What is a Flyback Chronograph Function?

There are different chronograph functions that are available for watches. If you have bought watches before, you may be well aware of the different kinds; however, if you’re new to this space, you may be a little confused. Are you planning on buying a watch? Have you heard about a chronograph complication called the flyback? You may have wondered what a flyback chronograph is. Don’t worry! We are here to tell you exactly what that is and why you should definitely have it in your watch.

Types of chronograph complications

Before we dwell into what a flyback chronograph function is, let’s look at the different kinds of chronographs complications-

Normal/Common Chronograph

  • This is the most common chronograph complication. You will find 2 buttons on the side of a few custom watches. When you push the button that is on the top, the seconds hand starts to move, and when you push the button again, it stops. You can then push the same button for the time to continue or push the button which is below to reset the seconds hand and bring it back to zero (12 on the watch).

MonoPusher Chronograph

Similar in nature to the common chronograph, you will find only one button at the side of the watch. You will be using this button for all functions, such as stopping, resetting and starting again. The only difference here is that you can continue where you stopped and the dial will flyback to zero once you restart it from where you stopped the seconds hand.

Chronograph watches

 Split Second Chronograph

Split second chronograph, also called as the Rattrapante chronograph, is the most complicated of the chronographs and is also the most expensive. It’s found only in high end and really expensive watches. It has 3 buttons on its side. One to start, one to reset and one to stop.

There are 2 seconds hands actually, and they can help you with recording time by splitting it. So, you can record two various timings within the same circuit.

Fly back Chronograph

Flyback is a chronograph complication and one which is the most popular. Flyback chronograph watches have the ability to track seconds and fly back to the start by just pressing the button on the side. The functions help the watch by operating as a stopwatch and is a great way to calculate time and the intervals therein.

What is a flyback chronograph function?

With one very useful extra feature, the flyback chronograph function sets itself apart from the normal/common chronograph.

A flyback function chronograph can be used as a watch which does the normal functions of telling the time as well as being a stopwatch. You can identify it by seeing the small dials on its face, one for the minutes and one for the seconds which will show the time that has elapsed while it’s in the chronograph mode also called as the “time marking” mode.

A flyback function is a chronograph that does not require you to stop the chronograph for the purposes of setting it back to zero. When you use this function, the chronograph will reset itself immediately without stopping the chronograph.

It’s a special type and has been specially designed to record consecutive times. When you press the flyback button, the seconds hand of the watch immediately flies back to 0 (12 on the watch) and starts counting the seconds again.

Previously, other chronographs required the button to be pressed three times, so as to stop, reset and then start the time and thus, making it bit of a cumbersome process. The flyback chronograph function helps in keeping the process simple and is very useful for professionals such as pilots and race car drivers. Due to the kind of professionals that use the flyback chronograph watch, these watches are said to be a symbol of confidence and a ‘go anywhere’ attitude.


Having a watch with a flyback chronograph function can help you record time with ease and certainty. It’s a simple button press, not at all complicated and thus, used by many people, especially professionals such as pilots and race car drivers.

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