Flyback chronograph

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

A flyback chronograph is a complication watch, which uses a single push of the button for stopping, resetting and restarting the chronograph function of the watch.

Other names[edit]

The flyback function has also some other names:

  • Retour-en-vol (French: retour - to return; en - on; vol - flight)
  • Taylor system
  • Permanent zero setting


The flyback function is a complication inspired by everyday life, just as some other complications: world time, universal time, power reserve.

Most flyback chronographs are constructed with the usual crown at 3 o'clock and 2 pushpieces at 2 and 4 o'clock. Usually the flyback function is controlled by the button at 4 o'clock whereas the one at 2 o'clock is used to stop the chronograph.

Many chronographs are equipped with the flyback function, especially watches meant for pilots. It is much easier from the point of view of time saving, to instantly restart the chronograph with one push of the button, instead of three.


The appearance of the flyback function was catalyzed by the first watch with a separate chronograph button (the stop and reset functions were previously controlled by the winding-crown). This watch appeared in 1923 and was developed by Breitling.

The chronographs have afterwards gained the form which they retained until today. In 1934 the Breitling chronographs received the second chronograph button with the function of returning the seconds hand to zero. Thus it became possible to measure short intervals of time using the add function. However the patent of the flyback chronograph belongs to Longines with its first flyback chronograph dating back to 1936.

See also[edit]