What is Hacking-Stop and Why Some High-End Watches Don’t Have It?

When we discuss watches, the hacking-stop feature (stopping the second hand function) is often brought up to evaluate the quality of the movements. But in reality, many high-end watch manufacturers today still produce luxury hi-end watches using movements without hacking such as Patek Philippe, Vacheron Contsantin or Zenith, and the quality, accuracy and durability of these movements have been proven and recognized by time and many watch collectors.

1. So what is Hacking-Stop?

Simply put, this is a feature that allows the user to stop the second hand when adjusting the time by pulling out the crown. When you pull out the crown to the position of adjusting the hour and minute, it will affect the lever, which will stop the balance wheel and gear train. This feature will help you easily adjust the time accurately to the second. For those who put accuracy in time first, this is probably a must-have feature of a watch.

2. Are non-hacking watches less accurate or lower quality?

As mentioned at the beginning, many in-house movements of high-end brands do not have this feature. To be precise, hacking is just a feature that “helps adjust time accurately” rather than showing accuracy or sophistication of movement.
In an interview, Philippe Stern, chairman of Patek Philippe, said that stopping the escapement and gear train would not be good for the watch but in fact it seems that hacking does not affect much on durability of components when movements with hacking work durably and accurately after many years.
In a more romantic and cinematic way, we can’t stop time, let’s accept that time will pass no matter what, and the machine that measures time will and should accurately simulate that.

3. Conclusion.

For me personally, wearing a watch shows aesthetic taste, preference and passion. I like accuracy but not absolute accuracy, for someone who always tries to arrive early or complete work ahead of schedule, accuracy to the second is not too necessary for me.
But what if you like accuracy to the second but accidentally fall in love with a non-hacking watch?
For non-hacking watches there is still a way for you to adjust time accurately to the second. This way may be known by many of you and it can be applied to most watches without hacking function. Specifically when you pull out crown to hour-minute adjustment position, you just need to turn crown slightly in reverse direction you will make second hand run backwards a bit or stop completely. Just be skillful a little bit and you can completely adjust time accurately for your favorite watches.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *