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TOP
Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph
£49,243
Verified Dealer
ZA
TOP
Louis Moinet Memoris Limited Edition 60 pcs
£25,372
Free shipping
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157
EE
TOP
Bremont CodeBreaker Chronograph Stainless Steel - COM1963
£18,499
Verified Dealer
250
UK
TOP
Franck Muller Conquistador King Cortez Chrono "Full Set" White...
£13,747
Verified Dealer
363
ES
TOP
Harry Winston White Gold Midnight Tourbillon Chronograph,...
£44,500
Verified Dealer
152
UK
TOP
Tudor Heritage Chrono 70330N box & papers new UK CC160
£2,595
Verified Dealer
53
UK
TOP
Omega Olympic official timekeeper pink gold full set
£8,756
Verified Dealer
22
UK
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116681 - Gents Watch - 2015
£16,250
Verified Dealer
75
UK
TOP
Rolex Air King Precision Tropical Dial
£3,100
Verified Dealer
27
UK
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Flyback CAR2B11.FC6235
£3,495
Free shipping
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90
UK
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
£8,995
Verified Dealer
146
UK
Breitling Navitimer Ref .A23322
£3,681
Verified Dealer
87
DE
TOP
IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar
£16,259
Verified Dealer
10
US
TOP
Bell & Ross Vintage BR 126-94- SS Chronograph
£1,707
Verified Dealer
73
UK
TOP
TAG Heuer Autavia Heritage Calibre 02
£2,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
66
UK
TOP
Patek Philippe Rose Gold Annual Calendar Chronograph, Black Dial
£48,500
Verified Dealer
152
UK
TOP
Rolex Daytona 116520 - White Dial - 2010 - Unworn Stickered
£23,500
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Roger Dubuis Hommage Bi-Retrograde Perpetual Calendar Chronogr...
£29,950
Free shipping
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20
UK
Audemars Piguet Jay z limited edition
£30,000
Verified Dealer
5
UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
£28,500
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Omega Speedmaster Professional 145.022-68 Transitional
£9,250
Verified Dealer
150
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116680
£12,950
Verified Dealer
 
UK
TOP
Oris Williams F1 Chronograph Automatic Ref. 7563
£923
Verified Dealer
73
UK
Rolex Daytona 116589SACI
£79,500
Free shipping
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395
UK
TOP
Tudor Montecarlo
£9,950
Verified Dealer
152
UK
TOP
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN - Black Dial - Unworn 2019
£22,950
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Zenith Cairelli CP-2 steel civilian
£13,750
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
20
UK
Patek Philippe 18ct Ultra-Thin Ref. 3498 1966 + Original Gold...
£6,750
Free shipping
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UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
£31,000
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master II - Box & Papers - 12 Month Warranty
£15,250
Verified Dealer
150
UK
Claude Bernard Sophisticated Classics Automatik Chronograph...
£969
Verified Dealer
228
DE
Patek Philippe Complications Chronograph Rose Gold with...
£59,451
Verified Dealer
56
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116689
£22,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
395
UK
Ulysse Nardin Marine Regatta
£10,277
Verified Dealer
2138
DE
TOP
Hublot Big Bang 301.PB.131.RX - Black Rubber Strap - 18ct Rose...
£13,750
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Rolex Zenith Daytona 16520
£28,750
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
20
UK
Longines Conquest Cal.19 AS Automatic 18ct 1954 1st Edition
£3,650
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Cartier Roadster
£6,000
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Rolex Daytona 116508 - Green Dial - Box & Papers
£44,000
Verified Dealer
150
UK
TOP
Montblanc Star Legacy Automatic Chronograph
£2,759
Verified Dealer
686
UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Doha Limited of 100 ...
£37,384
Verified Dealer
56
UK
Vacheron Constantin Les Historique Vintage Gold 47101/2
£9,950
Free shipping
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395
UK
Carl F. Bucherer Manero CentralChrono
£3,625
Verified Dealer
2138
DE
TOP
Omega Speedmaster 3513.20.00 - Olympic Collection - 2004
£1,999
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Universal Genève 881101/02 Evil Clapton Tri-Compax | SS...
£23,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
20
UK
Universal Genève Polerouter De Luxe 18ct Pink Gold 1957
£3,300
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Rolex Daytona
£27,000
Verified Dealer
 
UK
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph - IW387802 - Box & Papers
£4,950
Verified Dealer
150
UK
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos Chronograph
£1,384
Verified Dealer
686
UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Rose Gold - 15451OR.ZZ.1256OR.04
£38,343
Verified Dealer
56
UK
Rolex Daytona APH 116520
£21,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
395
UK
Rolex Daytona Ref. 116520
£15,685
Verified Dealer
350
NL
TOP
Rolex Daytona 116520 - Black Dial - Unworn 2009 Stickered
£22,500
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Omega 33.3 oversized steel chronograph CK 2393 CHRO T5
£8,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
20
UK
Zenith Cal.12/4/P/50 18ct 1945
£2,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph diamant
£15,250
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980R-001 - Box & Papers
£93,000
Verified Dealer
150
UK
Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture FC-760N4H6
£3,409
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
19
NL
Patek Philippe Chronograph Complications Discontinued 5170P-001
£68,206
Verified Dealer
56
UK
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Gents Gold
£65,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
395
UK
IWC Portugieser Ref. IW371445
£5,259
Verified Dealer
350
NL
Zenith ゼニス ZENITH クロノマスター エルプリメロ 36000VPH 38mm 03.2150.400/53....
£4,212
Verified Dealer
 
JP
Breitling Italian military 817 - steel
£10,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
20
UK
Zenith Automatic 18ct 1972 Hi-Beat 28,800
£2,650
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
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.

Rattrapante, Flyback, and Scales

You can use a double chronograph, such as the one from IWC, to measure two separate events of different lengths. This type of chronograph is easily recognizable by its third push-piece, which controls an additional second hand. Normally, this extra hand runs with the normal chronograph second hand. However, when you push the push-piece, it stops, while the other second hand keeps running. Push the push-piece again and both hands are reset to zero. This complication is also known as a rattrapante or split-seconds chronograph.

Another modification to the usual stopwatch function is the flyback chronograph. You can start, reset, and restart timing with just one push. Usual chronographs require you to push a button three times. The flyback chronograph has its origins in military aviation. If pilots have to make multiple course changes within a fixed amount of seconds, then the process of pressing a button three times is too slow.

Many chronographs are also equipped with a tachymeter scale. It's usually found on a fixed bezel and allows you to calculate kilometers per hour. For example, say you drive 1 kilometer. You start the chronograph function as you begin driving and stop it once you've driven a kilometer. The chronograph second hand will be pointing to a number on the tachymeter scale, signaling the speed in km/h.

Less frequently, you'll find a chronograph with a telemeter scale, a complication which calculates the distance to an event which can be both seen and heard. For instance, if it's stormy and you see lightning, you can time the interval between the lightning and thunder. When you stop timing, the second hand will be pointing to the distance of the storm on the scale. So, if there was an interval of 12 seconds between the lightning and thunder, then the storm is four kilometers away. This can be useful in the military for determining how far away enemy cannons are by timing the interval between when the cannon explosion is seen and when it is heard. Thirty-nine seconds, for example, means a distance of 13 kilometers.