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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Lady Orignal Diamond Bezel...
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Lady Orignal Diamond Bezel...
£14,900
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Freddie Keeble Watches & Diamonds
 
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Girard Perregaux Olimpico GP 4900 full set
£2,144
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Flale' Gioielli S.R.L.
11
IT
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US
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Richard Mille RM11-03 Flyback Red Quartz TPT NTPT Limited...
£177,480
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156
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£73,500
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235
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph Ceramic
£6,010
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£13,995
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40
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Graham : Chronofighter Oversize Trigger R.A.C. :  2TRBS.B20A.K...
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Graham : Chronofighter Oversize Trigger R.A.C. : 2TRBS.B20A.K...
£2,357
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260
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Patek Philippe Nautilus White Dial Chronograph 2012
Patek Philippe Nautilus White Dial Chronograph 2012
£62,000
Free shipping
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M J GILLAN LTD
10
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Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion - 18K Rose Gold - Box & Papers
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58
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Breitling Super Avenger II Diamond Bezel - Box & Papers 2017
£8,225
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Mark Worthington Jewellers
121
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Audemars Piguet 18ct Rose Gold Royal Oak Offshore (AP Serviced...
TOP
Audemars Piguet 18ct Rose Gold Royal Oak Offshore (AP Serviced...
£30,995
Free shipping
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ChronoEdge
162
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IWC Pilot's
£4,861
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AB Time Inc.
156
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 25940SK.OO.D002CA.03
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 25940SK.OO.D002CA.03
£11,450
Free shipping
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Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
235
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Omega 60th Anniversary 1957 - Trilogy Set Limited Edition 557
Omega 60th Anniversary 1957 - Trilogy Set Limited Edition 557
£19,000
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Chronos Aeon Ltd
 
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Tudor Montecarlo
£13,295
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Jopsons Jewellers
40
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£11,450
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Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
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Rolex Yacht-Master II S/R
£15,058
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Watch Center London
763
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Rolex Daytona - 116520 - Black Dial - Box & Papers
£14,900
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58
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£43,829
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34
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IWC Pilots 18ct Rose Gold Automatic Chronograph IW371713
TOP
IWC Pilots 18ct Rose Gold Automatic Chronograph IW371713
£8,995
Free shipping
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ChronoEdge
162
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Rolex 2002 18ct Yellow Gold Daytona, 116518, MINT, New Strap
Rolex 2002 18ct Yellow Gold Daytona, 116518, MINT, New Strap
£12,995
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Pomerance Boutique
73
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Rolex Daytona 16528
Rolex Daytona 16528
£24,500
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Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
235
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Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 18k White Gold Meteorite Dial
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 18k White Gold Meteorite Dial
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TAG Heuer Autavia
£3,500
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Watches of Lancashire
11
UK
Patek Philippe Watch Grand Complications 5270G-001
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Hublot Classic Fusion Automatic Grey Chronograph Kautschuk...
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343
DE
Rolex Daytona 116500LN - Black Dial - Box & Papers - Stickered
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TOP
Omega SPEEDMASTER DATE EDELSTAHL AUTOMATIK HERRENUHR
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246
DE
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Rolex Daytona Two Tone 116503
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Panerai 2011 Luminor Daylight Chrono, PAM00250, MINT, Box &...
Panerai 2011 Luminor Daylight Chrono, PAM00250, MINT, Box &...
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73
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£23,500
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235
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Omega Seamaster Racing Regatta Chronograph America's Cup
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Audemars Piguet 26400AU.OO.A002CA.01 Royal Oak Offshore 44mm -...
Audemars Piguet 26400AU.OO.A002CA.01 Royal Oak Offshore 44mm -...
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41
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Breitling Watch Bentley Motors A25362
£3,950
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Omega 311.30.42.30.01.005
Omega 311.30.42.30.01.005
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Your Luxury Time LTD
338
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Hublot Big Bang Evolution - 301.SM.1770.GR - Box & Papers
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Patek Philippe White Gold Chrongraph appears unworn full set 2015
Patek Philippe White Gold Chrongraph appears unworn full set 2015
£42,950
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M J GILLAN LTD
10
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Zenith El Primero Chronograph
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Zenith El Primero Chronograph
£1,900
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Breitling 2008 Chronomat Evolution, Steel & Rose Gold, C13356,...
Breitling 2008 Chronomat Evolution, Steel & Rose Gold, C13356,...
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Tudor 7928/0 Submariner Rare Dial - Open Track One Year Only
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Louis Erard Excellence Moonphase 80231AA21.BDC51
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£30,500
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Twenty4time
 
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Breitling 2008 Navitimer, Steel, A2332212, Auto, Box & Papers
Breitling 2008 Navitimer, Steel, A2332212, Auto, Box & Papers
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Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116520
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£13,500
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235
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Breitling Navitimer 01 Limited edition RB0127E6/BF16
Breitling Navitimer 01 Limited edition RB0127E6/BF16
£10,332
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34
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Omega 105.012-66 Speedmaster - Vintage 1967 Apollo Model
Omega 105.012-66 Speedmaster - Vintage 1967 Apollo Model
£12,450
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41
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Omega Watch Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50.00
Omega Watch Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50.00
£2,450
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IWC Ingenieur Chronograph 42mm
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IWC Ingenieur Chronograph 42mm
£3,095
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Swiss Timepieces LTD
15
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TAG Heuer Monza Chronograph CR2110 - Watch Only - 12-Month...
TAG Heuer Monza Chronograph CR2110 - Watch Only - 12-Month...
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.33.42.30.01.001
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 311.33.42.30.01.001
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338
UK
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M, Chronograph, Blue Dial
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M, Chronograph, Blue Dial
£2,095
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73
UK
Vacheron Constantin Royal Eagle Chronograph Steel
Vacheron Constantin Royal Eagle Chronograph Steel
£5,950
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Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
235
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Breitling Bentley B06 Rose gold RB061112
Breitling Bentley B06 Rose gold RB061112
£14,268
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Breguet Type XX Transatlantique Flyback Chronograph
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Breguet Type XX Transatlantique Flyback Chronograph
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Noblesse LP
116
UK
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Chronographs: On the Button

Chronographs differentiate themselves from conventional three-hand watches by their stopwatch function. This type of watch has a unique, functional design characterized by subdials and push-pieces, which many buyers find attractive.

Chronograph Facts

  • The word "chronograph" comes from the Greek words "chronos" (time) and "graph" (an instrument that writes or records)
  • 1816: Louis Moinet invents a stopwatch that displays 1/60th of a second
  • 1913: Longines introduces a wristwatch with a stopwatch function powered by one push-piece
  • 1934: Breitling introduces the two push-piece chronograph
  • 1969: The first chronographs with automatic movements premiere

Sporty Stopwatches

Watches with a chronograph function are first and foremost sport watches. They were designed for use in sporting events. During track and field, swimming, or car racing competitions, events need to be accurately timed to determine a winner. The most modern technology takes care of this at the professional level, but it's still useful for amateurs to have a chronograph on hand for timing. Furthermore, this kind of watch is appealing to many buyers who simply appreciate a more technically-oriented timepiece. The chronograph isn't just limited to use in athletics, though; you could also use it to time while cooking to know when your pasta is al dente and ready to eat.

Some watch manufacturers have made a name for themselves with their efforts in developing chronographs, such as Breitling or TAG Heuer. Breitling is responsible for the typical design of modern chronographs. In 1934, the company introduced a watch with a chronograph function and push-pieces above and below the crown. The layout was successful and quickly spread to other manufacturers.

You begin timing by pressing the push-piece above the crown. When you push it a second time, it stops. If necessary, you can push it a third time to start it again. You can set the stopwatch back to zero by pressing the push-piece under the crown. Almost all modern mechanical chronographs function in this way.

The hands of a chronograph are organized according to a certain pattern. The largest difference between a chronograph and a conventional three-hand watch is that chronographs generally lack a central second hand. A chronograph's large second hand usually rests at 12 o'clock. When you push the top push-piece, it starts moving, timing seconds. Once you're done, you press the bottom push-piece to set the second hand back to zero. The second hand that is constantly in motion, known as the small seconds, is located on a subdial elsewhere on the chronograph.

Most chronographs feature the small seconds subdial at the nine o'clock position. Another subdial at 12 o'clock, the 30-minute counter, keeps track of timed intervals up to 30 minutes. Yet another subdial at six o'clock, the 12-hour counter, records even longer intervals up to 12 hours. The date display is located at three o'clock. Most watches with this dial layout and these timing functions are powered by chronograph calibers, such as the Valjoux 7750 from the world's largest ébauche manufacturer, ETA. Chronographs powered by other movements often have a layout of subdials at three, six, and nine o'clock. This V-shaped design is called Tricompax.

The Valjoux 7750 powers several chronographs from prominent manufacturers, such as the diving watch Longines Hydroconquest and the pilot's watch Sinn 103. Breitling, Hamilton, and Tissot also use this automatic movement in various models. It premiered in 1973, but wasn't an instant success. It first became popular after the Quartz Crisis was resolved. Since then, the Valjoux 7750 has been used in millions of watches. It's affordable to produce and runs reliably at 28,800 alternations per hour (A/h). Moreover, it's certified precise by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). Its power reserve lasts around 44 hours. There are many variants of the 7750, such as a manual version or ones with complications such as a moon phase indicator or a flyback chronograph. Due to its precision, the caliber is able to measure 1/8th of a second.

The El Primero from Zenith beats even faster. At 36,000 A/h, it can measure 1/10th of a second. Zenith introduced this famous high-frequency caliber in 1969. In the same year, Calibre 11 was released as the result of a collaboration between Heuer, Breitling, Büren, and Dubois-Dépraz. The movement powered the first Monaco from Heuer and ran at 19,800 A/h. This allowed the watch to measure 1/5th of a second. The Japanese company Seiko released their caliber 6139 around the same time. Together, these calibers made 1969 a milestone year in watchmaking history. Today, it's still debated which automatic chronograph caliber can be considered the first.

Buying Advice

Do you need a stopwatch every now and again? Look no further than a chronograph. Watches with this extra feature are available in almost every price range. These "time recorders" - a literal translation of chronograph - have technical appeal. They're predominantly men's watches, as the Valjoux 7750 caliber is quite large and not suitable for a classic women's watch.

Generally, chronographs powered by the reliable Valjoux 7750 caliber are less expensive than watches with rarer or in-house movements. These watches start around 1,000 euros. Even more affordable are chronographs powered by quartz movements. They're available in the three figure range from brands like Citizen. Some quartz chronographs are more expensive, however, such as the Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000, which runs between 3,000 and 4,000 euros. This diving watch is waterproof to 2,000 m and its patented push-pieces can even be used underwater. Manufacturers strongly advise against using the timing function of a mechanical chronograph underwater.

For a little less than 3,500 euros, you can get one of the most famous chronographs in mint condition: the legendary Moonwatch, Omega's Speedmaster Professional. In July 1969, it became the first wristwatch on the Moon. The Apollo 13 astronauts also used this watch to perform a course correction of 14 seconds, helping them safely return their damaged spacecraft to Earth in April 1970.

No less famous is the Rolex Daytona, named for the race track in Daytona Beach, Florida. Race car drivers received these watches as victory trophies for the first time in the 1960s. A stainless steel Daytona in very good condition costs a little under 10,000 euros. A new gold model costs over 20,000 euros. A platinum version with diamonds can raise the price tag to over 100,000 euros.

Do you prefer a square watch? The square TAG Heuer Monaco made its film debut on the wrist of Steve McQueen in the 1971 film Le Mans. Since then, it's been competing with the Daytona for the reputation of the best racing watch. You can buy a new Monaco Calibre 11 for 3,500 - 4,000 euros. More TAG Heuer chronographs are available in their Carrera series.

The Omega Speedmaster, Rolex Daytona, and TAG Heuer Monaco were all designed as timepieces for the race track. If you prefer a pilot's chronograph, then the Breitling Navitimer is a good choice. It goes one step further: in addition to the stopwatch function, it has a slide rule which you can use to do basic calculations. You should be prepared to spend around 5,000 euros on a new stainless steel Navitimer. Another pilot's chronograph is the IWC Double Chronograph, which starts around 9,000 euros.

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