have individual marks. You just get to interpolate in between the 10 minute indices. Was that 4 min? 5? Maybe 6? Who knows? It won't matter until we get to 10!

Watch Brown Analog watch Clock Watch accessory
 

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3-6-9 is my general preference, not by a landslide mind you.

I really don't know what drives the business decision to discontinue a movement. You would think the amount of $$ that goes into R&D, production tooling, staffing and material procurement would lead the manufacturer towards a long life span. If I had to venture a wild guess, the production tooling reaches the end of its lifespan, and it does not make financial sense to replace and re-certify the process...????
 

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3-6-9 is my general preference, not by a landslide mind you.

I really don't know what drives the business decision to discontinue a movement. You would think the amount of $$ that goes into R&D, production tooling, staffing and material procurement would lead the manufacturer towards a long life span. If I had to venture a wild guess, the production tooling reaches the end of its lifespan, and it does not make financial sense to replace and re-certify the process...????
Undoubtedly, although as this thread demonstrates the 7750 (and related) 7753 have not been discontinued, just given a new model code and for some applications, a bigger barrel.
 

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I too tire of unreadable 60 minute counters. My Citizen, as attractive as it is, is a primary offender, but an unscientific survey of browsing seems like most chronos use 60 min subdials. I wonder why?
Here's a particularly bad example. Not only is the subdial 60 minute, but it doesn't even have individual marks. You just get to interpolate in between the 10 minute indices. Was that 4 min? 5? Maybe 6? Who knows? It won't matter until we get to 10!

View attachment 16628300
The Zodiac is relatively unusual in that it's a quartz chrono with a proper 30-minute counter. Presumably that means it can't count past a half hour (once again showing the superiority of the humble dive time bezel) but at least it's readable.

That Jack Mason is just dumb. It has both a Tachymeter and a Telemeter scale, neither of which are usable if you don't know how many minutes have passed. At least you can (usually) swim with a faux diver (other than the JLC Polaris). This thing can't even do the one thing it's supposed to do. It's only marginally better than those stupid MVMT blackout chronos that have no markers at all.
 
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