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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi WUS Family,

I have really been spinning my wheels trying to find a sub-$3,000 chronograph watch, and was hoping those more familiar with this topic can lend their assistance. Criteria I am looking for is:

- ~42mm case size (OK if a little bigger/ smaller)
- Black dial, black sub dials (dark gray is fine)
- 100m WR (or greater)
- <15mm height
- Offered with a bracelet
- Date function
- Won't look out of place in a business casual environment (sport shirt and dark khakis)

Pre-owned is fine and would probably prefer to go this route.


Some watches I thoroughly enjoy the look of, but have eliminated, are:

Sinn 103 (Love the look, 17mm height is too thick for everyday office wear)
24700_103061_19.jpg


Fortis Classic Cosmonautis Chronograph Ceramic PM (not a fan of the green arabic numerals, dial is too 'colorful' for my tastes)
Fortis-Cosmonauts-Chronograph-Steel-and-Ceramic-am-pm2.jpg


Breguet Type XXI (Gorgeous(!) but WAAAAY over $3,000, even pre-loved)
Breguet-Type-XXI-3813-Only-Watch-2015-1.jpg


Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional (only 50m WR, no date, would prefer arabic numerals)
0010263-0-Large.jpg


IWC Pilot's Watch Chronograph (only 60m WR)
IWC-Pilots-Watch-Chronograph-3777-4.jpg


Please let me know if you can think of any I am missing as I would like to stick to my budget (more out of principal than anything else). Thanks all for your help!!
 

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Great choices considered already.

I will throw in the Laco Kiel, Schauer Edition 10, Tudor Heritage Chrono, Archimede Klassic Chrono and Breitling SO Chrono also.
 

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Nice picks! I love chronographs in this price range. My recommendation: BR126. I liked it better than my speedy, which I then sold. Its thin and has a nicely domed sapphire crystal.




Otherwise, I'm a fan of the Tag Carrera Day Date and longines 1973.
 

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My Sinn 104 wears much smaller than its dimensions, altho 17mm is pretty dang thick... My Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono is a fabulous watch but alas no bracelet ... Easily in your price range, but the fit and finish of a far more expensive watch, has Valjoux movement, 60 hour PR ... And great for office, dressy occasions.



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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone for the suggestions thus far. A few watches mentioned that i have not come across

My Sinn 104 wears much smaller than its dimensions, altho 17mm is pretty dang thick... My Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono is a fabulous watch but alas no bracelet ... Easily in your price range, but the fit and finish of a far more expensive watch, has Valjoux movement, 60 hour PR ... And great for office, dressy occasions.
Did you mean the 103 wears much smaller? I only ask because the 104, I believe, is only 11.5mm in height (as opposed to the 17mm of the 103).
 

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Thanks everyone for the suggestions thus far. A few watches mentioned that i have not come across



Did you mean the 103 wears much smaller? I only ask because the 104, I believe, is only 11.5mm in height (as opposed to the 17mm of the 103).
I meant in general - unfortunately the 103 is the one Sinn I haven't tried. The 556, the U1, and 104 all wear imho smaller. But the 103 at 17mm is quite huge, so even if wore smaller, it would still feel very big. But no firsthand experience...


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What about the Hanhart Pioneer MonoControl Single Button Chronograph (with or without the fluted bezel) or the Fortis Aviatis Aeromaster Chrono?
I'm not sure if the Hanhart can be purchased with a bracelet though.
 

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I really like Longines' exclusive column-wheel version of the 7750. I have two but both are light/white dial on leather. Also, the 100m WR will probably knock some of them out. These watches are thick, but to my knowledge they're all under 15mm. They have some diver chronographs that would meet your specs, though not sure about the Arabic numerals. Anyway, worth a look in my book. They are in the sweet spot around $2-$3k, less on gray market.

I couldn't down select for just chronographs, but this is what they offer currently.

https://www.longines.com/watches/selector/steel/automatic/metal/men
 

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If you semi-like that Fortis, take a look at the rest of their range. They have a dozen or two near or under $2,000 usd. If it's the Arabic numerals you don't like, look at the "Stratoliner" (1st pic)... It's nearly identical to the classic cosmonautis, but with indices. It's availalble with black or silver dial, steel or black ceramic bezel, leather strap or link bracelet... ​(Pic stolen from the web...)

Fortis Stratoliner.jpg









Also, look at their "Aeromaster" in the "Aviatis" line. Lots of options for this one too.

Fortis Aeromaster Chrono.jpg

Fortis Aviatis Aeromaster Chronograph on Bracelet


https://www.fortis-swiss.com/en/
Swiss Watches | Fortis Watches USA | Fortis Watches North American Distributor
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you semi-like that Fortis, take a look at the rest of their range. They have a dozen or two near or under $2,000 usd. If it's the Arabic numerals you don't like, look at the "Stratoliner" (1st pic)... It's nearly identical to the classic cosmonautis, but with indices. It's availalble with black or silver dial, steel or black ceramic bezel, leather strap or link bracelet... ​(Pic stolen from the web...)

View attachment 12409897









Also, look at their "Aeromaster" in the "Aviatis" line. Lots of options for this one too.

View attachment 12409899

Fortis Aviatis Aeromaster Chronograph on Bracelet


https://www.fortis-swiss.com/en/
Swiss Watches | Fortis Watches USA | Fortis Watches North American Distributor
Fortis seems to do the tool chronograph quite well, I guess my only hesitation with them is a) I most likely will need to purchase the watch from internet pics, and b) I'm not too familiar with their quality.
 

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Fortis seems to do the tool chronograph quite well, I guess my only hesitation with them is a) I most likely will need to purchase the watch from internet pics, and b) I'm not too familiar with their quality.
Watchbuys is the A.D. for Fortis here in the USA. They're fantastic to buy from, and offer free returns. (Definitely call them and ask about that. Don't take the word of a stranger before parting with you money. Plus, they're very helpful & friendly to talk with.)

Regarding the quality - I have a Fortis 3-hander. (Flieger Professional) There's nothing for me to complain about regarding the quality. Mine has an ETA 2836-2 that runs about +7 seconds per day. The visual detail is seriously impressive, and I can't really think of any thing to fault or complain about.

The only thing I'd be concerned about with their Chronographs, is simply the thickness of the watch. But that's more a personal suspicion, and from someone that's new to mechanical/automatic watches. I *think* their chronograph models are around 15mm thick, but I could be wrong on that. Definitely ask the folks at WatchBuys, or search the Fortis forum here. (There's some pretty good picture threads in the Fortis section too...) If you like their designs though, I wouldn't hesitate at all from a quality standpoint.

Regardless what you choose though, best of luck. :)
 

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You didn't mention how much larger than 42mm you'd be willing to go, but at 44mm, the Oris Big Crown ProPilot chronograph might be worth considering. Date function, 100m WR, 15.5mm thick, comes on a bracelet, and handsome as anything. Plus you get a GMT function, and who doesn't like a GMT?

Oris-Big-Crown-ProPilot-Chronograph-GMT-watch-14.jpg

(pic from ablogtowatch)
 

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Anything with a valjoux 72 from Certina, Roamer, Longines, Mathey Tissot or Nivada or a lemania 5100 from Orfina, Porsche Design, Tutima or Sinn
 

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I would throw in the Hanhart Pioneer line, which seems to fit your criteria. Comes in a variety of sizes and pusher configuration. The monopusher model is especially interesting. If you buy used, it's well under your budget!



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