High-scale watches

Tachymeter, telemeter, pulsometer, asthmometer... High-precision scales are a staple of the watchmaking world. Far from being mere add-ons to the bezel or the dial, they are essential for taking accurate measures. Here is a selection of watches that blend functionality and style.

By Chloé Redler

TAG Heuer Carrera

TAG Heuer has always been close to the world of car racing. This experience made it one of the world’s leading brands in the production of chronographs with tachymeter scale. Placed on the watch’s bezel, tachymeter scales are generally used to calculate the average speed of a vehicle between two distance markers. They are rather easy to use: you only have to start the chronograph when passing a distance marker (like a milestone or a road sign), then stop it at the next one. The central hand then points to the average speed over 1,000 meters (1 km). Speed and efficiency with the push of a button. 

An icon of the TAG Heuer collections, the Carrera is the quintessential tachymeter watch.

The Carrera collection is a classic of the genre. You can see why chronograph was hand-picked by Frank Sans C: an eye-catching model with a blue dial, a matching fixed ceramic bezel, and a brown leather strap. Sporty yet delightfully chic, the unique bracelet features perforations harkening back to old-school car racing gloves. The 44mm case in polished and fine-brushed steel is understated yet imposing on the wrist. The instrument is water-resistant to 100 meters and is powered by a high-performance manufacture Heuer 02 calibre, with an 80-hour power reserve.

The Heuer 02 manufacture calibre, decorated with Côtes-de-Genève, as well as the delicately openworked oscillating weight, can be seen through the sapphire case back.

Price: €5,500

Technical specifications:

Case: 44mm
Polished, fine-brushed steel
Thickness: 15.27mm
Lug width: 22.00mm
Water resistance: 100m
Fixed ceramic bezel
Black PVD coated steel crown
Case back: sapphire – steel
Brown leather strap
Unfolding buckle with steel pushers
Blue dial
Circular fine-brushed finish
Applique indices
Calibre: Heuer 02
Self-winding chronograph movement
Power reserve: 80 hours
Balance wheel vibration: 28,800 (4Hz)
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph: quarter second, 30-minute counter, 12-hour counter, date.

TAG Heuer Year Of The Rabbit

Here’s another chronograph, and a good one at that. This special Year of the Rabbit edition celebrates the Chinese New Year (22 January 2023), as we enter the year of the rabbit. This watch displays exquisite colour choices, inspired by the holiday. The lightly textured black dial is a lovely backdrop to the deep red and rose gold hands and indices. 

The TAG Heuer Year Of The Rabbit was launched to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The watch stands out with its sapphire case back adorned with a red and gold rabbit.

Of course, the tachymeter scale is also on the bezel of this model. This piece has all of the attributes of its counterpart described above, with a significant difference: it is limited to 500 pieces. The sapphire case back features an eye-catching red rabbit design, revealing a glimpse of the inner workings of a high-performance calibre and a rose gold oscillating weight.

Price: €6,750

Technical specifications:

Case: 44mm in ceramic and DLC steel
Water resistance: 100m
Fixed ceramic bezel
Case back: sapphire – steel
Black leather strap
Unfolding buckle with steel pushers
Black dial
Applique indices
Calibre: Heuer 02
Self-winding chronograph movement
Power reserve: 80 hours
Balance wheel vibration: 28,800 (4Hz)
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph: quarter second, 30-minute counter, 12-hour counter, date.


TISSOT Telemeter 1938

Vital Thiébaud starting his Tissot chronograph during a ski race in Villars-sur-Ollon, 1938.

The name of the watch speaks for itself. Tissot pays homage the telemeter with the Telemeter 1938 model. As a point of interest, Tissot’s history with sports began during a ski race, in Villars-sur-Ollon, Switzerland, when Vital Thiébaud activated his Tissot chronograph. The maison now celebrates this moment of its history with a fine vintage edition.

The Tissot Telemeter 1938 sports a confident vintage look and comes in two dial colours, black and silvery.

The tachymeter is but one of the features on this 42mm steel watch, as it also comes with a telemeter. This function measures the distance between light and sound. The example of lightning and thunder is perhaps the most striking (pun not intended, but you have to admit it’s not bad). The chronograph starts when lightning flashes and stops when thunder rumbles. Then, the delay between the speed of sound and the speed of sign tells you how far away the storm is. Convenient, yes, but could you find an everyday use for it?

The Valjoux calibre on the Telemeter 1938 is equipped with a Nivachrom™ balance spring, a 68-hour power reserve and a new rotor design.

We doubt it. The design of this instrument, though, is undoubtedly powerful – and firmly retro. The watch is offered with an Italian calfskin leather strap that will take on a lovely shine as time goes on. The Telemeter 1938 is powered by a finely crafted Swiss Valjoux movement, equipped with a high-precision antimagnetic Nivachrom™ balance spring. Tissot offers two dial variations: black and silvery. 

Price: €2,095

Technical specifications:

Case: 42mm, 316L steel
See-through case back
Valjoux A05.231 chronograph movement
Nivachrom™ balance spring
Domed sapphire crystal with double-sided antireflective coating
Telemeter and tachymeter functions
Brown leather strap


ORIS Royal Flying Doctor Service

Let’s switch scales: on to the pulsometer. These were created in the early 18th century for doctors and other health care professionals, who used them to take patients’ pulses and monitor their heart rates. These models, named “doctor watches”, are less common nowadays, as smart watches and their countless health monitors flood the market.

The Oris Royal Flying Doctor Service, from the personal collection of Frank Sans C.

However, some watchmaking maisons still celebrate these classics, such as Oris and their tribute to doctor watches with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. A word of advice if pulsometer scales have caught your interest: they’re not always calibrated to the same base. On this model, the base is 20 heartbeats. It works in a rather intuitive way: you start the chronograph, and count up to the number of heartbeats given on the base, then stop. This gives you a number of heartbeats per minute (bpm), in other words, your heart rate.

See our technical specifications for the Oris Royal Flying Doctor Service.

ORIS Rega Fleet Limited Edition

The Rega Fleet Limited Edition was born out of a collaboration between Oris and Rega, the Swiss air rescue.

Second pulsometer on set: the Rega Fleet Limited Edition, a tribute to the Swiss air rescue service, Rega.

A world-leading air rescue service, the Rega has a distinctive fleet of red helicopters.

The edition was limited to 100 pieces… but 2,100 pieces were produced. Yes, you’ve read that right : Oris created 21 engraved case back designs, one for each of the fleet’s aircrafts (18 helicopters and 3 planes) and their registration numbers. An exclusive edition that leaves us spoiled for choice.


And as for technical specs, this model from the iconic Big Crown ProPilot collection has a gunmetal grey PVD-coated steel case. The dial offers high visibility, even in dark conditions, with the luminescent coating on the hands and indices. There is also a secondary time zone indicator, provided by a red-tipped hand. With its black leather strap equipped with the Oris-patented LIFT system and an extra red rubber strap, the watch is a perfect heavy-duty companion for Rega.

The Rega Fleet Limited Edition also comes on a red rubber strap, with a quick-change system and a tool for changing the clasp.

See our technical specifications for the Rega Fleet Limited Edition.

Price: €3,200


Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter

The BR 03-94 Multimeter from Bell & Ross takes inspiration from aeronautical tools and aims to provide athletes with necessary information for their practice.

The BR 03-94 is a testament to Bell & Ross’ mastery of technical tools and is aimed at experienced athletes. This chronograph was designed to deliver the most information on their physical activity. It gathers numerous indications for measuring short times on its uniquely shaped dial (a circle within a square).

One colour, one function. The manufacture Bell & Ross gave a specific hue to every piece of data on the dial.

Pulsometer? Yes. Tachymeter? Of course. But here, too, the watch goes the extra mile : there are three tachymeter scales, each with their unit of measurement depending on your sport: 100m for running, 250m for cycling and 1km for car racing. Last but not least: the asthmometer scale, which monitors your breathing and is calculated on a base of 5 exhalations. This information can be very useful to any self-respecting athlete. This multimeter is a genuine tool watch and a lovely bit of kit. Don’t forget the user’s manual, however. You might need it to get the hang of all the different functions.

The BR 03-94 displays short times and is ready to come with you on your run – or any other sport.

See our technical specifications for the Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Multimeter.

Price: €5,600


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