When it comes to buying chronograph watches for men, the first thing you need to ask is “Why am I buying one?”
There are many potential reasons: chronographs are sophisticated and smart looking, they are solid timing devices, or maybe you just want to channel your inner astronaut. Whatever the reason for buying your chronograph, make sure you know your facts before choosing the right one for you. Here are some helpful tips to get you started.
Don’t get a chronograph because it’s cool!
If you’re buying a chronograph just for its appearance you’re doing it wrong. The chronograph has a far superior purpose than being a fashion accessory.
Chronograph watches for men are used in sport, the military and for testing time precisely. With their unique background, the chronograph is more than a man’s watch – it’s a timeless classic with powerful potential.
If you just want something to show off, you’d be better off going to Rolex and handing them a healthy wad of cash for a fancy timepiece.
Consider the basics
There are significant differences between the chronograph and other time keepers. Here are some things you need to consider before choosing the right one:
- Pushers – These control the timers. Make sure you buy a chronograph with at least 2 pushers. Why? Simple, when you are tracking any time and need to stop/ restart, you can use the different pushers to control the actions. 1 pusher means you’ll likely end up pushing erase instead of stop time.
- Appearance – Yes, you want a fancy looking chronograph, but be sure to choose one that’s easy to read. There is absolutely no point in spending money on anything if you can’t see the dials or recordings properly. Take a look at the many faces – are the numbers legible to you?
- Luminous – Are you going to use the chronograph in the dark? If you are, make sure you pick a luminous chronograph that’s going to aid you with light-up dials, rather than hinder you in the dark.
For the eagle-eyed horologists, what’s going on inside is just as important as outside. The inner chronograph is based on years of historical engineering, so consider the different movement systems available when choosing the right one or you.
Generally, you can get in-house and third-party movements systems. The in-house integrated model has the central wheel in command. The chronograph runs smoothly and it’ll give you a heightened level of accuracy where timing is needed. On the other hand, this style will be costly if a repair is needed.
Third party movements systems aren’t as unique but are cheaper to repair. If you’re not big on horology, you’re unlikely to notice the difference.
Traps to avoid when choosing your chronograph
- Extras – Any item can have extras; whether they enhance the product is the question. While some chronograph extras are helpful, like the tachymeter, a lot are to simply fancify it and over-complicate things. As a beginner choose the basics and work upwards with time.
- Your inner sportsman – As you’re likely to be buying this for sporting purposes, you need to check the shock-proofing of the chronograph. While it’s expected that these items should last, not every chronograph can be exposed to heavy duty activity. Check each product description carefully.
- Water – As with above, if you’re a diver, make sure you look out for water depth limitations.
- Fit – Just because you’re really desperate to take your chronograph home, don’t settle for one that ‘fits okay’. You’ll be really sorry if it falls off your wrist.
Some of the best chronographs watches for men
Widely regarded as the best chronograph is the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. The Speedmaster was the chronometer NASA gave their Apollo Astronauts on their daring mission to The Moon. So, there’s a price to match this great legacy.
Omega’s best will cost you a handsome £3600.00, according to Goldsmith UK.
Fronted with a hesalite crystal lens, and wrapped in iconic 42mm stainless steel, this chronograph comes with a slew of complications including a tachometer, 12 hours’ worth of recording and is water resistant to 50 meters. Perfect for serious sportsmen.
If you still need to be persuaded, you’ll be happy to know that this particular watch comes with a NATO & steel strap. Strong and reliable, the NATO will save you from any pricey fall offs.
A cheaper chronograph to consider is, the Fairfield Chronograph 41mm Mesh Band Watch from Timex. At a reasonable price of £139.99 this is a great option to consider for the more cautious spender.
Available to purchase from Timex.
Polished brass houses the chronograph, with clear dials on a white background. Special features include a date, night-light, varied colours and it can be taken into water up 30 meters. There have been some issues with the strap, but this has received several encouraging reviews. This little gem is a steal for you beginners.
For further information on the chronograph and on choosing the right one please see the links below.
Mc-creddie-Doak, L. (n.d.) Chronograph Watches: An Expert’s Guide.
Montredo (n.d.) 10 Reasons Why a Chronograph May Be Your Perfect Fit.
Shapira, J. A (2017) The Chronograph Watch Complications Explained. Gentleman’s Gazette.