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Graham Silverstone
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Graham Silverstone
$5,099
Free shipping
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Watch-4-U
IL
Sinn 956 Klassik
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Sinn 956 Klassik
$3,463
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Classic Watch
 
DE
Zenith DEFY XTREME 96.0528.4035 TOURBILLON CHRONOGRAPH PVD...
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 41mm
$41,500
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Patek Philippe Nautilus  5990/1A-001 Stainless Steel Men's...
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Patek Philippe Nautilus 5990/1A-001 Stainless Steel Men's...
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106
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Breguet New Style Type - XXI Flyback Chrono.
$9,975
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Daniele Trissi
11
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Omega Speedmaster Professional 3576.50.00 Mechanical Moonphase
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Omega Speedmaster Professional 3576.50.00 Mechanical Moonphase
$3,999
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Phigora
85
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
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Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch
$7,560
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Brilliance and Grace
17
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IWC Portuguese Chronograph
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IWC Portuguese Chronograph
$5,695
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AJ Watches
56
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Breitling NAVITIMER WORLD GMT CROCODILE BAND DEPLOYMENT BUCKLE
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Breitling NAVITIMER WORLD GMT CROCODILE BAND DEPLOYMENT BUCKLE
$4,895
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Swiss Moves
30
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Breitling Navitimer 18K Rose Gold Mens Auto Watch RB012012/BA4...
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Breitling Navitimer 18K Rose Gold Mens Auto Watch RB012012/BA4...
$13,885
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Inventory Adjusters
84
US
Breitling Montbrillant Legende 47mm White Dial Stainless Steel...
Breitling Montbrillant Legende 47mm White Dial Stainless Steel...
$6,000
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Crown Pawn
 
US
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 3970R
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Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 3970R
Price on request
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Michael Ashton
 
US
TAG Heuer Carrera Automatic Chronograph Date 41MM CV2010
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TAG Heuer Carrera Automatic Chronograph Date 41MM CV2010
$1,675
Free shipping
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Watch Noble
5
US
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 231.50.44.50.01.001 18K White Gold...
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Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 231.50.44.50.01.001 18K White Gold...
$29,999
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Chronostore
106
US
IWC Ingenieur AMG Chronograph
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IWC Ingenieur AMG Chronograph
$3,900
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Daniele Trissi
11
US
Omega PLANET OCEAN 600M  CO-AXIAL MASTER CHRONOMETER CHRONOGRAPH
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Omega PLANET OCEAN 600M CO-AXIAL MASTER CHRONOMETER CHRONOGRAPH
$5,470
Free shipping
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Brilliance and Grace
17
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Heuer Vintage Monaco Steve McQueen Chronograph Stainless Steel
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Heuer Vintage Monaco Steve McQueen Chronograph Stainless Steel
$24,995
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AJ Watches
56
US
Breitling Old Navitimer II 18k YG/SS D13022
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Breitling Old Navitimer II 18k YG/SS D13022
$3,699
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Phigora
85
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph Steel 46mm
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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph Steel 46mm
$5,495
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The Watch Collector NY
 
US
Omega Constellation Double Eagle Co-Axial 1514.51.00 Steel...
Omega Constellation Double Eagle Co-Axial 1514.51.00 Steel...
$3,500
Seller
Crown Pawn
 
US
A. Lange & Söhne Double Split Rattrapante Flyback Chronogr...
TOP
A. Lange & Söhne Double Split Rattrapante Flyback Chronogr...
$82,000
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Manfredi Jewels
 
US
Breguet Marine Tourbillon Chronograph PINK 60% OFF
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Breguet Marine Tourbillon Chronograph PINK 60% OFF
$64,900
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Raffi Boyadjian Watches Inc.
8
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 18K blue dial
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 18K blue dial
$53,000
Seller
Sea Wave Diamonds
81
US
Carl F. Bucherer Patravi Travelgraph 18k Yellow Gold GMT
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Carl F. Bucherer Patravi Travelgraph 18k Yellow Gold GMT
$6,500
Free shipping
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Daniele Trissi
11
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph
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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph
$6,400
Free shipping
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Brilliance and Grace
17
US
Audemars Piguet Huitieme
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Audemars Piguet Huitieme
$8,495
Free shipping
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AJ Watches
56
US
Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow 3575.20.00 Moonphase
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Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow 3575.20.00 Moonphase
$3,599
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Phigora
85
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Titanium Chronograph
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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Titanium Chronograph
$7,195
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The Watch Collector NY
 
US
IWC Da Vinci Kurt Klaus Perpetual Calendar 18K ROSE Gold...
IWC Da Vinci Kurt Klaus Perpetual Calendar 18K ROSE Gold...
$19,999
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Crown Pawn
 
US
Patek Philippe Ref# 5980/1A, Blue Dial, Nautilus, Chronograph
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 5980/1A, Blue Dial, Nautilus, Chronograph
Price on request
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Michael Ashton
 
US
TAG Heuer Monaco
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TAG Heuer Monaco
$2,975
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Watch Works
12
US
Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Speciale Limited Edition Chronograph...
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Speciale Limited Edition Chronograph...
$16,200
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Island Exclusive Timepieces LLC
6
US
Carl F. Bucherer Patravi TravelTec Black dial
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Carl F. Bucherer Patravi TravelTec Black dial
$5,675
Free shipping
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Daniele Trissi
11
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Panerai MARE NOSTRUM ACCIAIO - 42MM
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Panerai MARE NOSTRUM ACCIAIO - 42MM
$8,904
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Brilliance and Grace
17
US
Cartier Pasha
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Cartier Pasha
$16,995
Free shipping
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56
US
Breitling Chronomat Evolution B13356 Automatic 44mm Chronograph
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Breitling Chronomat Evolution B13356 Automatic 44mm Chronograph
$3,600
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Phigora
85
US
Zenith  El Primero Port Royal Open T Concept
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Zenith El Primero Port Royal Open T Concept
$3,995
Free shipping
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Luxury Horology
112
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Breitling NAVITIMER WORLD GMT K24322 Limited Edition Chronogra...
Breitling NAVITIMER WORLD GMT K24322 Limited Edition Chronogra...
$13,499
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Patek Philippe Ref# 3970P Silver Dial, Perpetual Chronograph,...
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Patek Philippe Ref# 3970P Silver Dial, Perpetual Chronograph,...
Price on request
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Michael Ashton
 
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Omega Speedmaster Automatic Chronograph Watch 324.18.38.40.05.001
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Omega Speedmaster Automatic Chronograph Watch 324.18.38.40.05.001
$7,687
Free shipping
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme...
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Jaeger LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme...
$10,200
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6
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Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Classic Chronograph 26100OR.OO....
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Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Classic Chronograph 26100OR.OO....
$22,200
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Luxury Bazaar
37
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Breitling Chronomat 44 Raven
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Breitling Chronomat 44 Raven
$5,480
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17
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Breitling Chronomat 44 Stainless Steel
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Breitling Chronomat 44 Stainless Steel
$4,995
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56
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Breitling Avenger E13360 Titanium Chronograph
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Breitling Avenger E13360 Titanium Chronograph
$2,799
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Phigora
85
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Chopard Grand Prix Monaco Chrono Automatic Mens 168992-3012 ...
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Chopard Grand Prix Monaco Chrono Automatic Mens 168992-3012 ...
$4,500
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Priceless Shine Inc
14
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Vacheron Constantin Overseas Special US Limited Edition...
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Special US Limited Edition...
$19,999
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Crown Pawn
 
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Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, 5204R-001
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, 5204R-001
Price on request
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Michael Ashton
 
US
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII
TOP
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII
$8,200
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Manfredi Jewels
 
US
Oris WilliamsF1 Team Chronograph  Date Limited Edition
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Oris WilliamsF1 Team Chronograph Date Limited Edition
$2,200
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LBA Exquisite Time Pieces
 
US
Chanel J12 Automatic Chronograph Ceramic
TOP
Chanel J12 Automatic Chronograph Ceramic
$5,490
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Watch Works
12
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Omega Speedmaster HB-SIA
TOP
Omega Speedmaster HB-SIA
$6,000
Free shipping
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Brilliance and Grace
17
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Omega Speedmaster MoonWatch
TOP
Omega Speedmaster MoonWatch
$8,495
Free shipping
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AJ Watches
56
US
Omega Seamaster Pro 300m Apnea Jacques Mayol 2595.50
TOP
Omega Seamaster Pro 300m Apnea Jacques Mayol 2595.50
$2,999
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Phigora
85
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Rolex Yacht Master II GOLD 2014
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Rolex Yacht Master II GOLD 2014
$29,500
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Z&Z WHOLESALE
9
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Omega De Ville Co-Axial Rattrapante Chrono Automatic Watch...
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Omega De Ville Co-Axial Rattrapante Chrono Automatic Watch...
$7,487
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84
US
Patek Philippe Ref# 5980/1R-001, black dial, Nautilus,...
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Patek Philippe Ref# 5980/1R-001, black dial, Nautilus,...
Price on request
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Michael Ashton
 
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
$36,850
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Material Good
 
US
Rolex Daytona 116520 S/Steel 40mm Watch-New Style White/Black...
Rolex Daytona 116520 S/Steel 40mm Watch-New Style White/Black...
$13,499
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Precious Timepiece and Co.
 
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Hublot Big Bang 45mm Unico King Gold Watch
Hublot Big Bang 45mm Unico King Gold Watch
$26,899
Free shipping
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Avi & Co NY
38
US
Omega SPEEDMASTER RACING OMEGA CO-AXIAL MASTER CHRONOMETER
TOP
Omega SPEEDMASTER RACING OMEGA CO-AXIAL MASTER CHRONOMETER
$6,500
Free shipping
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Brilliance and Grace
17
US

Chronographs: On the Button

Chronographs differentiate themselves from conventional three-hand watches by their stopwatch function. This type of watch has a unique, functional design characterized by subdials and push-pieces, which many buyers find attractive.

Chronograph Facts

  • The word "chronograph" comes from the Greek words "chronos" (time) and "graph" (an instrument that writes or records)
  • 1816: Louis Moinet invents a stopwatch that displays 1/60th of a second
  • 1913: Longines introduces a wristwatch with a stopwatch function powered by one push-piece
  • 1934: Breitling introduces the two push-piece chronograph
  • 1969: The first chronographs with automatic movements premiere

Sporty Stopwatches

Watches with a chronograph function are first and foremost sport watches. They were designed for use in sporting events. During track and field, swimming, or car racing competitions, events need to be accurately timed to determine a winner. The most modern technology takes care of this at the professional level, but it's still useful for amateurs to have a chronograph on hand for timing. Furthermore, this kind of watch is appealing to many buyers who simply appreciate a more technically-oriented timepiece. The chronograph isn't just limited to use in athletics, though; you could also use it to time while cooking to know when your pasta is al dente and ready to eat.
Some watch manufacturers have made a name for themselves with their efforts in developing chronographs, such as Breitling or TAG Heuer. Breitling is responsible for the typical design of modern chronographs. In 1934, the company introduced a watch with a chronograph function and push-pieces above and below the crown. The layout was successful and quickly spread to other manufacturers.
You begin timing by pressing the push-piece above the crown. When you push it a second time, it stops. If necessary, you can push it a third time to start it again. You can set the stopwatch back to zero by pressing the push-piece under the crown. Almost all modern mechanical chronographs function in this way.
The hands of a chronograph are organized according to a certain pattern. The largest difference between a chronograph and a conventional three-hand watch is that chronographs generally lack a central second hand. A chronograph's large second hand usually rests at 12 o'clock. When you push the top push-piece, it starts moving, timing seconds. Once you're done, you press the bottom push-piece to set the second hand back to zero. The second hand that is constantly in motion, known as the small seconds, is located on a subdial elsewhere on the chronograph.
Most chronographs feature the small seconds subdial at the nine o'clock position. Another subdial at 12 o'clock, the 30-minute counter, keeps track of timed intervals up to 30 minutes. Yet another subdial at six o'clock, the 12-hour counter, records even longer intervals up to 12 hours. The date display is located at three o'clock. Most watches with this dial layout and these timing functions are powered by chronograph calibers, such as the Valjoux 7750 from the world's largest ébauche manufacturer, ETA. Chronographs powered by other movements often have a layout of subdials at three, six, and nine o'clock. This V-shaped design is called Tricompax.
The Valjoux 7750 powers several chronographs from prominent manufacturers, such as the diving watch Longines Hydroconquest and the pilot's watch Sinn 103. Breitling, Hamilton, and Tissot also use this automatic movement in various models. It premiered in 1973, but wasn't an instant success. It first became popular after the Quartz Crisis was resolved. Since then, the Valjoux 7750 has been used in millions of watches. It's affordable to produce and runs reliably at 28,800 alternations per hour (A/h). Moreover, it's certified precise by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). Its power reserve lasts around 44 hours. There are many variants of the 7750, such as a manual version or ones with complications such as a moon phase indicator or a flyback chronograph. Due to its precision, the caliber is able to measure 1/8th of a second.
The El Primero from Zenith beats even faster. At 36,000 A/h, it can measure 1/10th of a second. Zenith introduced this famous high-frequency caliber in 1969. In the same year, Calibre 11 was released as the result of a collaboration between Heuer, Breitling, Büren, and Dubois-Dépraz. The movement powered the first Monaco from Heuer and ran at 19,800 A/h. This allowed the watch to measure 1/5th of a second. The Japanese company Seiko released their caliber 6139 around the same time. Together, these calibers made 1969 a milestone year in watchmaking history. Today, it's still debated which automatic chronograph caliber can be considered the first.

Buying Advice

Do you need a stopwatch every now and again? Look no further than a chronograph. Watches with this extra feature are available in almost every price range. These "time recorders" - a literal translation of chronograph - have technical appeal. They're predominantly men's watches, as the Valjoux 7750 caliber is quite large and not suitable for a classic women's watch.
Generally, chronographs powered by the reliable Valjoux 7750 caliber are less expensive than watches with rarer or in-house movements. These watches start around 1,000 euros. Even more affordable are chronographs powered by quartz movements. They're available in the three figure range from brands like Citizen. Some quartz chronographs are more expensive, however, such as the Breitling Superocean Chronograph M2000, which runs between 3,000 and 4,000 euros. This diving watch is waterproof to 2,000 m and its patented push-pieces can even be used underwater. Manufacturers strongly advise against using the timing function of a mechanical chronograph underwater.
For a little less than 3,500 euros, you can get one of the most famous chronographs in mint condition: the legendary Moonwatch, Omega's Speedmaster Professional. In July 1969, it became the first wristwatch on the Moon. The Apollo 13 astronauts also used this watch to perform a course correction of 14 seconds, helping them safely return their damaged spacecraft to Earth in April 1970.
No less famous is the Rolex Daytona, named for the race track in Daytona Beach, Florida. Race car drivers received these watches as victory trophies for the first time in the 1960s. A stainless steel Daytona in very good condition costs a little under 10,000 euros. A new gold model costs over 20,000 euros. A platinum version with diamonds can raise the price tag to over 100,000 euros.
Do you prefer a square watch? The square TAG Heuer Monaco made its film debut on the wrist of Steve McQueen in the 1971 film Le Mans. Since then, it's been competing with the Daytona for the reputation of the best racing watch. You can buy a new Monaco Calibre 11 for 3,500 - 4,000 euros. More TAG Heuer chronographs are available in their Carrera series.
The Omega Speedmaster, Rolex Daytona, and TAG Heuer Monaco were all designed as timepieces for the race track. If you prefer a pilot's chronograph, then the Breitling Navitimer is a good choice. It goes one step further: in addition to the stopwatch function, it has a slide rule which you can use to do basic calculations. You should be prepared to spend around 5,000 euros on a new stainless steel Navitimer. Another pilot's chronograph is the IWC Double Chronograph, which starts around 9,000 euros.

Rattrapante, Flyback, and Scales

You can use a double chronograph, such as the one from IWC, to measure two separate events of different lengths. This type of chronograph is easily recognizable by its third push-piece, which controls an additional second hand. Normally, this extra hand runs with the normal chronograph second hand. However, when you push the push-piece, it stops, while the other second hand keeps running. Push the push-piece again and both hands are reset to zero. This complication is also known as a rattrapante or split-seconds chronograph.
Another modification to the usual stopwatch function is the flyback chronograph. You can start, reset, and restart timing with just one push. Usual chronographs require you to push a button three times. The flyback chronograph has its origins in military aviation. If pilots have to make multiple course changes within a fixed amount of seconds, then the process of pressing a button three times is too slow.
Many chronographs are also equipped with a tachymeter scale. It's usually found on a fixed bezel and allows you to calculate kilometers per hour. For example, say you drive 1 kilometer. You start the chronograph function as you begin driving and stop it once you've driven a kilometer. The chronograph second hand will be pointing to a number on the tachymeter scale, signaling the speed in km/h.
Less frequently, you'll find a chronograph with a telemeter scale, a complication which calculates the distance to an event which can be both seen and heard. For instance, if it's stormy and you see lightning, you can time the interval between the lightning and thunder. When you stop timing, the second hand will be pointing to the distance of the storm on the scale. So, if there was an interval of 12 seconds between the lightning and thunder, then the storm is four kilometers away. This can be useful in the military for determining how far away enemy cannons are by timing the interval between when the cannon explosion is seen and when it is heard. Thirty-nine seconds, for example, means a distance of 13 kilometers.