The chronograph is without a doubt one of the most popular and sought-after types of watches. While it’s a pretty useful complication, the chronograph is also among the most complex mechanisms to design and manufacture. We have picked 5 time-stoppers of 2017 that will be perfect for both daily wear and special occasions – and that won’t kill your savings because they are all priced under 10,000 Euros!
Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture
The first in-house chronograph by Frederique Constant is perfectly in line with the brand’s accessible luxury strategy. This handsome classic chronograph is presented in a 42mm case (stainless steel or gold-plated steel) with dynamic rectangular pushers, sapphire box-crystal and several dials options: a Clous de Paris guilloché dial paired with blued Breguet-style hands, or a more modern sunburst dial with baton indexes. The calibre FC760 is a modular construction featuring a star-shaped column-wheel to command chronograph functions and a direct flyback… Considering the price (under 4k Euros), it simply is impressive.
Quick facts: 42mm steel or pink gold-plated case – 50m water resistance – FC760 automatic movement with hours, minutes, seconds, date and flyback chronograph. Alligator leather strap with pin buckle – as of EUR 3,695 in steel – More information: www.frederiqueconstant.com
Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Vintage Bellytanker
Need for speed? The Bellytanker is inspired by high-speed race cars manufactured directly from aerodynamically-shaped fighter plane drop tanks. This limited edition chronograph has a clear 1950s inspiration. The vintage flair is underscored by the cool, gilt metallic copper dial with two contrasting sub-counters. The dynamic 41mm steel case features a tachymeter scale on the bezel and the result is a very cool, slightly vintage-inspired and original-looking piece, powered by an automatic chronograph movement.
Quick facts: 41mm steel case – 100m water resistance – BR-CAL.301 automatic movement (ETA 2894 base) with hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph. Alligator leather strap with folding buckle – EUR 3,990 on leather (also available on steel bracelet). Limited edition of 500 pieces – More information: www.bellross.com
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chronograph
Tudor made a buzz at Baselworld 2017 by fitting its iconic Black bay with a Breitling Chronograph movement (in the frame of an interesting, original and much debated industrial alliance) – a high-grade, modern, integrated column-wheel chronograph with a vertical clutch and automatic winding. The 41mm steel case comes with a fixed bezel with engraved tachymetric scale. Despite the discussions among hardcore Black Bay fans, the result feels really well-made, sturdy with a cool tool-watch look. And at 4,400 Euros, it feels like excellent value.
Quick facts: 41mm steel case – 200m water resistance – Tudor MT5813 (based on Breitling B01) automatic movement with hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph. COSC Certified – Calf leather strap with folding buckle – EUR 4,400 on leather (also available on steel bracelet) – More information: www.tudorwatch.com
Omega Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer
The Speedmaster Racing Master Chronometer is a sporty iteration of the legendary Omega stopwatch, displaying racing inspiration and striking orange accents. The larger and more modern 44.25 mm steel case features a black ceramic bezel with a brushed liquid metal tachymeter. It is powered by the impressive Cal 9900, an integrated, column-wheel, vertical clutch, twin-barrel calibre, with a specific co-axial display of the minutes and hours of the chronograph, in a sub-dial at 3. The final touch to this dynamic chronograph is a perforated leather strap secured with a folding buckle. Other versions with grey or white dial, as well as steel bracelet are in the collection.
Quick facts: 44.25mm steel case – 100m water resistance – Cal 9900 automatic movement with hours, minutes, seconds, date and chronograph. Perforated calf leather strap with folding buckle – EUR 7,700. Master chronometer certified – More information: www.omegawatches.com.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Chronograph Sector Dial
Part of the three special edition watches by Jaeger-Lecoultre to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Master Control collection (a highlight of SIHH 2017), the Master Chronograph sector dial is simply stunning in terms of design. Timeless yet modern. The silver colour, two-tone sector dial features elegant blue accents and it is paired with superb openwork syringe hands. The 40mm case houses the calibre 751G, an in-house, integrated, column-wheel chronograph with automatic winding. The overall quality of the watch, as well as its design, made it one of the stars of 2017.
Quick facts: 40mm steel case – 50m water resistance – JLC751.G automatic movement with hours, minutes, seconds and chronograph. 1000 hours control label. Alligator leather strap with pin buckle – EUR 8,300 – More information: www.jaeger-lecoultre.com