Egg timer or 'telephone unit' timer?

There was a thread here on 5th January 2010 about the reason for the 3, 6 and 9 minute elongations on vintage chrono sub-dials.... on a beautiful ref 4178 chrono (a really stunning piece, and pulls at my heart because I am such a sucker for 2 dial chronos, vintage and modern).

Not that I would put it up as proof or anything, but I happened upon the first bit of text on the subject I have seen in a watch journal.

I have re-started perusing through International WristWatch - and obviously started with No. 1 from Nov/Dec1989.

Now, on page 42 of said mag, from 21 years ago, a Ms Lina Fraccaroli is reviewing a couple of unusual chronographs (no VC unfortunately) but states that the 3, 6 and 9 minute markers are and I quote: "The latter is oddly divided into 'telephone units'from the time before direct dialling, when long-distance calls were obtained by the operator".

I think Patrice, who proffered this explanation at the time, should be rewarded!

Anyway, I read this and thought of 'you all'.


ps, if while reviewing these 'old mags' I find any other quirky stuff, I will be sure to be back. Especially if I can actually find anything VC related!
greât find and shows how everyday actions could influence design (nt)
04/05/2010 - 22:15
Cool find...
04/12/2010 - 21:57
...although I did prefer the egg timer explanation Thanks Gary (any update on delivery???) Cheers,  Francois
I guess
04/14/2010 - 01:47
you can use your chrono to time just about anything you like! Now, to business! I am reliably informed end of April / Early May. So probably June!! Then it will be perfect weather (well maybe just passable) to meet up for that beer, or two. Be good. Gary
Thanks for the update
04/16/2010 - 09:42
so it's going to be a race against time then... Mine should go to the spa soon (a few niggles need to be corrected, and my 2-year warranty is about to run out...)
Re: Egg timer or 'telephone unit' timer?
08/28/2010 - 07:42
Hi. I just happened on this thread… GR Lang and R Meis discuss this in their excellent book: "Chronograph – Wristwatches To Stop Time", on page 25. It is indeed called a "telephone-unit register". It is based on the fact that in the past, calls made from a public telephone, mostly out-of-town calls, were charged by units of three minutes.