The chronograph, one of our favourite features and one of the most complex types of movement around, continues to be one of the most popular and practical complications. Chronographs can be started, stopped and reset to measure short (or longer) intervals of time. Over the years, these were adapted and rethought into specialized tools. Being used in specific fields such as aviation, space exploration, military operations or motor racing contributed largely to forge their iconic character. Despite the situation, an array of new chronograph watches hit the market in 2020. Here are 10 models that particularly impressed us.
Audemars Piguet [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph
Don’t call it a vintage re-edition. This limited edition is a contemporary remastering of an elegant 1940s hand-wound chronograph, with a distinctive two-tone case and champagne dial. Even though it is identically shaped to the original, the case with tear-drop lugs has been enlarged from 36mm to 40mm. The two-tone steel and pink gold case is paired with a handsome champagne-coloured dial. The [Re]master01 is fitted with the manufacture’s newest generation of automatic chronograph: an integrated flyback chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch – first introduced in Code 11.59.
Quick facts – 40mm steel and pink gold case – in-house automatic calibre 4409, integrated flyback chronograph with column wheel and vertical clutch – calf leather strap with steel pin buckle – limited edition of 500 pieces – CHF 53,400
H. Moser & Cie. Streamliner Flyback Chronograph
The Streamliner is Moser’s take on the steel luxury sports watch. Breaking away from the countless Royal Oak-inspired watches with integrated bracelet, the non-conformist Streamliner stands out with 1970s flair and its uncluttered dial. The unusual central chronograph display is driven by a sensational movement. The technically impressive and aesthetically superb HMC 902 is the third iteration of the mind-blowing Agengraph, the central chronograph imagined by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht of Agenhor.
Quick facts – 42.3mm steel case – automatic calibre HMC 902, base Agengraphe – integrated flyback central chronograph with column wheel – steel bracelet – limited edition of 100 pieces – CHF 39,900
IWC Portugieser Chronograph IW3716
The iconic IWC Portugieser Chronograph now comes with the added charm of an in-house movement, the calibre 69335, an integrated automatic column-wheel chronograph. The inner workings of the watch can be admired via the exhibition caseback. For the rest, it remains almost identical to the previous version (the case is imperceptibly larger)… You don’t change a winning formula.
Quick facts – 41m steel case – in-house automatic calibre 69355, integrated column-wheel chronograph – alligator strap with folding clasp – CHF 8,200
Maurice Lacroix Aikon Chronograph Skeleton
A bold, technical, skeletonized chronograph has joined the sharp Aikon collection. On this occasion, the case has undergone changes (thinner bezel, claws adapted) to adopt its new personality as an openworked chronograph. Underneath the skeleton dial, the automatic chronograph movement is based on the Valjoux 7753. Like all Maurice Lacroix Aikon watches, the version is fitted with the easy-change system for DIY strap changes.
Quick facts – 44m steel case – automatic calibre ML206, Valjoux 7753 base, cam-operated chronograph, openworked – calf leather strap with folding clasp – CHF 6,900
Montblanc Heritage Manufacture Pulsograph Rose Gold
A tribute to the doctor’s watch of yesteryear, which was used to check a patient’s heart rate, this limited edition mono-pusher chronograph stands out with vintage touches and its sublime Minerva hand-wound movement – a true collector’s dream, a movement based on a 1940s ébauche, with traditional architecture and superb finishes. For 2020, it comes in a new version with smoked tobacco-brown dial, a pink gold case and a matching Sfumato alligator strap.
Quick facts – 40m pink gold case – in-house hand-wound calibre MB M13.21, integrated chronograph with column wheel, horizontal clutch – alligator leather strap with pin buckle – limited edition of 100 pieces – EUR 36,900
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch 321 Stainless Steel “Ed White”
The Speedmaster “Ed White” is the only watch within this selection we have not been able to go hands-on with… but we are VERY much looking forward to this. It can be seen as a faithful re-edition of the historical 105.003ST, the third generation Speedmaster introduced in 1963, also nicknamed the “Ed White” as astronaut Ed White used his personal Speedmaster during an EVA onboard Gemini IV mission. It is the first steel Speedmaster to be fitted with the reintroduced calibre 321 – the modern remake of the historic column-wheel calibre reproduced almost identically with minor technical improvements in materials and a slightly longer power reserve (55h vs. 44h).
Quick facts – 39.7m steel case – in-house hand-wound calibre 321, integrated chronograph with column wheel, horizontal clutch – steel bracelet – CHF 13,000
Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback Blue
Minimalistic but detailed, originally shaped but ergonomic, the Porsche Design 1919 Chronotimer Flyback has great presence and a distinctive personality. The 42mm case is built around a titanium cylinder-like central container with hollowed lug modules. Presented with a new colour scheme, the model is powered by a proprietary flyback chronograph movement based on the Valjoux 7750.
Quick facts – 42mm titanium case – automatic flyback chronograph WERK 01.200, proprietary, Valjoux 7750 base – leather with folding buckle – EUR 5,950
Sinn 158 Chronograph “Bundeswehr Re-Edition”
Sinn has brought back an iconic military watch, the “Bundeswehr Chronograph for Pilots”. 43mm in diameter, this bi-compax black dial chrono is fitted with a bi-directional rotating bezel with a 60-minute scale. Inside is the automatic SW 510, Sellita’s clone of the tried-and-tested Valjoux 7750. The watch can be delivered on multiple leather or silicone straps using Sinn’s configurator to pick your favourite.
Quick facts – 43mm steel case – automatic calibre Sellita SW 510, Valjoux 7750 clone – calf leather or silicone strap with folding buckle – limited edition of 500 pieces – EUR 2,590
TAG Heuer Carrera 160 Years Silver Limited Edition
This beautiful, modern interpretation of one of the brand’s most enduring chronographs takes inspiration from the vintage Carrera reference 2447S. Limited to 1,860 pieces, this no-nonsense chronograph stands out with its clean and crisp aesthetics. While significantly larger than the original, the model remains compact and elegant with its 39mm steel case. Turning the watch over, the exhibition caseback reveals the in-house Calibre Heuer 02, a modern integrated chronograph with 80 hours of power reserve.
Quick facts – 39mm steel case – in-house automatic calibre Heuer 02, integrated column-wheel chronograph, vertical clutch – alligator leather strap with folding buckle – limited edition of 1,860 pieces – CHF 6,300
Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384 Shadow
Last year, Zenith introduced a cool remake the A384, part of the inaugural trilogy of watches powered by El Primero in 1969. The watch now comes in a modern monochromatic grey version, the Shadow edition. Its quirky, angled case is now produced in lightweight micro-blasted titanium (which creates this dark colour, without coating) and worn on a black ‘Cordura’ effect strap. Inside is the beautiful, iconic automatic El Primero movement, with its 5Hz frequency.
Quick facts – 37mm titanium case – in-house automatic calibre El Primero, integrated column-wheel chronograph, horizontal clutch – black rubber strap with Cordura effect, pin buckle – CHF 8,400