Jan 20, 2017

What's your favorite Chronograph?

Currently, I'm loving the Junkers Bauhaus. Would be a dream to me if it were mechanical. Still willing to compromise for the aesthetic, and because the automatic movement Junkers uses is pretty loud. Which Chronograph watches are you coveting these days?


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Overall, it's got to be the Omega Speedmaster Professional. It looks understated and classy, is comfortable to wear, very reliable, and just has so much history behind it. It's affordable enough that you don't have to steal from the kids' college fund, and respectable enough that even the snobbiest of watch snobs would not mind being spotted wearing one. Omega also has an automatic co-axial version that's highly interesting from a technical perspective, but it ain't the original.
Some purists would argue that the only real Moonwatches are the ones with the column wheel 321 movement, but you can safely ignore them. The updated 1861 movement is basically the same, just that it's cam-actuated instead of column-wheel. 1861 Speedmasters are NASA certified for EVAs, and have actually been worn in space (just not to the moon). That's enough street (or space) cred for me, and I actually prefer the snappier feel of the buttons on 1861 models.

Most days though, I wear my Damasko DC66 Si, which runs off a 7750 modified with a Silicon balance spring and various other upgraded bits and bobs. This is much less pretty, but has the practical advantages of being automatic, having a day/date function, a 12-hour bezel (for travel) and Damasko's virtually indestructible ice-hardened steel case and DLC coating. This is my beater.

Other than that, most affordable mechanical chronographs are uninteresting, because more often than not they're running on a 7750 - which, make no mistake, is an excellent movement, but a bit too ubiquitous. Much more interesting are the Lemania 5100 chronos with central minutes counters. I think these are just more legible and more interesting, like this Sinn 142. Unfortunately, the Lemania 5100 seems to be out of production, so you'd have to go vintage for this.

In terms of affordable, interesting mechanical chronographs that are currently in production, I think a brand to watch is Seiko. It's recently come out with a gorgeous chrono in its Presage line that's notable for having an in-house automatic, column wheel, vertical clutch chrono movement, as well as a hand-painted enamel dial, which are features normally found only in watches many times the price. One drawback though, is that the movement itself isn't pretty. I've handled one with an exhibition caseback, and the only visible moving part is the escapement. It's frankly bizarre that Seiko would manufacture a column wheel chrono movement, pair it with a see-through caseback, and then obscure the column wheel behind various plates and such. This is a wasted opportunity, because a column-wheel chrono movement is a joy to watch in operation.
This reply is excellent, thank you. That Seiko is sharp, hopefully they take your feedback into account and surface more of the beauty in future models. Massdrop x Seiko would be a dream come true.
I would love to see that.

On that note, Massdrop x Omega might actually have a chance, considering Omega's gorgeous Speedy Tuesday limited edition SMP.
I have been wanting a Rado Diastar certified chronometer automatic chronograph reference R12694153
for a long time, also the case size rocks at a dial width of 38mm or total case width of 41.
The retail is high but used and grey market the were well below the new 6500 asking price, I think I've seen some go for about 2590 ish or hair less. There's a rubber strap version but i like the std bracelet
They don't seem to come up for sale used much which tells me the western market didn't buy too many up or people that got them love them and are not willing to part with them for now
Check out the Junghans meister series... they pop up on ebay once in awhile for less than 1k
Massdrop also often has a Junghans running.
I did some reading up, and there does seem to be automatic versions of this for about double the price. Still affordable for the looks.
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I appreciate the aesthetics, but I have my sights set on another... Saving up for a Speedy.
Completely understand that decision.
It is really awesome looking, yes, pity not mechanical. But very affordable!
for me it would be Omega speedmaster moon watch.
Other chronographs on my list are already in possession. :)
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here you go ...
Seagull 1963 Pilot Chrono Hand-wind ST19
Hamilton Khaki Chronograph ETA 7750 Auto
Very clean.
Not a Chrono man myself. However, I do love Zenith El Primero 1969, Breitling Navitimer on top of my head.
Anything with a Lemania 5100 movement. Some Dubois-Depraz modules try to emulate the coaxial elapsed seconds and minutes hands but it's not the same.
Hands down, the Omega Speedmaster moonwatch. It's the perfect balance of legibility and complexity on the dial, and the history of it makes it arguably the most famous chronograph out there (and one of the most famous watches, after perhaps the Submariner and the Seamaster, if you're a Bond fan).

However, since that's out of my price range, my favorite PERSONAL chrono is the Seiko SSB031, which has many of the same design cues as the Speedmaster, while being different enough that it's not a seeming knockoff. And, bonus, it's got a date complication (the original Speedmaster doesn't, although variants from Omega do). It's quartz, but with a mechaquartz movement so the action of the chronos is "clicky," rather than the "mushy" action that most quartz chronos offer, and the chrono second hand snaps back to 0 instantly.
I don't have one yet, but I ordered a Tissot T-Navigator chrono earlier it's still on the way so will find out
My TAG Heuer Aquaracer Chronograph
quintessential chronograph
Yes and I misspoke in my post. It is a chronograph not a chronometer.