We often get asked the difference between the terms chronograph and chronometer. While the terms are not mutually exclusive there certainly is an important difference. Many times we have customers who use the terms interchangeably, and it is wrong to do so. We hope this post will help clarify any confusion.
A chronometer is a highly accurate watch that is measured rigorously over the course of 16 days by an independent Swiss agency - COSC. Watches that are certified as a chronometer are accurate within a certain variance daily, which at a minimum is -4 seconds or +6 seconds. Only a small percentage of watches coming out of the Swiss industry are certified as chronometers. If the watch movement passes the certification, it is engraved with a serial number. You will also receive a document in your paperwork that is the actual certificate indicating you’re movements performance.
A chronograph, on the other hand, is essentially a stop watch. These watches have the ability to measure time in intervals. I will cover chronographs in greater detail a little later, but this is the general definition. Chronographs can be chronometers but not all chronographs are chronometers.