My 10-Second Minerva Rattrapante Stopwatch

I recently bought a new stopwatch for use during time-speed car rallies. I have been using a very similar Minerva stopwatch, but this new watch has an additional feature.  Obviously, the first thing that you will notice about the clock shown below is that it is an analog stopwatch.  I have a reason for this – I believe that I can see a second better with an analog stopwatch than with a digital stopwatch.  This stopwatch makes one sweep in 10 seconds.  Because of this I can easily see each 1/10 second.  I can easily count down to actions measured in 1/10 second.  I don’t have a bunch of numbers flashing in front of me.

My Minerva 10-Second Stopwatch

I already had two Minerva 10-second stopwatches, but this stopwatch is a little different.  The stopwatch has a “rattrapante” feature.  While it is purposefully difficult to see, this stopwatch has two second hands – one on top of each other.  There is a small, fine red colored second hand under the main black second hand.  If you look at the picture above, then you can see the tiny round red circle on the underlying second hand below the black second hand.  In normal stopwatch operation the smaller red second hand will stay hidden underneath the larger black second hand.

The Small Red Second Hand Stops While Black Second Hand Continues

If the button on the left side of the crown is pressed, then the small red hand will stop at the moment that button is pressed while the larger black second hand continues measuring the overall time.  This feature makes this stopwatch a “rattrapante” stopwatch.  This “split” feature allows me to note the time that an action happened without stopping the main timing function of the stop watch.

Pressing the button on the left side of the crown again will cause the small red second hand to “catch up” with the larger black second hand and essentially disappear from view again.  This is shown on the image below.  There is no limit on the number of split times that can be measured.

Pressing The Left Button Again Will Cause The Red Second Hand To Catch Up With The Black Second Hand

Once the main activity to be timed is finished, then the stopwatch can be stopped by pressing the center crown button.  Pressing the button on the right side of the center crown will return the stopwatch second hand back to the zero position.

This stopwatch will be quite useful in time-speed rallies and I am pleased to add it to my navigation tool box.

If you have any comments or questions about this post, then please leave a comment below or you can send me a private email message at the following address: shanna12 at comcast dot net


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8 Responses to My 10-Second Minerva Rattrapante Stopwatch

  1. Mike Young says:

    Steve…And, there are digital clocks and watches that have both numerical and sweep hand GUIs. Clocks, stopwatches, twin toggling stopwatches, combinations of clock and stopwatch. The choices are many suited to individual preferences and styles. Added bonuses are cents as well as seconds and decimal seconds and cents to three decimal places. If there was enough interest, I could make a 10-second digital stopwatch with hands. Easy option to add to my full-munite stopwatch faces. So, might this be something that other navigators might like?

    • Maybe they would but I prefer my stopwatch as I can be looking at a sign or feature outside the car and activate the stopwatch without also looking at a area on a screen to touch as we drive by. Also it’s one handed as I can both hold the stopwatch and activate it with one hand. My pencil can be in the other hand to record the data. It’s just a preference thing.
      Steve McKelvie

      • Mike Young says:

        Yes, trying to replicate tactile, physical objects on a mobile device is a challenge. Custom objects can help with the visual mimicry, but the tactile feel isn’t there. Sensory feedback with color and sound and even shaking on some devices helps a bit. In a simple device like a stopwatch the button can be any size…the whole screen could be a button, if that would make things easier to touch…in fact, in my apps, the actual stopwatch buttons are about 4 times larger than the object image to make touching easier and more foolproof. Also, I’m still searching for simple Bluetooth physical objects like buttons, switches, and dials that could be ganged together as needed to build the kind of input controls that would suit navigators nicely. The displays could be mounted anywhere and the gang of buttons, etc could be mounted on a clipboard. The technology to do this already exists in the form of game controllers, but I’m searching for something that can be assembled in a customized way targeted at particular apps and particular actions. If I were a younger EE rather than an old ME, I’d probably build these devices myself.

  2. Mike Young says:

    Steve, this must be a very rare Minerva stopwatch. I’ve searched high and low on the internet and the closest I can find is a Minerva Hi-Beat 1/10th Second Stopwatch on Ebay. The Hi-Beat has the identical clock face and hands but only one button.

  3. Joe M says:

    This was named/advertised as a Minerva Split Timer. I am not sure when it was first made, but I know for a fact it was used at the 1972 USA Olympic Swim Trials and it was considered the best stopwatch made at the time. It was back up for the electronic timing system. I got mine brand new, in the middle 1970’s. Still have it, still works perfectly, in the original box (no paperwork though)..

    Here’s a little game you can play with it. As you know, on the second press of the button on the left, the red hand sweeps back to the black hand. When the black hand is reset back up to the top, depending on where the red hand is stopped, it will sweep one way or the other to go back and catch up to the black hand. However, it’s not what you think, i.e., at 4.9 seconds it will sweep counter clockwise and 5.1 it will sweep clockwise. No, at those times, they’ll both sweep counter clockwise. The game? Find the exact point where just a hair one way it sweeps one direction and just a hair the other way, it sweeps to the other direction. And if you happen to stop the red exactly on that “hair” point, you might have to hit the button again, as it will be a little stuck.

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