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TOP
Montblanc 102359 Sport
AU$ 3,874
Verified Dealer
8
HK
TOP
Zenith 24.2041.400/01.R576 CHRONOMASTER EL PRIMERO
AU$ 8,520
Verified Dealer
8
HK
TOP
Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime Rose Gold
AU$ 18,439
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
175
US
TOP
TAG Heuer CAR2A5A.FT6044 CARRERA CALIBRE HEUER 01
AU$ 11,425
Verified Dealer
8
HK
Hublot Big Bang 342.SE.230.RW - Box & Papers 2013
AU$ 11,463
Verified Dealer
221
UK
Zenith El Primero Power Reserve Chronograph Stahl Automatik...
AU$ 12,207
Verified Dealer
1119
DE
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer-02T
AU$ 19,800
Private Seller
 
AU
TOP
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
AU$ 12,000
Private Seller
 
AU
TOP
Montblanc Timewalker Chronograph UTC Automatic
AU$ 5,970
Private Seller
 
AU
TOP
Tudor Black Bay Chrono
AU$ 5,000
Private Seller
 
AU
TOP
Bell & Ross BRV294-ORA-ST-SST
AU$ 4,450
Private Seller
 
AU
TOP
Bell & Ross BRV2-94 STEEL HERITAGE
AU$ 4,200
Private Seller
 
AU
TOP
Bell & Ross BRV2-94 BLACK STEEL
AU$ 4,200
Private Seller
 
AU
Omega Speedmaster Mark 4.5 watch automatic chronograph FULL SET
AU$ 6,647
Verified Dealer
129
UK
Alpina Alpiner
AU$ 1,900
Verified Dealer
16
AU
Zenith El Primero 36000 Vph 03.2046.400/25.C771
AU$ 7,731
Verified Dealer
1287
MC
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Cal.861
AU$ 8,900
Verified Dealer
37
AU
TOP
Breitling Transocean Chronograph Unitime
AU$ 26,860
Verified Dealer
25
CH
Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 46
AU$ 12,541
Verified Dealer
2140
DE
Swiss Military Cx Swiss Military 20000 Feet Diving Watch World...
AU$ 5,990
Verified Dealer
169
AU
Hublot MDM 1810.1 - Gents - 5TY5PK
AU$ 6,277
Verified Dealer
523
UK
Franck Muller Master of Complication 5850cc 18k White Gold...
AU$ 29,950
Private Seller
AU
TOP
Rolex Daytona“Patrizzi” Zenith
AU$ 53,526
Verified Dealer
146
UK
Alpina Alpiner
AU$ 1,640
Verified Dealer
16
AU
TOP
Rolex Pre Daytona 6238 14k gold w certificate
AU$ 183,963
Verified Dealer
8
MC
IWC Pilot Chronograph IW3706
AU$ 5,600
Verified Dealer
37
AU
TOP
Breguet Héritage
AU$ 38,375
Verified Dealer
25
CH
TOP
Montblanc TimeWalker Manufacture Chronograph Limited Edition
AU$ 6,305
Verified Dealer
686
UK
Iron Annie Bauhaus Chronograph Watch Swiss Eta 7750 Automatic...
AU$ 3,181
Verified Dealer
169
AU
TOP
Gérald Genta Quattro Arena Retrograde First Grafted 4 Times...
AU$ 11,540
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
428
NL
Zenith Defy 21 Ceramic Chronograph El Primero
AU$ 11,900
Private Seller
AU
Bulgari Ref.AA44SCH
AU$ 3,689
Verified Dealer
23
JP
Alpina Alpiner
AU$ 1,900
Verified Dealer
16
AU
TOP
Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph A13370 Box Papers Bracelet...
AU$ 5,290
Verified Dealer
103
US
Concord Impresario Chronograph Triple Calendar 14.G9.210
AU$ 3,950
Verified Dealer
37
AU
TOP
Breguet Marine
AU$ 17,648
Verified Dealer
25
CH
TOP
Porsche Design Dashboard
AU$ 12,292
Verified Dealer
174
ES
Iron Annie Bauhaus Chronograph Watch Swiss Eta 7750 Automatic...
AU$ 3,181
Verified Dealer
169
AU
TOP
Breitling Navitimer Triple Date Moonphase Chrono - A1938021/BD...
AU$ 11,289
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
428
NL
IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Racer
AU$ 11,000
Private Seller
AU
Benzinger Zeitmaschine II Chronograph German men’s watch...
AU$ 15,000
Verified Dealer
13
AU
Alpina Alpiner
AU$ 1,600
Verified Dealer
16
AU
TOP
Hamilton AMERICAN CLASSIC INTRA-MATIC AUTO CHRONO
AU$ 2,467
Verified Dealer
104
ES
Omega Speedmaster Reduced MOP Dial Cal.3220
AU$ 3,600
Verified Dealer
37
AU
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Aspen
AU$ 13,042
Verified Dealer
25
CH
TOP
Breitling 18 K. Bentley Flying B Jumbo Chrono. Full set
AU$ 21,574
Verified Dealer
242
NL
Junkers Expedition South America Swiss Regulateur Auto Watch...
AU$ 3,181
Verified Dealer
169
AU
TOP
Heuer -Leonidas S.A Original Prototype Bundeswehr Pre-Automatic
AU$ 10,871
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
428
NL
Rolex Daytona
AU$ 36,000
Private Seller
 
AU
Mühle Glashütte Teutonia Sport I Chronograph M1-29-63-NB...
AU$ 4,250
Verified Dealer
13
AU
Epos 3415.868.24.34
AU$ 1,550
Verified Dealer
16
AU
TOP
Breitling Chrono-Matic (submodel) TROPICALISED DIAL IRAQI AIR...
AU$ 5,684
Verified Dealer
39
FR
TAG Heuer Formular 1 Cal.16 Chronograph CAU2012 -PRICE REDUCED
AU$ 2,700
Verified Dealer
37
AU
TOP
Corum Admiral's Cup Legend 38 Mystery Moon
AU$ 11,507
Verified Dealer
25
CH
TOP
Sinn 103 St Sa RB Classic Watch Sondermodell
AU$ 4,097
Verified Dealer
60
DE
Junkers Expedition South America Swiss Regulateur Auto Watch...
AU$ 3,181
Verified Dealer
169
AU
TOP
IWC Pilot Double Chronograph Black Steel Bracelet IW3711
AU$ 8,195
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
428
NL
Heuer Monaco 1133B Steve McQueen
AU$ 22,000
Private Seller
 
AU
Bell & Ross BR-X1 Chronograph 45 mm
AU$ 25,788
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
11
AU
Epos 3415
AU$ 1,500
Verified Dealer
16
AU
TAG Heuer Grand Carrera
AU$ 9,867
Verified Dealer
 
FR
Omega Speedmaster Chronograph Day Date Silver Dial 3221.30
AU$ 3,949
Verified Dealer
37
AU
TOP
Breguet Classique Chronograph 42.5mm
AU$ 42,827
Verified Dealer
25
CH
Graham Silverstone
AU$ 9,000
Verified Dealer
8
AU
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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.