I shall shamelessly take advantage of you while you're in one of your wonderful mega-informative moods
How many problems with a classic columnwheel chronograph could be solved by overcoming some of the underlying issues of the "control mechamism" - for want of a better word?
Reading Lecoultre's descriptions makes me think of some kind of insane circus act.
The first problem is that one complex surface (the column itself) has to partly control the phasing of the operating (by the slope of the edges), plus to a certain extent control the forces involved by the depth the feelers move under spring pressure. The column surfaces have to be identical for the operation to always be the same.
The actual phasing of the various operations is controlled by the relative positioning of the feelers on the column. Change in the profile of the feelers alters the phasing of the operations.
Has anyone ever attempted to produce a different way of doing it apart from the obvious 7750-type solutions?
For example, I've always wondered if the column wheel could be in layers, with a separate layer for each feeler that would allow their phase and depthing to be adjusted relative to the others.