The chronograph is perhaps the most popular complications today. It is much in excess of a complication and has become a watch category in itself. It is jazzy, practical and boasts a genuine amount of technical complexity. For watch specialists, there aren’t many encounters that are as rewarding as pressing the pushers of a stopwatch or admiring the intricacies of a fine manual-winding section wheel chronograph. Additionally, its important job in watch history, along with the games and way of life associated with the chronograph, are all part of its universal appeal.
Here are 10 of the most iconic chronographs (stopwatches that have set new standards and that have stood the trial of time) that you can buy in 2018. Obviously, you’ll have your own considerations on this, so don’t hesitate to give us your best 10 most iconic chronographs that can be purchased today in the comment area below!
Note: two interesting articles for you, on the off chance that you want to dig further into chronographs:
- A Technical Perspective – Everything you need to think about Chronographs
- The contrast between a Chronometer and a Chronograph
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down
Presented in 1999 and updated in 2012, the Datograph is one of the most pleasant, if not the most pleasant chronograph available on the market. It features a flyback chronograph with a jumping minutes counter, a fast set curiously large date and two sub-dials recognizable because of their positioning. The force save is indicated at 6 o’clock. Turn the watch over and the sapphire caseback offers a breathtaking perspective on the entirely finished hand-wound caliber L951.6. It is made of more than 400 parts including German silver extensions, a segment wheel, a horizontal grip, gold chatons held by blued screws, a swan-neck regulator, etc…
Quick facts: 41mm platinum case – 30m water-resistance – Caliber L951.6, hand-twisted development with hours, minutes, seconds, large date, power hold indication and flyback chronograph – alligator strap with pin clasp – EUR 82,500 – More information: www.alange-soehne.com
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
In 1972, the Royal Oak upset the idea of the extravagance sports watch and spearheaded another category. Planned by Gérald Genta, the Royal Oak was crafted in steel with an angular case, an octagonal bezel and an integrated bracelet. Since then, Audemars Piguet has released many variations of this symbol, including chronographs. At the SIHH 2017, the Royal Oak Chronograph experienced a tasteful facelift with two-tone dials. Inside the 41mm case is the automatic caliber 2385, an integrated section wheel development based on the FP1185.
Quick facts: 41mm steel case – 50m water-resistance – Caliber 2385, automatic development with hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph – steel bracelet with safety clasp – EUR 24,600 – More information: www.audemarspiguet.com
Breguet Type XX Aéronavale 3800ST
Breguet (the brand and the family) has a long history in aviation. In the 1950s, the Aeronavale, the military air force of the French Navy, commissioned several brands with the creation of “Type 20” pilot chronographs – including Breguet. During the 1990s, Breguet introduced the advanced Type XX automatic flyback chronograph. Among the various models, our inclination goes to the reference 3800ST Aeronavale , with no date. Measuring 39mm in diameter, the steel case features a 0 to 60 rotating bezel and a screw-down crown. The black dial has luminescent numerals paired with syringe hands. Inside is the automatic caliber 582 flyback, based on the Lemania 1350.
Quick facts: 39mm steel case – 100m water-resistance – Caliber 582 automatic development with hours, minutes, seconds and fly-back chronograph – alligator strap with pin clasp – EUR 9,200 – More information: www.breguet.com
Breitling Navitimer 1 B01
Breitling is famous for designing exceptional chronographs and for its long aviation history. A development of the Chronomat, the legendary Breitling pilot chronograph was brought into the world in 1952. The model stood apart with its large, 41mm case. The signature ratcheted rotating bezel guarantees smooth and easy handling of the brand’s circular aviation slide rule intended to perform calculations related to air navigation. The latest form, with the in-house caliber B01 with section wheel, vertical grasp and boasting a 70h force hold, remains faithful to the original plan, yet with a marginally larger case of 43mm and some new tones added to the dial. However, the plan remains a classic.
Quick facts: 43mm steel case – 30m water-resistance – Breitling B01, automatic development with hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph – alligator strap with pin clasp – EUR 7,640 – More information: www.breitling.com
IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3714
One of the most popular IWC assortments, the Portugieser was brought into the world in the 1930s when two Portuguese businessmen asked for a large steel watch with a development as exact as a marine chronometer. Today, it is quite possibly the most enduringly popular watch plans. The chronograph variant of this symbol is calm, harmonious, elegant and immediately recognizable. The IWC Portugieser Chronograph 3714 was brought into the world during the 1990s and has remained unchanged since, with the exception of some occasional updates to the shade of the dial. This ideal daily wearer is controlled by the automatic caliber 79350 based on the 7750 architecture.
Quick facts: 40.9mm steel case – 30m water-resistance – Caliber IWC 79350, automatic development with hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph – alligator strap with folding clasp – EUR 7,600 – More information: www.iwc.com
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
A straightforward chronograph intended for auto racing, the ‘Quick’ was brought into the world in 1957 as part of the brand’s sacred trinity (Seamaster, Railmaster and Speedmaster). The Ref. CK2915 was easily recognizable thanks to “broad arrow hands” and its tachymeter scale situated not on the dial but rather on its bezel – this external scale would become the defining feature of the Speedmaster, as it was the first to display it on the bezel. The Speedmaster took one giant leap forward in 1969 when Buzz Aldrin wore the watch on the surface of the Moon, after being chosen by the NASA following broad testing. Since then, the Omega Speedmaster Professional continues to fascinate and has stood out forever as the “Moonwatch”.
P.S. You should watch our arrangement of recordings “The Speedmaster Chronicles” here .
Quick facts: 42mm steel case – hesalite crystal – 50m water-resistance – Caliber 1861, hand-twisted development with hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph – steel bracelet with folding clasp – EUR 4,300– More information: www.omegawatches.com
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 5270
What we have here is considerably more than a chronograph. Be that as it may, there had to be one Patek Philippe in this choice and we felt more attracted by the ref. 5270 than by the ref. 5170 (which is also an ageless classic, yet which is currently just available with diamond indices). The perpetual calendar chronograph is a complication that “has a place” to Patek Philippe, as the 5270 continues a tradition initiated in 1941. It was introduced in 2011 with a superb in-house development, as the replacement of the 5970, itself an advancement of the 3970. It is presently available without precedent for the noblest of all metals, platinum. And it comes with a genuinely stunning salmon dial that – as often with salmon dials – is elegant, unostentatious yet with that exceptionally special twist.
Quick facts: 41mm platinum case – 30m water-resistance – Caliber CH 29-535 PS Q CH, hand-twisted development with hours, minutes, seconds, perpetual calendar, day/night and moon phase indications and chronograph – alligator strap with folding clasp – EUR 169,750 – More information: www.patek.com
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
The Daytona has to be one of the main three iconic chronographs of all-time. The reputation of this watch is massive and it has become perhaps the most desirable extravagance watches ever – be they new models that sell with a premium, or vintage versions that can reach insane costs (recall the $17.8 million Paul Newman’s Daytona … ) First launched in 1963, the Daytona was inspired by engine racing. It encapsulates all of Rolex’s values of greatness, quality and functionality. And its versatile style can be worn on nearly any occasion. Since the early 2000s, the Daytona is fueled by the automatic in-house caliber 4130, with section haggle grip. The latest steel version, the 116500 , features a black ceramic bezel as a gesture to the past.
Quick facts: 40mm steel case with Cerachrom bezel – 100m water-resistance – Caliber 4130, automatic development with hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph – Oyster bracelet with safety clasp – EUR 11,350 – More information: www.rolex.com .
TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf 2018 Limited Edition
Chronographs are a long tradition at TAG Heuer and several of its stopwatches occupy best positions in the rundown of iconic chronographs, in particular, models associated with the brilliant age of engine racing, like the Carrera or the Autavia. Also brought into the world in this time frame (1969), the Monaco is, unmistakably, the most celebrated square chronograph. It was outfitted with the innovative caliber 11 automatic development and immortalized on the wrist of Steve McQueen in the film Le Mans. His car bore the Gulf tones, which is one reason why we have a weakness for the cool vintage racing flair of this restricted release .
Quick facts: 39mm x 39mm steel case – 100m water-resistance – Caliber 11 automatic development with hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph – perforated calfskin strap with folding clasp – EUR 5,250 – More information: www.tagheuer.com
Zenith Chronomaster El Primero 38mm
El Primero (the first) was part of the set of three of automatic chronograph calibers that hit the market in 1969. It is the one in particular that is as yet created to date. This legendary development is regarded as truly outstanding and most accurate chronographs at any point created. It features a compact development incorporating a segment haggle horizontal grip. As its oscillator operates at 36,000 vibrations/hours, the seconds hand of El Primero performs 10 bounces each second – meaning that it has the ability to measure a 10th of a second. Among the many watches controlled by El Primero, we have chosen a superb and faithful multiplication of a Zenith Classic, the Chronomaster with its tri-shading totalisers, in a classic 38mm steel case.
Quick facts: 38mm steel case – 100m water-resistance – Caliber El Primero 400 automatic development with hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph – alligator strap with folding clasp – EUR 6,900 – More information: www.zenith-watches.com