The chronograph watch is one of the most desirable watches for men. Men love chronograph watches due to their sophisticated, classic and sometimes industrial design. However, not many people truly understand what is a chronograph watch and don’t even know what is the meaning of chronograph.


To begin with, lets dissect the word “chronograph”. The term chronograph is derived from two Greek words, “chronos” which is Greek for time and “graph” which is Greek for writing. Needless to say, for anyone who are new to chronograph, chronograph is a practically a stopwatch on the watch which features an physical independent sweeping second hand. There are usually three pushers for modern chronograph watches. The first pusher is usually used to start or stop the timer, the middle pusher (or stem) is used to adjust the time and date and the third pusher is used to reset the timer to zero.


Today, most men love chronograph watches probably due to their aesthetic looks rather than their chronograph functionalities. However, chronographs were important in the aviation industry as they allowed pilots to make rapid calculations and make precise decisions. The chronograph grew extremely popular in the early 20th century as different uses for the chronograph were discovered especially in handling complicated performance machinery such as automobile racing and naval navigation. Though it has lost its importance in these industry today, Bretling and Tag Heuer still use the aviation and automobile racing industry respectively as their global marketing strategy for their chronograph timepieces.


There are generally two types of chronograph watches, namely mechanical and quartz. Mechanical movements are powered by a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon called mainspring while quartz movements are powered by an internal battery within the case.


Mechanical chronograph movements are sophisticated machines. Underneath the seemingly minimalistic watch case, the movements that power these functions are very complex and often very beautiful. Unfortunately, with such complicated movements comes with a hefty price tag but for horology lovers, they are worth every penny. We are watch lovers as well and we absolutely love the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona and Zenith El Primero, not to mention our favourite piece of all, the A. Lange & Söhne Flyback Chronograph (below) which sadly cost a whopping $120.000.

Valjoux 7750 (Cal 16) is the probably the most common automatic chronograph movement of all, powering pieces such as Tag Heuer Carrera. While it is reliable and affordable, it is recommended not to change the date between 10pm and 2am. During this specific time, the date wheel will be engaged with the movement and if you change time during this period, it may cause damage to the movement.


If you are looking for affordable, best dress watches with chronograph functions, you might want to look at quartz chronograph watches. Unlike mechanical chronograph watches which lose a few seconds per day, quartz chronograph watches are incredibly accurate as the integrated quartz crystal will oscillate at a near perfect frequency when electric current powers the movement.

The downside? For many horology lovers, a quartz chronograph watch has no soul.  The pushers on a quartz chronograph watch lack a satisfying click of a mechanical chronograph one. Furthermore, a mechanical chronograph instantly resets to zero when reset whereas a quartz chronograph’s hands take a few seconds to sweep back to the zero position. Perhaps due to its mechanical soul, watch collectors like to pair their mechanical chronograph watches with a variety of 22mm leather watch straps to create personalised looks.

In exchange for a mechanical feel, the quartz chronograph watch provides near accurate time, need no servicing of worn off parts and is affordable to the masses.

Nevertheless, the chronograph watch is a timepiece that every man needs and is a perfect accessory for both formal and informal events. If you are someone who has a more artistic or prefer vintage timepieces, perhaps the unique vintage watches will suit you better.

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