Battle of the chronographs !
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  1. #1
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    Battle of the chronographs !

    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.
    Attached Images Attached Images









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  2. #2
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    Re: Battle of the chronographs !

    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.
    Current Collection: Tudor Pelagos Blue, JLC Master Geographic, Seagull 1963

  3. #3
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    Re: Battle of the chronographs !

    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:

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

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  5. #4
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    Re: Battle of the chronographs !

    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.
    ar7iste likes this.

  6. #5
    Member mumblypeg's Avatar
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    Re: Battle of the chronographs !

    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.

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    ar7iste, GrouchoM, Azizu and 4 others like this.

  7. #6
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    Re: Battle of the chronographs !

    That Omega with the meteorite dial is the hotness.


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  8. #7
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    Re: Battle of the chronographs !

    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?

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    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.

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    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.

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    I also kind of like the Tonda Metrographe although I really don't like the bracelet from PF.
    Devon Tread 1E, Tread 2 BTO, Ressence Type 3, NORD Variocurve V4

  9. #8
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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.
    Attached Images Attached Images




  10. #9
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    Re: Battle of the chronographs !

    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.


  11. #10
    Member mumblypeg's Avatar
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    Re: Battle of the chronographs !

    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....



    Quote Originally Posted by ar7iste View Post
    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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