The rattrapante, or the split-seconds chronograph, is one of the most complicated pieces of haute horlogerie tech that you can buy. The concept of the rattrapante is to allow the user to time two separate intervals of time simultaneously, whereas the traditional chronograph can only measure and track one interval of time.
While the chronograph was invented in 1816 by Louis Moinet to track astronomical objects, the far more complicated rattrapante was invented in 1946 by Georges Dubey and René Schaldenbrand of Dubey & Schaldenbrand in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland.
And in 2023, the rattrapante reigns supreme as one of the most impressive, most coveted and most respected of watch movements in the world. Here are some examples of the rattrapante across the pricing spectrum from IWC's Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante and the Omega De Ville Chronoscope all the way up to the fantastic Patek Philippe 5370 Split-Seconds Chronograph.
Omega De Ville Chronoscope
An unconventional rattrapante that features a data-filled dial and a co-axial chronometer, the Omega De Ville Chronoscope is an obscure yet wholly intriguing split-seconds chronograph.
IWC Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante
The IWC Portugieser Chronograph Rattrapante is such a cool piece, especially in this guise, with the "Boutique Munich" edition featuring a red rattrapante and chronograph minute hand.
Breitling Navitimer Rattrapante
Breitling's Navitimer Rattrapante is a piece you really need to handle in the metal to appreciate. It's dense, hefty and its split-seconds chronograph button has the most satisfying click to it.
Panerai Luminor 1950 Rattrapante PAM00530
From Panerai we have Luminor 1950 Rattrapante PAM00530, an innovative bit of tech that has a very respectable 8-day power reserve.
Hublot Big Bang King Power Ayrton Senna
If you thought the Omega De Ville Chronoscope was an out-of-the-box choice, wait until you see the Hublot Big Bang King Power Ayrton Senna. Crafted in carbon fibre and limited to only 500 pieces, the Hublot Big Bang King Power Ayrton Senna is low-key one of the coolest rattrapantes on this list.
Breitling Premier B15 Duograph
The Breitling Premier B15 Duograph is just one of those pieces that hits all the right notes. Not as bulky as the Navitimer Rattrapante, the Premier B15 Duograph is a beautifully subtle, restrained and classical rattrapante timepiece reminiscent of dress watches from decades ago.
Patek Philippe 5370P Split-Seconds Chronograph
The mac-daddy rattrapante and a personal grail of mine, is the Patek Philippe 5370P Split-Seconds Chronograph. The original model had a black enamel dial, with the new model now featuring a blue enamel dial. Regardless of your colour preference, the Patek Philippe 5370P Split-Seconds Chronograph reigns supreme as the king of the rattrapantes.
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