3 min indicators at vintage chronos

Thread: 3 min indicators at vintage chronos

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  1. #1
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    3 min indicators at vintage chronos

    Dear WUSers,

    I think I have seen enough vintage chronographs with and without the 3 min indicators at the 30-45-60 min recording subdials. I knew - due to my limited knowledge that these 3min markings are for international calls length monitoring. The legend was saying that, when international calls became available to public in post offices they were priced with 3 min always; say you talk 2 min , you pay 3 min price. Or you talk 3,5 minutes you pay 6 min.... ( correct me pls if I am wrong )


    But, after seeing some other archive debates about the sense and use of this 3 min marks I became confused because there was no certain info and source. Some were holding stand for naval and air military use like navigation legs, some phone calls thing,and some even have seen 4 min markers in intervals ( which I personally never saw ). Some even have markers which looks like added later ( like the Angelus pic, thats actually the one which I dont see often until 12 min, so tailor made due to needs? )

    After seeing also many stopwatches which have 3 min marks in minutes recorders, I thought the phone call story can not be true, nobody would I guess go to post office with a stopwatch. The pictures I saw in bay Gallet, Elgin and Meylan Stopwatches with each 3 min marks in their sub minute recorder dials.

    So , what is the reason and use of the 3 min markers in the wrist chronographs? Any certain information revealed since last discussions?
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    Some more PW with related indicators from Gallet, Elgin and various other producers: Vintage Ten stopwatch's gallet Elgin Meylan | eBay
    Last edited by Emre; September 19th, 2012 at 23:02.

  2. #2
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    Re: 3 min indicators at vintage chronos

    I am still wondering :(

  3. #3
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    Re: 3 min indicators at vintage chronos

    Well, there doesn't seem to be an alternative theory. For another thing, I wouldn't say that your stop watches have explicit 3 minute markings, their minute totalizers are simply graded in units of three minutes. And that is probably since it is impossible (due to lack of space) to grade them in units of one minute; at the same time, since they only exist to stop the time rather than tell it, it is impractical to grade them in units of ten (as on a chronograph).

    Still I am open to alternative theories. Until then, however, I am forced to stick with the only one around.

    Thanks for the nice piccies of the timepieces.

    Hartmut Richter

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  5. #4
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    Re: 3 min indicators at vintage chronos

    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmut Richter View Post
    Well, there doesn't seem to be an alternative theory. For another thing, I wouldn't say that your stop watches have explicit 3 minute markings, their minute totalizers are simply graded in units of three minutes.

    Hartmut Richter

    Thanks Hartmut, totally right about the stopwatch 3 min markings but I can not stop thinking why 3 min then? if its the 'not enough space' thing within the subdial 4 or 5 min intervals would be more convenient. Won't it?

    Meanwhile I am looking for reference when these calls really started and how, will dig in more for now I found this info:

    -While most international rates rose again in May 1982, off-peak rates remained significantly
    lower than they had been in the 1970s and AT&T also reduced the initial calling period from
    3 minutes to 1 minute for direct-dialed calls

    -Table 13 provides AT&T rates for calls to six selected countries for 1950 to the
    present. The table shows basic schedule rates for residential customers for calls lasting 3
    minutes during the standard rate period.

    -Now, there are very few overseas phone calls that have to be placed via an operator. Meanwhile, the cost of calling overseas has tumbled. In 1966 it cost around £3 to call New York for three minutes - equivalent to around £5 per minute in today's prices. The current rate is around 4p per minute.



    More info in a study:http://transition.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Co...l/itltrd98.pdf interesting thing did not go through all yet but obviously AT&T is the keyMaybe we can put some data together to make this thesis strong hold
    Last edited by Emre; September 22nd, 2012 at 00:53.

  6. #5
    Zenith Forum Co-moderator
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    Re: 3 min indicators at vintage chronos

    Interesting stuff! And largely in favour of the theory. It would be interesting to see whether the call rates for other countries were also based on the same system.

    Hartmut Richter

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    Re: 3 min indicators at vintage chronos

    Quote Originally Posted by zyk1on View Post
    Meanwhile I am looking for reference when these calls really started and how, will dig in more for now I found this info:

    -While most international rates rose again in May 1982, off-peak rates remained significantly
    lower than they had been in the 1970s and AT&T also reduced the initial calling period from
    3 minutes to 1 minute for direct-dialed calls

    In a book called 'Complicated Watches and their Repair' by D.DeCarle F.B.H.I Chairman of the B.H.I written in 1956,
    describing the various chronograph dials and their function DeCarle states ...

    "Minute recording chronograph; A is the minute counter and B is the three minute divisions to time the length of telephone conversation."
    He is referring to a diagram showing the three minute divisions.
    Last edited by radger; September 23rd, 2012 at 01:18.

  8. #7
    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: 3 min indicators at vintage chronos

    It used to be when you made a long distance call in the US you paid for 3 minutes minimum... additional minutes were extra. So long distance call timing has always made sense to me as the explanation...
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

  9. #8
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    Re: 3 min indicators at vintage chronos

    thanks radger, great source. Yes, Eeeb, it was also making sense for me but after reading some archive threads about it, i asked myself really whats the source of it. Now I know at least where to refer in case.

    thanks again

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