Regulateur—or in English-speaking countries, regulator: A watch with hours, minutes and seconds on separate dials, or subdials. It has the look of a chronograph, and the advantage over conventional analog watches in that the time can be read without hands interfering with each other. No hand obstructs the time-telling of another.
In the past, doctors favored the regulator when they made house calls, to measure a patient’s pulse. Also, because of its alleged accuracy, the regulator was once used as the primary “marine chronometer,” in observatories, and as a reference instrument in watchmakers’ workshops for regulating the watches they were building. Today, with LED and LCD displays, and the accuracy of quartz, the regulator has become somewhat of an anachronism. However, it maintains a nostalgic appeal, is a conversation starter, a novelty on the wrist, and an homage to watchmaking history—dating back to the late 1700s and its inventor, Pierre Louie Berthoud.
The timepiece presented to the right is all of the above, but with two modernizing twists:
1. The hands within the subdials represent 3 plane geometric figures: triangle (hour), circle (minute), square (second)
2. The color combinations may require the use of sunglasses…indoors!
The subdials can have hour markers for easier time-telling, or not. (The one shown here does not, which I prefer, being a minimalist.)
The timepiece is analog—no flashing LEDSs— can have a mechanical or quartz engine, and is time-set using the crown in a conventional manner.
A variety of color choices can be offered. To comfortably accommodate the 3 subdials, a case size of 50-52 mm is recommended. The crown is offset (at the 4 o’clock position) to fit more comfortably on the wrist, given the oversized case.
The time, as shown, is: 2:29:40….more or less!!