Chronographs remain the most popular type of watch among fans and collectors alike, whether sporty or elegant and regardless of price range. For this article, we have chosen four special chronographs with classic designs and fantastic value for money.
Those looking for a mechanical Swiss chronograph for under €1,000 have quite the task ahead of them. The Tissot PRC 200 is a pleasant surprise on the market for more reasons than one. First and foremost, Tissot is a manufacturer with a rich history and known for their quality timepieces. The brand is part of the Swatch Group and can, therefore, take advantage of its vast resources. This allows Tissot to offer good watches at reasonable prices.
Yet another strength of the PRC 200 Chronograph is its versatility. Thanks to the wide array of bands and dials, this watch is sure to have a design for every taste. If you prefer more classic pieces, the model with a black or brown leather strap is a perfect choice. Despite its size, this watch feels quite elegant. Should you be on the market for something a bit sportier and modern, the version with a stainless steel bracelet or rubber strap could be just what you’re looking for. The high-quality dial comes in black, white, or black with red accents.
Together with the Rolex Submariner and Daytona, the Omega Speedmaster is probably one of the most important watch icons of all time. Apart from its status as a collector’s item and its role in history, it is simply a perfect sports watch with a timeless design. Even after over 60 years and multiple iterations, you still won’t find any superfluous nonsense on this watch.
The Speedmaster is everything a watch lover could ever want: Its tidy black dial is a feast for the eyes, and it comes with a traditional, manually-wound movement. What’s more, it is available on a steel or leather band, and, at 42 mm, it is the perfect size. Even though it’s official list price is well above the indicated budget, you can find a few pre-owned pieces—and, with any luck, perhaps even a never-worn model—on Chrono24 for under €3,000.
This Schaffhausen-based manufacturer has developed into a global luxury brand over the last decade, not least of all because of their legendary pilot’s chronograph. This watch is a modern interpretation of the historic military pieces in the IWC Mark and Big Pilot collections.
Its design emphasizes functional simplicity. It features large indices and numerals, sword-shaped hands that glow in the dark, and day and date displays, all against a black background. An ETA-based automatic movement ticks away inside this timepiece. Like its predecessors, the inside of the case protects the current model against magnetic fields. Over the years, models with blue, brown, or white dials as well as those with vintage designs have all been released, in case you’re looking for something a bit more special.
Founded in 1833, this manufacturer has quite a glorious history to look back on. They are best known for the legendary Reverso and their unparalleled technical achievements. Unlike the other three recommendations, this Jaeger-LeCoultre chronograph feels significantly more classic and elegant. The Master is more at home paired with a suit and jacket at a dignified event than it is on a wild adventure.
Many details point to its fine craftsmanship: a silver-plated dial with a sunburst pattern, tempered hands, classic rectangular pushers, and, of course, the intricate chronograph movement with a column wheel. While the date display at 5 o’clock may give purists pause, most people appreciate the usefulness of this feature in everyday life.
Despite their different prices, histories, and designs, these four chronographs are still fantastic representatives of the chronograph range.