Christmas Buying Guide – Our Top 7 chronographs of 2015
After presenting you our top 5 dress watches of 2015 and our Top 5 accessible watches of 2015, it is time now to look at certainly one of the most important categories of them all, simply because most of us love the chronographs. Of course, only a very few will use them as it should be but who cares, chronographs are cool, complicated and this year, brands introduced to us really great ones. This is why you’ll see our top 7 chronographs of 2015 (and not Top 5)… Though choices, great results (and again, no consideration of price here, but just of beauty and sex-appeal).
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 18 Chronograph Telemeter
Here is certainly one of the coolest watches that TAG Heuer introduced in a long time (together with the brand new Monaco Calibre 11). It seems that the brand found the right recipe here: a bombé dial with panda layout (and a nice warmish silver colour), a vintage feeling, the right proportions, a 39mm case… All the ingredients of a great design are here. And it’s enough to make us fall in love – visually mainly, as the mechanical side is not very exciting (a Sellita base movement with chronograph module by Dubois-Depraz. Nothing wrong but nothing great either. It will simply do the job). Whatever, the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 18 Chronograph Telemeter is nice and feels terribly cool on the wrist… isn’t it what we want from a TAG Heuer? Certainly yes. Details in our hands-on article here. Price: 4,900 Euros.
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award
The Omega Speedmaster Professional is a watch that needs no introduction. Born in the 1950s, almost unchanged since 50 years, a watch that has been worn on the moon, that is one of the all time best deals possible… It is an icon, but an icon that mostly comes in black. Except for certain limited editions, and the “Speedy” has a lot of them. The latest is the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 13 Silver Snoopy Award, that features a white dial and some cool references to what happened during this mission. The details are great – and the original feel of the Speedmaster remains untouched: same 42mm case, same movement, same feeling on the wrist. The perfect Speedmaster for those who don’t want the same all the others. Limited to 1970 pieces, probably almost sold out. Price: 5,800 Euros. Details in our article here.
Bell & Ross BR-X1 Chronograph
Clearly not the easiest and most discreet watch, but a timepiece that has a strong design and an impressive boldness. The Bell & Ross BR-X1 is a very interesting transformation of the original B&R concept. Whiteout losing the aviation / military roots of the early watches, Bell & Ross brings a watch that is more luxurious, more mature, more complicated and that can compete, in terms of design and quality with larger brands. It’s big, massive, bold but also feels very good once worn, even in this shinny gold edition. The best remains the modular construction that let us imagine many possible editions to come. Story to follow. All the details in our recent review. Price: from 16,000 Euros in titanium to 25,000 Euros in gold and ceramic.
Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter with Villeret Chronograph Monopusher
What to say about this latest Montblanc Chronograph… Except that even at 30k Euros, it is a bargain. Really. Not only it looks superb with this vintage / pilot-inspired dial and hands but turn it back and you’ll see what is certainly one of the nicest chronograph movements ever, with an exceptional level of finish, a look to die for and great features: monopusher in the crown, large balance wheel, column-wheel… This is pure old-school watchmaking, made with superb care. The Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter with Villeret Chronograph Monopusher is love at first sight. Price: 24,000 Euros in steel and 30,000 Euros in gold. Details to read in our review.
A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Chronograph Boutique Edition with Pulsation Scale
Funny fact is that when people think chronograph and A. Lange & Sohne, it always ends up with a Datograph (and sometimes with the mighty Double Split). However, there’s a third watch that is in the collection for quite long – and that always had a rather discreet career: the A. Lange & Sohne 1815 Chronograph, a watch that shouldn’t be underestimated, as behind its rather neutral dial ticks the same base movement as the Datograph… meaning a splendid movement. For 2015, a new edition has been introduced, with “back-to-basics” dial, with blue prints and pulsation scale. The result is pure beauty. Price: 49,000 Euros (the price of excellence…). More details here.
Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 Chronograph
This is a watch that we immediately spotted as a winner, certainly the nicest introduction of the year for Vacheron Constantin (except the Ref. 57260, but this one lives on another planet). The Vacheron Constantin Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955 re-introduces a fantastic design used in a very collectible watch made by the old maison in the 1950s, recognizable from these specific ‘cow horns‘ lugs. Both the case and the dial are superb, elegant and extremely balanced. Inside ticks the old manually wound calibre 1142, based on a Lemania Ebauche. Not the most innovative movement but still a superb piece of engine. Price: 74,400 Euros. See the details here.
Patek Philippe Ref. 5370 Split seconds chronograph
If Patek Philippe had to be summed up in a single watch, what should it be? A 3-hand Calatrava, a Nautilus, a Minute Repeater with Tourbillon and Perpetual Calendar…? No, it has to be with a rattrapante chronograph, something that both collectors reward during auctions but also look for in the actual collection. This year, at Baselworld, Patek Philippe introduced what could be their most faithful watch, a watch that symbolizes so well the spirit of the manufacture. The Patek Philippe Ref. 5370 Split seconds chronograph has a crazy movement, a platinum case, Breguet numerals, an enamel dial… everything is pure Haute Horlogerie and refinement. Gorgeous! The price… 217,960 Euros. All the details in our exclusive review here.