Watch with tide gauge

A clock or watch with a tide-gauge has an instrument to indicate the time and condition of the tide at a given place on the coast.

This function is useful to a fairly limited public: fishermen, boaters , walkers and bathers from the seashores, so that the diffusion of watches tideographers remained limited to a few brands addressing a confidential public.

With the development of surfing , the demand for watches with tide gauges began to become important, new models were created from the mid-1980s by manufacturers of accessories and surf equipment.

With the development of the Internet and mobile phones, instant access to tide data is instantly accessible, this function becomes very simple to implement on a connected watch, and it is no longer necessary for the watches to have a mechanism Calculating the time of the phases of the tides and of the moon.

The tide-gauge must not be confused with the tide gauge, which is an instrument used to measure the height of the tide every day.

How it works

The tide gauges are the basis of specialized lunar chronographs, they indicate the lunar time. Indeed, each lunar day of 24 hours 50 minutes comprises two cycles of tides, namely two full sea and two low sea.

Since tide times depend on latitude, the tide-gauge must be set to the time of a given location from a tidal directory, which also bases its predictions on a set of other highly complex local factors such as the incidence The elliptic trajectories of the celestial bodies, the currents, the depth of the bottoms, the shape of the coast.

Some tideographers also indicate the relative tidal amplitude (the coefficient) that depends on the respective positions of the Sun, Moon and Earth. In fact, when the first two are in conjunction, that is to say, aligned, the action of the Sun is added to that of the Moon, and the tide, called Tide of living water or Tide, is the sum Of the two tides which the Moon and the Sun would produce separately. Otherwise, tides are lower. They reach their minimum level of dead water in the first and last quarters, when the centers of the Moon, the Earth and the Sun make a right angle in space.


Manual winding watches, mechanical and index display

In 1890, the Swiss watchmaking company Charles Couleru-Meuri at La Chaux-de-Fonds marketed dates giving the phases of the moon (with a new patent) and “watchmakers”.

Automatic mechanical winding watches and index display

Then there is another Swiss watchmaker, Heuer-Leondas , who in 1940 integrated a tide-gauge function into his Solunar watch model , taking the name of solunar tables invented and published on paper by the American John Alden Knight, fishermen.

This watch, equipped with a five-minute countdown function for sailing regattas, and called Seafarer , was broadcast in 1950 in the USA by Abercrombie & Fitch , then specialized in hiking and hiking gear, Fishing and hunting. The case is manufactured by Heur, with the same movements Valjoux 71, then 72.

Orvis has marketed a model on the same foundation of housing and motion, called Solunograp .

In the 1990s, watchmaker Eberhard & Co marketed a chronograph named Marescope, whose automatic mechanical movement is the Swiss caliber 17 jewels Lemania 5190, with a second hand and three small dials: moon phases, tide phases and a chronometer.

Corum took advantage of the Golden Bridge movement to design a yachtman watch to tide gauge, Admiral’s cup Tide , and in 2007, Swiss watchmaker Rolex marketed under the name of Yacht-Master a countdown timer and a tide-gauge .

Quartz watches, mechanical movement and index display

Beginning in the 1980s, the development of surfing gave rise to a new need for constant knowledge of the state of the tide.

Two manufacturers will be designing new models of tidewatches in the two surfing regions: Rip Curl in Australia and then Nixon in California , from the same movement that remains of Swiss manufacture but is quartz: ISA 8272. These watches become diving watches able to withstand the very aggressive environment of surfing: sand, pressure, immersion, salt, falls, sun.

The Rip Curl Mastertide retains the classic case shape with the state of the tide indicated in a small dial, adding the phases of Moon in another, and seconds in a third. It has an adjustment system called ATS, which resides in memorizing the basic tidal data in several hundreds of surfing locations around the world.

For his part, Nixon, who uses the same Swiss movement 9 rubies ISA 8272, proposes to indicate the state of the tide with a large hand type second hand, as well as two dials, one for the phases of the moon, the other for the seconds. The The Channel T has a very sturdy case with a graduated bezel that is out of reach of the blows by making it internal, maneuverable with an external ring. The name of this model marketed around 2005, is that of the channel of radio of the surfers allowing to regulate the watch.

Using the same Swiss ISA 8272 movement, two other manufacturers offer two other models,, and Eric Tabarly with always the same ISA movement. These include the watchmaker Timex offering Expedition E-Tide Temp and a watch showing the status of the tide with a large needle, and also the diving equipment manufacturer Beuchat who has studied the issue of measurement Tides on economic needle watches by the company Innovation Capital , and which markets Atlantis , a dive watch displaying in three small dials the state of the tide, its coefficient and the phase of the moon.

Quartz watches, electronic and digital display

The Japanese firm Casio has proposed for the surfers several models, the G-Shock Rescue , the Protrek , Sea Path Finder , watches with quartz movement and digital display, having as for the ATS system of Rip Curl, a vast base Of predicted meteorological data concerning the places of the world where surfing is practiced.

Quartz watches, connected and digital display

Since 2000, Watches at Maréographes, especially those designed by Rip Curl and Nixon for surfers, tend to become connected in order to fetch, via a cell phone , all the data concerning the tide, updated in real time.

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