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Discussion Starter #1
I've always been taught that the only stupid questions are the ones you don't ask, but feel I might be pushing it here...

I've searched for an answer to no avail, so, in plain English and simple terms, what sets a regulator watch apart from any other?
 

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It's a watch with hours, minutes and seconds on separate dials. Some people think this is a cool and funky look.
That may be the first Oris I've ever liked. Does it have TWO rotating elapsed time bezels? Like I could look like I'm timing one thing but I'm actually timing something else?
 

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Just one rotating bezel, the inside one is just a minute track. Don't think I've ever seen a watch with 2 rotating bezels - that would be something.
 

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There is a purpose to the design but I am not able to find much literature on it. I've read some discussions that a watch can be made more accurate when the minute and hour hands are separately driven (I have no idea how true that is) and also read that the purpose of the design is to emphasize the minutes hand.
 

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These seem to be one of the least efficient ways of reading the time on a watch. You know how you can just look at a watch and know the time, without actually reading it? You can't really do that with a regulateur.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
These seem to be one of the least efficient ways of reading the time on a watch. You know how you can just look at a watch and know the time, without actually reading it? You can't really do that with a regulateur.
Now knowing what defines a regulator, I must admit I'm not a fan either. I think a chrono adds far more interest to a watchface, and gives the added benefit of a really useful (for me anyway) complication.
 

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The regulateur dial design was meant for a clock with the greatest accuracy; the purest regulateur has the second and hour dials positioned vertically above and below the minute hand axis in the middle, so every time on the hour the minute and second hands point up and line up, and at midnight all three hands do so.

A common use of the regulateur clock a long time ago was as time reference instrument used in watchmakers' (as in manufacturers') workshops, positioned so taht it could be seen by all the watchmakers so that they could use it for regulating the watches they're building. Here, the hour display was not of great importance, but the minute display was.

In that sense, it's not a very effective design for telling time at a glance, but nowadays it's appeal is for being a bit unusual; come to think of it, many "high end" watches today do not consider instant legibility as a design priority after all.
 

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The watch shown by SteveTomatoes (along with some others) has a 24-hour hour dial which is "midday-at-top" which is not a very good design, if it needs a 24-hour dial, midnight-at-top would be a lot more sensible. Maurice La Croix has a right-way-up 24-dial which is not bad, but both Glashütte Original and Union Glashütte use a 12-hour dial, which makes it more user-friendly for most people.
 

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I think I'm right in saying that one of the other reasons for the regulator was so the second hand and minute hand could never hide one another by being on the same place of the dial like on a regular watchface. This obviously mattered to people that needed to be able to see the seconds and minutes seperately and at a glance.

PS - Patek brought out their first Regulator Watch in their history just recently. (I think it might be the 5235 - seems to be the code I remember?) Now that will be a watch that increases in value if you could get your hands on one and keep it for a few years....
 

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GETS is correct. A regulator has three separate dials for the three hands so that no hand obstructs the time-telling of another hand. It is designed for absolute accuracy in setting a particular time on another timepiece.
 

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Main purpose of a Regulator is now obsolete.

Back when doctors still made house calls as an absolute part of their trade, they used watches to measure a patient's pulse. This is easier with a Regulator since the hour hand doesn't get in the way of the minute hand with regards to overlapping. House calls, except for the Uber wealthy, are now a distant thing of the past. With medical instruments now improved as well, Regulator watches are little more than conversation pieces to those who notice your watch.
 
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These seem to be one of the least efficient ways of reading the time on a watch. You know how you can just look at a watch and know the time, without actually reading it? You can't really do that with a regulateur.
so true! However...I love the Oris regulateur in this post..i nearly bought one..even though everytime i wanted to read the time id have to reeeeeeeally bloody concentrate
 

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Carlo Ferrara is a major conversation piece.
Main purpose of a Regulator is now obsolete.

Back when doctors still made house calls as an absolute part of their trade, they used watches to measure a patient's pulse. This is easier with a Regulator since the hour hand doesn't get in the way of the minute hand with regards to overlapping. House calls, except for the Uber wealthy, are now a distant thing of the past. With medical instruments now improved as well, Regulator watches are little more than conversation pieces to those who notice your watch.
 

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To throw in a little history for you guys and gals, the original Regulator timepiece design was invented by french watchmaker Pierre Louie Berthoud (nephew of the famous watchmaker Ferdinand Berthoud) at the end of the 1700's.
The design has a lot more historical importance than some on this forum may know - it was originally developed as both a primary 'marine chronometer' and also used in observatories. The watch displayed by SteveTomatoes is THE classic example.
 
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