Each Second Counts! These Are The 5 Best Luxury Chronograph Watches 2021

If you’re looking for something more than just a luxury watch to tell the time and want a bit more functionality – explore luxury chronograph watches.

The origins of chronograph watches can be traced back to the 19th century when Louis Moinet invented the first chronograph to be used for helping to track astronomical objects.

Chronograph watches offer the wearer additional functionality, tools and features. Essentially, you are getting a “two for the price of one” type of deal, because chronograph watches work as a regular timepiece and a stopwatch.

If a luxury watch is like an ornament on your wrist, mostly worn as a symbol of status – then the chronograph function can provide an additional use case to go along with it. This is great for watch enthusiasts, who are also hobbyists and require very precise timekeeping. For example, a lot of luxury dive watches will have chronograph functionality incorporated into them.

This doesn’t mean that chronograph watches are strictly reserved for professionals or hobbyists. Some of these luxury timepieces are very good looking and can easily be worn as an everyday watch. 

Chronograph watches have stood the test of time and have been used for their functionality on land, sea and air. These unique timepieces have been used to measure everything from fuel consumption by pilots to lap times on the racetrack.

What actually is a chronograph watch?

Chronograph watches incorporate two functions into them. The ability to tell the time like a regular display watch, combined with a stopwatch function. Usually, chronograph watches have an independent sweep second hand and a minute subdial. They can be started, stopped and restarted like any stopwatch.

What are chronograph watches used for?

Chronograph watches are typically used for the same reasons as any other timepiece – to tell the time. But the additional functionality of keeping track of seconds, minutes and hours is popular amongst divers, race car drivers, doctors and pilots. Chronograph watches actually used to be the watch-of-choice for pilots, who used them to calculate things like flying speed and fuel consumption.

Now that you have a brief idea of the history of chronograph watches, how they work and what they are used for, let’s take a closer look at some of these timepieces. With so many to choose from, it can be a daunting task to make your final decision. Lucky for you, we have narrowed it down to just 5 of our favourites this year.

In this article, we will look at the 5 best chronograph watches you can buy in 2021.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional | Best Luxury Chronograph Watches 2021

OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional

The achievements of this watch are truly out of this world (excuse the pun).

This unique timepiece was worn by Apollo 11 astronauts during the first moon landing mission in 1969 – including Neil Armstrong.

OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch is like no other chronograph. It’s known for its readability, accuracy and durability – proven by the most rigorous of testing. When every tenth of a second counts in a real life-or-death situation, you need a watch that you know won’t let you down.

The moonwatch remains the only watch in the world to be certified for use on an EVA (Extra-Vehicular Activity) by NASA. The dial chronograph features include small seconds sundial, a 30-minute and 12-hour recorder and a central chronograph hand.

Technical specifications
Movement
Swiss (Manual Winding) 
Material
Stainless Steel
Water Resistance
50m
Calibre
1863 (In-house)
Crystal
Sapphire
 
Power Reserve
48 hours
Case Diameter
42mm
 

 

Price
£5,000.00
or $6,350 USD

Zenith Chronomaster Revival El Primero | Best Luxury Chronograph Watches 2021

Zenith El Primero Chronomaster

The El Primero collection featured the world’s first integrated automatic chronograph movement.

Made using 278 different components, it remains the most precise chronograph movement in the world – oscillating at 36,000 vph. 

Higher frequencies offer better chronometric performance. Due to this high frequency, the El Primero Chronomaster is able to keep time to the nearest one-tenth of a second.

Considering all of the above, as well as its 50-hour power reserve and stylish retro-design, it would be difficult to argue that the El Primero Chronomaster isn’t one of the best chronograph watches to buy.

Technical specifications
Movement
Swiss (Automatic) 
Material
Stainless Steel
Water Resistance
50m
Calibre
El Primero (In-house)
Crystal
Sapphire
 
Power Reserve
50 hours
Case Diameter
37mm
 

 

Price
£6,900.00
or $8,200 USD

IWC Pilot’s Chronograph Spitfire | Best Luxury Chronograph Watches 2021

IWC Pilot’s Chronograph Spitfire

The pilot’s range was originally designed for aviation, offering the wearer impeccable timekeeping in the skies.

The Chronograph Spitfire watch has a sleek, black dial that features luminescent hands and markers for improved readability. It also has a date display window and 3 chronograph subdials. 

The Spitfire is one of the most technically advanced chronograph watches that you can really rely on, even under the most strenuous circumstances. This timepiece is uniquely shielded from magnetic fields and sudden drops in air pressure. 

Its colour scheme is inspired by the Spitfire’s cockpit – the most famous fighter aircraft in World War 2.

Technical specifications
Movement
Swiss (Automatic) 
Material
Stainless steel
Water Resistance
60m
Calibre
69380 (In-house)
Crystal
Sapphire
Power Reserve
46 hours
Case Diameter
41mm

 

Price
£5,500.00
or $5,950 USD

Breitling Superocean Héritage II Chronograph | Best Luxury Chronograph Watches 2021

Breitling Superocean Héritage II Chronograph

Exceeding all expectations, the Superocean Heritage watch collection is a true household name among professional divers and enthusiasts.

The SuperOcean Heritage chronograph watches are some of the best looking and most reliable timepieces in the luxury watch market. The classic look is combined with innovative technology that’s backed up by a COSC chronometer-certified movement. It’s estimated that only 3% of Swiss watches produced each year are COSC certified, making the SuperOcean Heritage easily one of the best chronograph watches out there.

These timepieces are very precise and highly durable with water resistance up to 200 metres. The black dial features 3 chronograph subdials, contained in a 44m stainless steel case and mounted on a stainless steel mesh strap.

Technical specifications

 

Movement
Swiss (Automatic) 
Material
Stainless Steel
Water Resistance
200m
Calibre
13 (in-house)
Crystal
Sapphire
 
Power Reserve
48 hours
Case Diameter
44mm
 

Price
£4,950.00
or $6,240 USD

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona | Best Luxury Chronograph Watches 2021

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

It was originally designed to meet the needs and requirements of space flight. But after losing out to the above-mentioned Omega Speedmaster, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona turned its attention to motor racing.

Now made for professional racing drivers, these highly precise chronograph watches allow the drivers to measure average speeds of up to 250 miles per hour. Now that is precision.

In fact, the Cosmograph Daytona is so precise that it provides a near-instantaneous start to the chronograph timing due to its refined mechanism to suit the ideal finger pressure on the pushers. It’s not only COSC Chronometer Certified, but it also sports the Superlative Chronometer certification – Rolex’s in-house accreditation only given to movements with accuracy to -2/+2 seconds per day.

These watches were made popular by actor and racing enthusiast Paul Newman. He is best known for winning an Oscar for his performance in the 1986 film The Colour of Money.

His personal Cosmograph Dayton, which he wore every day for 15 years, was sold at an auction for £13.2M in 2017.

Technical specifications

 

Movement
Swiss (Automatic) 
Material
Yellow Gold
Water Resistance
100m
Calibre
4130 (in-house)
Crystal
Sapphire
 
Power Reserve
72 hours
Case Diameter
40mm
 

Price
£22,850.00
or $28,500 USD

Max Laird | Wristwatches360

Written by Max Laird

Founder of Wristwatches360 & keen watch enthusiast.