facebook pixel

100% CERTIFIED AUTHENTIC • LOW PRICE GUARANTEE

Bob's Watches - The Pre-Owned Rolex Exchange
(800) 494-3708
1900 Quail St, Newport Beach, CA 92660
  • (800) 494-3708
  • SIGN IN
  • CART  

    Empty Cart?

    Find Your Rolex

BOB’S WATCHES

ROLEX BLOG

Why The Elongated Lines On Vintage Chronographs?

January 6, 2019

BY Joe

SHARE

For a time I owned a 1941 Universal Geneve Bi-Compax chronograph. It was a fantastic watch and was made of the most amazing red gold, however, something about it baffled me. On my watch, and I soon noticed on others from the same time, there were elogated lines in the minute totalizer at three minutes, six minutes and nine minutes. It was so specific and done across nearly every brand, from Longines to Wittnaur to Rolex to Breitling, I knew there had to be an explanation.

I turned to the great minds in the Reddit watch community and was told a very interesting answer, which I thought needed to be shared.

Why The Elongated Lines On Vintage Chronographs?

It all comes down to the telephone. According to a watchmaker and enthusiast, I was informed that back in the 40s, 50s and early 60s when these watches were being produced, people used payphones regularly. Cell phones obviously didn’t exist and many people didn’t have a landline in their home yet. When using a payphone at the time, the money you put in got you three minutes of talk time, and you were cut off abruptly when your time was up.

The lines on the chronograph simply help you keep track of your telephone call. You’d start the chronograph, put in your money, and easily be able to know when to put more money in or to finish your conversation. Most calls were likely under 10 minutes, which is why only the first three-minute markers look like this.

History.

And for your enjoyment, a gallery of vintage chronographs with the lines. You’ll see that some companies put them at 4, 8 and 12.

rolex

Vintage Chronograph Breitling

Borel

benrus sky chief

heuer

ambercrombie & fitch co

WATCHES YOU MIGHT LIKE

SHARE

The most trusted online retailer for pre-owned rolex watches
purchase with confidence

As the most trusted name in luxury watches, with the largest inventory on-hand and ready for immediate sale, Bob's Watches is the foremost destination to find the best in authentic, pre-owned luxury accessories. So whether on the hunt for a new pre-owned Ceramic No Date Submariner, or a vintage Paul Newman Daytona, Bob's is your primary source to find the best-of-the-best in pre-owned luxury goods at unbeatable prices.

Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex, S.A. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned Rolex watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. Rolex, www.rolex.com, is under no obligation to warranty-service watches sold by Bob's Watches. Rolex Datejust, Rolex Day Date President, Submariner, Presidential, Explorer, Sea Dweller, Super President, GMT Master, GMT, YachtMaster, Prince, Milgauss, MasterPiece, Air King, Cosmograph Daytona, and PearlMaster are all registered trademarks of the Rolex Corporation ( Rolex USA, Rolex S.A.) To buy a new Rolex watch, please visit rolex.com for a list of authorized Rolex dealers near you.
* Sales tax on Internet transactions is only collected on orders shipped to addresses in California or as otherwise required by law.