10 Best Chronograph Watches to Stop the Clock

While some men may appreciate more refined timepieces, others – like me – prefer large, expensive and complicated chronographs.

First invented by French artist and watchmaker Louis Moinet in 1816, the chronograph is one of the most important complications in all of watchmaking. Chronographs are simply watches that can be used as a stopwatch as well as to tell time. If you think it’s important to know the split second when your 70s pop-tarts, chicken casserole or disco perm is ready, then a timer is for you.

Here are some of the best chronograph watches on the market.

In this article on the best chronograph watches…

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43

Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 43 (ref. AB0138241K1P1)

The Breitling Navitimer is not only one of the most famous chronographs in the world, it is also probably the most famous pilot’s watch in the world. Boasting a circular slide rule that allows pilots to perform flight calculations on the fly, the latest incarnation of the iconic watch also features a subtly domed sapphire crystal and new dial colors in shades of blue, green and copper, like the one above.

Chopard Mille Miglia

Chopard Mille Miglia (ref. 168589-3002)

Named after one of the most famous races in the world, the Chopard Mille Miglia is a chronograph for true enthusiasts. Classic in style and very legible, it’s filled with cool little designs, like a subtle red Mille Miglia directional arrow under the Chopard logo at 12 o’clock and a steering wheel design on the crown. Its strap features a tread pattern based on that of a 1960s Dunlop racing tire. It’s the perfect watch for vintage car enthusiasts.

Zenith Defy Extreme

Zenith Defy Extreme (ref. 87.9100.9004/03.I001)

Inspired by the design of Zenith references from the 70s with its highly faceted angular case, the Defy Extreme is bold, masculine and high-performance. It’s powered by Zenith’s El Primero 21 automatic chronograph movement, which offers 1/100th of a second precision – a mental thing. This variant combines a sandblasted titanium case with rose gold highlights for added luxury.

Bell & Ross BR 05 Chrono

Bell & Ross BR 05 Chrono (ref. BR05C-BU-ST/SST)

Sleek and modern, the Bell & Ross BR 05 Chrono is the perfect watch for the urban explorer. A master class in industrial design, we love how the chronograph pushers fit effortlessly into the BR 05’s crown guards; elegant polished buttons that complement the links of the BR 05’s integrated steel bracelet.

IWC Schaffhausen Portofino Chronograph

IWC Schaffhausen Portofino Chronograph (ref. IW391030)

Do you like Italian sports cars? The same goes for IWC Schaffhausen, which was inspired by the elegant Portofino chronograph push buttons from the cockpit of 1960s Italian sports cars. In keeping with the sporty aesthetic, the watch features a minimalist dial with Roman numerals appliqués and a convex sapphire crystal. A Milanese mesh strap is available in addition to the classic alligator leather strap.

A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split

A. Lange & Söhne Triple Split (ref. 424.037)

A. Lange & Söhne is a very prestigious company that has long produced some of the most refined, complicated and elegant watches in the history of watchmaking. the Triple Split is the world’s first mechanical split-seconds chronograph that allows comparative time measurements over several hours – i.e. the Triple Split can compare the times of two opponents in a race, time consecutive start events or add the times of multiple hour events.

TAG Heuer Monaco

TAG Heuer Monaco (ref. CBL2111.BA0644)

Worn by everyone from Steve McQueen and Max Verstappen to Chris Hemsworth and Will Smith, the TAG Heuer Monaco is a truly famous timepiece and must-have chronograph. Its distinctive square case design now houses TAG’s in-house Heuer 02 movement, which boasts an 80-hour power reserve and 100m water resistance.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (ref. 116508-0013)

Rolex needs no introduction. Introduced in 1963, the Cosmograph Daytona was created to meet the unique demands of the professional racing driver. Today, it is one of the most coveted watches in the world. In its current incarnation, the watch features a patented internal chronograph mechanism and a bezel with a tachymeter scale – perfect for recording your lap times or how long someone is looking at your Rollie.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chrono

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chrono (ref. 103068)

First introduced in 2014, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo has quickly become one of the most exciting and in-demand watches on the planet, and the subject of many record-breaking horological feats. Take this: the Octo Finissimo Chrono, which has the thinnest mechanical chronograph movement in the world. Elegant and avant-garde, it is a chronograph like no other.

OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional

OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional (ref. 310.30.42.50.01.001)

Of course, we couldn’t have a serious discussion about chronographs without mentioning the most famous chrono of them all: the OMEGA Speedmaster, better known as the “Moonwatch”. The first watch on the moon is one of the most popular watches in the world, but modern incarnations stay true to these enterprising originals. For example, this reference still has a Hesalite crystal and a manual winding movement. No watch collection is complete without a “Speedy”.

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