The chronograph is one of the best features any watch can have. It’s a complex type of movement that features a minute sub-dial and an independent second hand. Chronographs can be started, stopped, and reset back to zero to take accurate readings. Depending on the watch’s complications, chronographs can come with multiple sub-dials to measure tenths of seconds, minutes, hours, and seconds. Many industries, such as aviation, military, car racing, horse racing, and more, use this feature to get accurate readings.
Besides their practical use, modern chronograph watches are designed to complement your outfit. Many of them come with extra features, such as water resistance, tachymeter, a rotating bezel, and more. Our review below includes eighteen of the best chronograph watches on the market. And to make things easier, our chronograph watch buying guide will help you understand the right factors to consider when choosing one. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
TL;DR - Best Chronograph Watch:
- Fossil Grant Stainless Steel Chronograph Quartz Watch
- Rolex New Daytona 116500 Watch
- Casio MCW100H Heavy Duty Design Watch
- Seiko SNN241 Stainless Steel Watch
- Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
- IWC Portugieser Chronograph Watch
- Diesel Daddy 2.0 Stainless Steel Quartz Watch
- Timex Weekender Chronograph 40mm Watch
- Fossil Machine Stainless Steel Chronograph Watch
- Bulova 96B251 Moonwatch
- Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Canvas Watch
- Michael Kors Lexington Chronograph Watch
- IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince Watch
- Tag Heuer Formula 1 Stainless Steel Dress Watch
- MVMT Chronograph Watch
- Vincero Luxury Men’s Chrono S Wrist Watch
- Skagen Jorn Minimalistic Stainless Steel Watch
- Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s Alliance Chronograph Watch
Factors To Consider When Buying A Chronograph Watch
Many chronograph watches come with a level of water resistance that keeps your watch safe from splashes when you’re washing your hands. However, some chronograph variations are adequate for swimming and diving. Watches that are water-resistant to up to 30 meters are splashproof.
Those resistant to 50 meters are ideal for swimming, while 100-meter water resistance can do well in recreational water sports, such as swimming and snorkeling. 200-meter water resistance is excellent for scuba diving, while 300+ water resistance is ideal for saturation diving.
The diameter refers to the case of your watch. Generally, you want to pick a size that fits your wrist. Dials come in different shapes and sizes. So, if you have a smaller wrist, pick a dial with a smaller diameter and height (38 to 42mm). And if your wrists are quite large, pick chronographs with taller sizes and bigger watch faces (43mm and above).
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Chronographs feature different watch movements, including mechanical, automatic, quartz, and solar-powered. Watches with mechanical movements are wound manually at least once a day. Automatic movements wind themselves as you move your wrists during the day.
Quartz movements are powered by batteries that may need to be replaced as time goes on. The sun’s energy powers solar-powered movements; you don’t have to wind them or replace their batteries.
Another vital element to consider when buying a chronograph watch is the weight of the watch. While some watches feel very light on the wrist, others announce their presence every time. You want to pick something comfortable for you. If there’s a particular watch you like, but it’s quite weighty for you, you can choose the model with a leather strap as those are often lighter than models with metal straps.
1. Fossil Grant Stainless Steel Chronograph Quartz Watch
Excellent Dress Chronograph
The first watch on our list is the Fossil Grant Stainless Steel Chronograph Quartz Watch. It's an elegant and attractive timepiece that will cause your friends, families, and colleagues to have their eyes glued to your wrist. You’re sure to get compliments for this watch. It comes with a 44mm case diameter and a 3-hand analog display that shines in the dark. The mineral crystal face makes it easy to read, and the luminous hands and Roman numerals allow you to tell time during the night.
Encased in stainless steel, this watch is highly durable. You get a leather band straight out of the box, and the buckle closure it comes with helps it sit tight on your wrist. The strap of the Fossil Grant Stainless Steel Watch can is interchangeable with other Fossil 22mm watch straps. This allows for more versatility without taking too much out of your pocket. If you're looking for a great casual watch at a decent price point, this is one of the best chronograph watches to choose.
2. Rolex New Daytona 116500 Watch
Luxurious Ceramic Steel Chronograph
Rolex is one of the top watch brands in the world. There's always a feeling of classiness and confidence that comes with wearing an authentic Rolex watch. This applies to the Rolex New Daytona 116500 Watch. It's elegant, sophisticated, stylish, and of course, expensive. This automatic chronograph watch features an original price tag in the $12,000 range. However, it's very scarce and takes up to 18 months to get via a waiting list. You may end up finding it for over $20,000 online. It comes with a black dial and cerachrom ceramic bezel.
Unlike the Fossil Grant that comes with a quartz movement, the Rolex 116500 features an automatic, self-winding movement. A 72-hour power reserve and 28,000 vibrations per hour (vph) ensure that your time remains accurate and dependable. The Rolex New Daytona 116500 comes in a polished stainless steel case that glitters when it catches the light. Its stainless steel bracelet is also polished and features a deployment buckle.
On the chronograph function side, you get three different chronographs. The first chronograph is a 30-minute counter that sits at the three o'clock position; the second is accurate to 1/8 of a second and located at the center. The third chronograph is a 12-hour counter resting at the nine o'clock position. This automatic chronograph watch comes with a water resistance of 330 feet, so you don't have to worry when you're caught in the rain.
3. Casio MCW100H Heavy Duty Design Watch
Best Heavy-Duty Chronograph
Casio is a brand that's known around the world as one of the best watchmakers. Their infamous G-Shock lineup is one that has been around for over 30 years and continues to sell out. The Casio MCW100H Heavy Duty Design Watch portrays why Casio's G-Shock lineup is among the greats. Sitting at the $30 price point, this chronograph watch features a sporty, military look that will make many men drool over it. It comes with a high-quality silicone band and a buckle closure that makes it sit securely on your wrist.
The MCW100H is an all-black wristwatch designed with a hint of orange. You get a black dial, black strap, and black casing while the second and chronograph hands are designed with orange. This watch comes with a date window, stopwatch, and three chronograph subdials. The resin case is of high quality and very durable, ensuring that you're able to use your watch for as long as possible. It also features a water resistance level of 330 feet, and the neo-display allows you to easily read your time.
4. Seiko SNN241 Stainless Steel Watch
Best Japanese Quartz Chronograph
Looking for the best watch for men? The Seiko SNN241 Stainless Steel Watch is one of the best you can choose. It's a dress watch that ticks all of the right boxes. From the movement to the design and material, this watch is one of the top chronographs you can buy for less than $250. Its 42mm stainless steel case is home to a well-crafted scratch resistant Hardlex crystal. Through this crystal, you'll be able to see the luminous white hour and minute markers as they shine against the brown dial of the watch. There's a date window sitting at the six o'clock position, allowing you to read your date with no interference.
The Seiko SNN241 also comes with two chronographs facing each other. One is at the twelve o'clock mark while the other sits at the six o'clock position without interfering with the date window. The fine-tuned Japanese quartz movement of this watch allows it to keep time accurately.
Unlike the Casio MCW100H, this watch comes with a high-quality leather band that feels smooth on the skin. It's also water-resistant, and you can easily read the hour hands and markers at night thanks to their luminosity. The SNN241 watch is one of the best chronographs that just suits multiple dress styles and occasions. You can never go wrong with it.
5. Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
Best Self-Winding Chronograph
Omega is a brand that makes elite watches. From chronographs to skeleton watches, the brand ensures that its customers enjoy nothing but the best movements, materials, and details. The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch is a chronograph watch that supports this notion. While it's costly, you're sure to get what you are paying for. This chronograph watch features a self-winding movement and can reserve power for up to 48 hours. While that isn't as much reserve as what you get on the Rolex New Daytona, it's still enough to display this beautiful watch on your automatic watch-winder.
The Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch comes in a stainless steel case with a case diameter of 42mm. Its black dial serves as a layer for the small chronograph dials and pure white marking resting on it. You get a leather strap that sits comfortably on your wrist without causing any kind of discomfort. This watch is also water-resistant up to 165 feet. While you may not be able to dive into the pool with it, you won't be worrying about occasional water splashes either. If you're going for a formal occasion and want to look classy by wearing a watch with chronograph movement, this watch is one of the best chronograph watches you can choose.
6. IWC Portugieser Chronograph Watch
Best Premium Chronograph
The IWC Portugieser Chronograph Watch is another luxury watch that's bound to draw attention to you. It's an artistic timepiece that looks so simple but yet so sophisticated. From the blue minute and hour hands to the intricate markers and chronograph movement, you'll love everything about this chronograph watch. It comes with a crocodile skin leather band that's comfortable and stylish on the wrist. The automatic movement featured in this watch is an in-house movement, fine-tuned by the brand.
You also get two automatic column-wheel chronographs facing opposite directions and a pure white dial that brings everything to light. The exhibition case-back allows you to view and admire the inner workings of this chronograph timepiece. Sleek, beautiful, and unique, the IWC Portugeiser Chronograph Watch is simply the type of watch that will get people talking about you. It's 30mm slim case makes it one of the best watches for men with small wrists. If you're looking for a premium chronograph watch like the Rolex and Omega, this is one of the best chronograph watches you can choose.
7. Diesel Daddy 2.0 Stainless Steel Quartz Watch
Excellent Chronograph For Men That Love Bold Watches
Diesel is a respected brand in the watchmaking industry. With over 40 years of experience under its belt, this brand makes some of the coolest watches you can buy. Now, the Diesel Daddy 2.0 Stainless Steel Quartz Watch is a chronograph that's perfect for men with big wrists or those who love wearing bold watches. It comes with a navy blue dial, a 57mm case diameter, and some red accents. This chronograph watch is a multi-movement watch as it comes with the main watch face, three chronographs on the main watch face, and three different watch faces to program other timezones.
The Diesel Daddy 2.0 Stainless Steel Quartz Watch also features a date window, and it's available in over ten different colors. It features a leather band and can resist water up to 30 meters. This means that while it's splashproof, you can't go swimming with it. Its stainless steel case is highly durable, and the mineral dial window allows you to tell time quickly. If you're looking for a multifunction watch or your wrists are big, and you'd like to get a bold watch, this is one of the best chronograph watches you can buy.
8. Timex Weekender Chronograph 40mm Watch
Best Budget Chronograph
Going out for the weekend? Get yourself the Timex Weekender Chronograph Watch. This timepiece is inexpensive and looks sleek. With a price tag below $50, you can't go wrong with this chronograph watch. It comes with a cream dial that houses full Arabic numerals, a date window, and 24-hour military time. The mineral dial window is clear and scratch-resistant.
You get three different chronographs, and the quartz movement it comes with allows you to keep time accurately. This chronograph watch also features silver-toned watch hands that are luminous and will enable you to tell time easily in the dark. The 20mm band is adjustable and can fit an 8-inch wrist comfortably.
While the face isn't as big as what you get on the Diesel Daddy 2.0, this Timex Weekender watch will still look gorgeous and comfortable on your wrist. It's simply one of the top chronograph watches anyone with a budget can choose.
9. Fossil Machine Stainless Steel Chronograph Watch
Rugged and Offers Value For Money
The second Fossil chronograph on our list is the Fossil Machine Stainless Steel Chronograph Watch. This timepiece is simply a beautiful piece of art. It features a black dial with some blue and white accents. The hour, minute, and second hands also feature this color combination, ensuring that you get a consistent combo all through. There's a date window embedded between four and five, and the mineral dial window allows you to easily read the time. This timepiece comes with a 45mm case diameter, and the stainless steel case is highly durable. Fossil went out of its way to add a knurled top ring to this chronograph, making it more rugged and eye-catching.
You get three different chronographs and water resistance of up to 50 meters. The band is interchangeable, and you can choose between leather, silicone, and metal straps. It's one of the best chronograph watches you can choose if you have a big wrist or you're looking for something rugged but pretty.
10. Bulova 96B251 Moonwatch
A Quartz Timepiece With Immense Accurate Timekeeping
Just like the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch, the Bulova 96B251 Moonwatch is another watch with a history. It's a replica of the watches worn by astronauts on the moon. This timepiece features a modern, high-polished design that makes it shine or "blingy" when it catches the light. Its anti-reflective sapphire crystal window allows you to easily tell the time in the sun or a well-lit environment.
This watch comes with the brand's renowned UHF quartz movement, which allows the crystal embedded into this timepiece to move eight times faster than a standard quartz movement. Featuring a 43mm diameter, stainless steel case, and excellent build quality, this is one of the best chronograph watches you can buy.
11. Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Canvas Watch
Best Military Style Chronograph
The Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive is a military-style chronograph that depicts simplicity and ruggedness. It features a round, black dial and red contrasting second hand. Thanks to the Japanese quartz movement, you'll be able to tell time accurately with no issues. It's solar-powered, which means that your watch gets consistent charge in sunlight or indoor light. You also get a date window, three chronographs, a mineral crystal window, and competent luminous hands. It's suitable for snorkeling and swimming, but not ideal for diving.
12. Michael Kors Lexington Chronograph Watch
Best Professional Chronograph
Michael Kors is a watch brand loved by many. The brand is so good in watchmaking that other brands even emulate it. The Lexington Chronograph Watch showcases why Michael Kors is a great watchmaker brand. Featuring a black dial with gold accents, this chronograph wristwatch brings fun to the 9 to 5 lifestyle.
It features a 44mm case diameter, scratch-resistant mineral glass window, and 22mm strap width. You get a quartz movement and three chronograph functions. The all-black design and gold accents simply make it more alluring. You're going to love wearing this timepiece to work, meetings, and other formal functions.
13. IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince Watch
Best Day and Date Chronograph
The IWC Pilot Chronograph Le Petit Prince Edition is one of the top chronograph watches you can buy. Featuring a blue dial, this automatic chronograph timepiece can reserve power up to 44 hours. It comes with a clear day and date feature and a self-winding automatic movement. This watch keeps time accurately, and the luminescent hand and hour markers allow you to easily read the time, even in dark areas. Featuring a 43mm case diameter, 200-meter water resistance, and three chronograph functions, there's no way a list of best chronograph watches would be complete without this watch.
14. Tag Heuer Formula 1 Stainless Steel Dress Watch
Best Swiss Quartz Chronograph
Looking for an excellent professional wristwatch? Consider buying the Tag Heuer Formula 1 Stainless Steel Dress Watch. From the design to the intricate markings, this timepiece reeks of beauty. It comes in a silver finish and features a metal bracelet. The Tag Heuer Formula 1 also features a fixed black carbide bezel made out of titanium, displaying tachymeter markings.
It comes with a black dial that’s home to luminous silver-tone hands and an Arabic numeral at the 12 o'clock position. This Tag Heuer 44mm wristwatch is water-resistant and can be used for professional marine tasks as well as serious water surface sports. However, you can't use it for diving.
15. MVMT Chronograph Watch
Best Minimalistic Chronograph
The MVMT Chronograph Wristwatch is a simple chronograph wristwatch loved by many for its minimalistic design. This timepiece has no numbers or numerals. You get an all-black dial with some blue accents. The hour and minute hands are also black while the second hand is blue.
Featuring a 40mm case and a genuine leather band, this timepiece comes with three chronographs, including a 60-second timer and a 30-minute timer. Its dial window is made out of hardened glass, and it features a Japanese quartz movement, which ensures time accuracy.
16. Vincero Luxury Men’s Chrono S Wrist Watch
Elegant and Sporty
The Vincero Luxury Chrono S Wristwatch is a beautiful timepiece. It features a 43mm stainless steel case diameter and a pink dial. The dial window is made out of anti-scratch sapphire crystal, enhancing its durability. Its sporty watch face will always be a conversation starter thanks to the craftsmanship that went into it.
This chronograph is ideal for both formal and casual outings. It comes with three chronographs, a Japanese quartz movement, and a 22mm interchangeable leather band. The Chrono S also features a date window as well as some level of water resistance. You're surely going to love how this chronograph looks like on your wrist.
17. Skagen Jorn Minimalistic Stainless Steel Watch
Slim and Durable Profile
The Skagen Jorn is a simple wristwatch with a price tag in the $70 range. The timepiece and the leather band both feature a slim profile. It stays subtle on the wrist, and you can easily tell the time in a well-lit environment via the mineral glass dial window just by taking a glance.
The 42mm face looks fantastic with the black dial and three chronographs, and the leather band remains comfortable no matter how long you wear it. However, telling time in low-light or dark areas is a bit difficult due to the black dial and omission of luminous hands.
18. Victorinox Swiss Army Men’s Alliance Chronograph Watch
Best Swiss-made Chronograph
Victorinox is a famous Swiss brand. They make authentic Swiss products, ranging from knives and fragrances to watches. The Alliance Chronograph Wristwatch is one of these carefully designed products. You get a timepiece encased in stainless steel and designed with a gray dial. It comes with a 44mm case diameter, a scratch-resistant anti-reflective sapphire crystal window, and luminescent hands to help tell the time in dark areas.
This wristwatch is also water-resistant enough to go swimming and snorkeling. It comes with two chronograph dials and a dial that tells the day of the week. You also get a date window at the six o’clock position. Stylish, big, and durable, this is simply one of the best chronograph watches you can get for less than two hundred bucks.
Whether you’re using the timer to conduct experiments or you simply want to look stylish and trendy, the best chronograph watches are accessories that can make this possible. We’ve outlined some of the best options in our review above and explained some of the necessary factors to consider when choosing a chronograph timepiece.
Whether it’s for a professional or casual setting, you’re bound to find the perfect chronograph wristwatch for you in our product review above.If you liked our article on chronograph watches, please share and comment below what your favorite product is.