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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,

I have been looking at many watches for my next purchase, and I realize that most of the pieces I am considering are chronographs. Not that I specifically need one, but I like the style and versatility, plus I am sort of a nerd when it comes to either Heritage or mechanical achievements and I find the chronograph complication to be very special in horology.


Anyway, I am looking at pieces anywhere between 5k to 15k grey market/new/used.

Those are the main contenders, I am curious to hear what you think and why, and if you have additional suggestion.
The most important criteria though are: size (ideally under 42), look of course, and technology (I prefer flyback if possible and vertical clutch). I also like it if there is no date.

Arnold and Son CTB: no fly back but vertical clutch, beautiful grained dial and dead beat seconds. And No date (big plus). Maybe big given the dressy look.

Omega grey side of the moon meteorite: very cool, vertical clutch chrono, does not look too big (I tried it on), but very thick and maybe not super versatile. It is a flashy piece.

IWC Ingenieur Chronograph racer: super cool looking and modern piece. Flyback and 68 hours PR. But no vertical clutch. I am also worried about the size and the heft, it looks heavy.

IWC Chronograph Saint exupery limiterd: super cool pilot Watch with flyback, same movement as the Ingenieur above, and OK in size. I actually tried it and the size is about right where I would say it’s the maximum I should do for this piece.

Breguet 3810: super neat, iconic chronograph, but the movement is fairly oldschool and lacks the bells and whistles of newer pieces.

Any other suggestions? I am not sure about the 38mm Laureato chrono because of the color schemes, and the GO chrono looks super chunky, the polo S chrono looks cool though, I might need to try it.

Let me know what you think!

All the best,
A.
 

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Of those listed, I would choose:

Breguet > A&S > Omega >>>>>>>>> both IWCs

I would suggest throwing a Zenith Doublematic, or a Zenith Defy El Primero 21 in for consideration.
 

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I have the titanium version of the Breguet; it's a great watch, age of movement be damned. Flyback, too, and I like the central minutes and seconds chronograph hands. Here's a rather different suggestion (although also with an older movement) that I used to own and still miss sometimes:

AP December 2015 1 Small.JPG

More dressy than several of your contenders, but a lovely and unique piece.
 

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Save the additional funds and then grab a Lange & Sohne 1815 – job done!
If not a reality, then look for one of the Minerva Villeret prior to the full Richemont acquisition and being designated as Montblanc’s HH movement maker.
That said, the Montblanc Villeret (still a mono pusher, like the Minerva) is none too shabby.
 

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I would have no problem with any of the ones you've been looking at. To me, it came down to wanting a clean, uncluttered dial layout, 40mm, 100WR, vertical clutch & column wheel, not horrendously thick, and (because of my aging eyes), a grand date display. The BP Flyback fit the bill. Try and boil it down to what particular features or dial are important to you, and you'll rarely go wrong.

fullsizeoutput_20cc.jpeg
 

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Of your suggestions I like the Omega the most and being full ceramic it's arguably the most practical day wearer of the bunch. But as you said, it's thick and the strap doesn't articulate well.

How about the JLC Polaris?

Jaeger-LeCoultre-Polaris-Chronograph-Blue-dial-9028480-Review-6.jpg

Habring2 will give you a perpetual calendar, split second chronograph for a bit over 20,000 euros. As with most independents I expect the price to be fairly negotiable. It's a bit thick because of the modular movement but if you want the most amount of mechanical complexity for the dollar this is pretty much it.

Habring2-Perpetual-Doppel-Split-Seconds-Chronograph-Perpetual-Calendar-2.jpg

There's also the Bulgari Octo GMT chrono which isn't an impressive chrono per se, but IMO is technically impressive in an entirely different way because of the thinness, materials, etc. Should be easy to find gray market at below $15k.

bulgari-octo-finissimo-chronograph-GMT-3.5ccdd79a03fc.jpg

I also kind of like the Tonda Metrographe although I really don't like the bracelet from PF.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the suggestions!
Is something wrong with the IWC that I would have missed? Nobody seems to like them and I wonder if it’s just because there are better options out there or if they would be a poor choice.

The Minerva movements are really cool, but difficult to find at that price point, and I would like something fairly robust for daily wear. The Lange is beautiful but my first Lange will be a dress watch with a moonphase, they’re just so gorgeous!

The Polaris is an interesting option, and so is the Bulgari, very cool in their own rights. I need to try them on though because in pictures they don’t spark anything in me.

Thank you for the Habring suggestion, I never considered it and need to document myself on this model. Anything I should know that makes it special apart from the complications?

I really like the Breguet but I am wondering if it’s not too close to the Speedy.
Attaching some pictures of the 2 models I tried so you can see the size. The IWC looks bigger than it really is for some reason and fits just right.
 

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I think you should reconsider your criteria of having a vertical clutch model. Hypothetically it adds to the accuracy, but it’s drains the movement of much of its vitality. Horizontal clutches allow you to see the activation of the chronograph function. Vertical clutch movements tend to look more bland as the activation function isn’t as visible.

Following this logic I’d say you you take a closer look at Zenith. Nobody has the same mix of traditional and modern design rolled up into the same movement. They have loads of models with flyback functions.

On a completely different note, I recently had the opportunity to handle an Omega Speedmaster dark side of the moon ceramic manual wind special edition. It was fantastic. It’s a little out there in terms of design, but rarely had te caliber 861 been showcased in such an avant guard piece.

 

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The Omega looks good, but at the upper limits on size. The IWC (unless you're going to strap it on your ankle), is way too large. Forget about lug length or overhang on it....the dial itself covers the entire span of your wrist. Just my humble opinion, but since you're asking, I'm just saying....



Thank you for the suggestions!
Is something wrong with the IWC that I would have missed? Nobody seems to like them and I wonder if it’s just because there are better options out there or if they would be a poor choice.

The Minerva movements are really cool, but difficult to find at that price point, and I would like something fairly robust for daily wear. The Lange is beautiful but my first Lange will be a dress watch with a moonphase, they’re just so gorgeous!

The Polaris is an interesting option, and so is the Bulgari, very cool in their own rights. I need to try them on though because in pictures they don’t spark anything in me.

Thank you for the Habring suggestion, I never considered it and need to document myself on this model. Anything I should know that makes it special apart from the complications?

I really like the Breguet but I am wondering if it’s not too close to the Speedy.
Attaching some pictures of the 2 models I tried so you can see the size. The IWC looks bigger than it really is for some reason and fits just right.
 

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A GO Chrono?

GO_Chronos.jpg
 

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Thank you for the suggestions!
Is something wrong with the IWC that I would have missed? Nobody seems to like them and I wonder if it’s just because there are better options out there or if they would be a poor choice.

The Minerva movements are really cool, but difficult to find at that price point, and I would like something fairly robust for daily wear. The Lange is beautiful but my first Lange will be a dress watch with a moonphase, they’re just so gorgeous!

The Polaris is an interesting option, and so is the Bulgari, very cool in their own rights. I need to try them on though because in pictures they don’t spark anything in me.

Thank you for the Habring suggestion, I never considered it and need to document myself on this model. Anything I should know that makes it special apart from the complications?

I really like the Breguet but I am wondering if it’s not too close to the Speedy.
Attaching some pictures of the 2 models I tried so you can see the size. The IWC looks bigger than it really is for some reason and fits just right.
Habring2 to me is a lot more special because you're getting a watch that's hand-built by a historically important watchmaker at IWC (and who is known for his work on chrono movements), and you're interacting with either Richard directly or a member of his team, and the connection is personal as opposed to the rather faceless Richemont group. You know that all of your money is going to the watchmaker and his staff and not toward TV ad's or marketing people. You also have the option of customizations although costs will add up quickly. See this in-depth about the company from Monochrome Watches:

https://monochrome-watches.com/habring2-doppel-felix-by-the-man-who-created-the-iwc-doppelchronograph/

Another independent with an interesting chronograph is Czapek with a high beat movement from Vaucher and amazing dial work, but it's a bit outside the price range unless you can find one used. The Bulgari Octo line is mostly about the extreme thinness (7mm for an automatic chrono GMT) and lightness from the all titanium construction, which makes it very good as a daily watch but the finishing isn't anything spectacular.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So many good suggestions, you guys are great!

The best looking vertical clutch chrono is probably the Roger Dubuis la monegasque Chrono, with a visible vertical clutch thanks to the micro rotor, but I’m not sure I like the style of the dial. And because of my Speedy, I already have a lateral clutch I can look at.

The GO sixties iconic square chrono is an option I didn’t even know existed! Gonna look into prices and availability given that it is a limites de edition.

Czapek is a contender, but very hard to find/time consuming to get and fairly expensive. I would need to see one in the flesh.
 

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Check the 2nd Gen Vacheron overseas chrono and Bulgari octo fenisimo
 

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Thank you for the suggestions!
Is something wrong with the IWC that I would have missed? Nobody seems to like them and I wonder if it’s just because there are better options out there or if they would be a poor choice.

Attaching some pictures of the 2 models I tried so you can see the size. The IWC looks bigger than it really is for some reason and fits just right.
I'm not a fan of most current IWC models precisely because they are so big and thick. I don't have a particularly small wrist (7.25") but still prefer my watches in the 39-42mm range, and no more than 13mm thick. I admit that my Breguet is 42mm x 15.2mm thick, but it wears smaller and feels lighter (because it's titanium), and anyway, rules are meant to be broken. ;-)
 

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If a vertical clutch is a must, have you looked at the new Breitling Premier line with the caliber B01? I’m not usually a fan of Breitling and I find that the new movement still has squishy pushers like a Valjoux rather than the stiffer feel of the El Primero or Rolex 4130. However, the materials and designs are really top notch. At 42 mm they’re quite wearable.

 

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I'm a big fan of the Speedmaster Racing with the cal. 9900. The Grand Seiko Spring Drive chrono is also very comfortable in titanium. The case and lugs make it wear well despite the size and thickness.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Does anyone have the GO 70s Panorama Date Chronograph?
It's a flyback vertical clutch chrono in a handsome package, but it looks thick and large. I'm curious about the wearability.

I am currently re-considering everything again, and I know that I want a "sporty" watch, ideally small too, which would rule out most of the original contenders. Honestly, the Black bay chrono looks really good but I'm not sure I can go past having a sub-daytona on the wrist (even though I like the design better than the Daytona with only 2 subdials).


The GO 60s iconic square chrono looks very nice, but it is very rare, and I think I could get past the lack of bells and whistles of the movement given the original design and square case.

To summarize, I don't know what I'm doing, but I know I want a sporty chrono, ideally with an interesting shape, integrated bracelet or strap is a plus, and not too big. I do love the design of the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph racer in slate grey.
 
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