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When thinking of Champagne: class, elegance, and sophistication come to mind. These themes were reiterated through the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Level 1 in Wines Certificate that I took. Discovering the complexities of the notes of lemon and subtleties of brioche bread when sampling two Champagnes struck a chord with me.

However, there is more than one kind of bubbly out there. There is Prosecco from Italy, Cava from Spain, and Crémant from France (yes, different types of sparkling wine exist in France.) With each of these wines, they carry different flavors, tones, and prices. That’s exactly what we are going to be exploring today, The 15 Best Champagne Dialed Watches.

Looking at this list of watches we will explore the varying tones of the dials, the quality, and price of these respective watches. Even though the list brings in a broad variety of timepieces, like the variety of sparkling wine out in the market, it is adequate to compare them all under the umbrella of Champagne Dials. And I can guarantee you, all these watches will age like fine wine.

What is a Champagne Dial Watch? – Picking the Perfect Bottle

When going to the store to get a bottle of wine to celebrate an occasion it can be overwhelming. Isle headers with “Country” or “Types” are often floating over thousands of selections. What typically draws someone into purchasing a bottle? The label. A survey in 2016 stated that 80% of consumers buy their wine solely based on how the label looks. This is truly how this list was compiled, mainly on the look of the shimmering Champagne dials below.

Added into the mix is the variety of price points and a quick insight into the movement that helps each timepiece function. A “Champagne” dial watch is typically a gold-colored hue that stretches the face of the dial and reiterates its namesake. This can vary from a light eggshell or an off-white tone all the way to heavily saturated yellow or sherry tone.

This gold color can be achieved through gold-plated dials, silver plated with gold, the texture of the dial, or even a paint or lacquer finish. The Champagne tone of the dial typically carries a sunburst material which is a brushed metal following a radial pattern instead of the prototypical brushed parallel lines giving it a highly reflective effect.

Now let’s pop this bottle and raise a glass to The 15 Best Champagne Dial Watches.

15. The Longines Master Collection

This beige dial makes it easy to see why diamonds are a girl’s (and watches,) best friend. This Longines may be as cliché as proposing to someone with a diamond ring in a Champagne flute. But as cheesy as it is, there is something charming about it.

This watch carries a classic feel as the size comes in at 34mm, with a stainless-steel case and holds the Longines Caliber L888.5 self-winding movement with an approximate 72-hour power reserve. The dial holds 12 diamonds (2 located at the 12 o’clock indices as the date window is at the 3 o’clock position) amounting to a total of 0.055 carats. This watch is priced at 2,250 CHF.

14. Zodiac Olympos Automatic

The Zodiac Olympos has one of the best dials on this list for three reasons. The first, it is segmented into four quadrants embracing the era of old 1950s vintage Omegas with their crosshair dials. Second, the radial finishing of the dial makes it shimmer in different ways giving it a pie pan effect. Finally, that Champagne dial is gleaming. The positioning of the crown at two o’clock and a blue typeface on the date wheel is also something to take note of.

The case shape is something you do not see everyday being pentagonal in design. Under the different case shape is an automatic Calibre 1-11 produced by Swiss Technology Production that will give this Zodiac a 44-hour power reserve. If you are interested in adding a modern brand with a classic feel, put this Olympos into your rotation from Exquisite Timepieces for $895.

13.Omega Speedmaster 38 Co‑Axial Chronometer Chronograph 38mm

The dial of this watch is a silvery-Champagne tone that is offset by the warmth of this Omega’s Sedna Gold™. This Speedmaster can be classified as a Sparkling Rosé in the world of sparkling wines. The case diameter comes in at 38mm with an Omega calibre 3330 powering this watch, giving it 52-hours of life. The dulled matte alligator strap plays into the monochromatic feel of this watch highlighting the one-of-a-kind blend of gold and the light Prosecco-esque dial. This watch is priced at $17,400.

12. Oris Divers Sixty-Five

The Oris Divers sixty-five may not be your typical Champagne dial, but it carries some of the characteristics of one. The case itself is bronze and stainless steel that measures in at 40mm with a brown dial that embodies the idea of a sparkling wine. The bronze case exterior will begin to patina over time adding characteristics and personalization to the watch. This bronze patina will compliment the dial colors while embracing the sparkling wine theme through the Super-LumiNova hands in light old radium.

The movement powering this Oris is a movement based on the Sellita Caliber SW200-1, which Oris coins the Caliber 733 that has a 38-hour power reserve. Oris is a brand that is often associated with being a watch collector’s watch brand. They are able to show this through such a high-quality timepiece at the great price of $1950.

11. The Longines Spirit

Longines lists this dial as a true Champagne color. This can be debated as the spectrum of color is displayed across the list and there is no correct definition of the color. The neutrality of this watch is the charm that pulls in the wearer. The applied Arabic numerals and the PVD gray polished hands contribute to the objective of highlighting the intricacies and subtleties of the Champagne dial. Like many other Longines this has the L888.4 movement enshrouded by the stainless steel case measuring at 37mm. The Longines Spirit has a price of 2,250 CHF.

10. Seiko Presage “Cocktail Time” Star bar Limited Edition

This limited edition Seiko Cocktail Time is a definite head turner. The honeycomb shape splattered across the dial gives the depiction of bubbles floating across the watch. This Cocktail Time is coined the “Star Bar” and is limited to just 6,000 pieces. The automatic with manual winding movement has a power reserve of approximately 41-hours.

One eye-catching aspect is the skeletonized porthole that allows the wearer to see part of the movement from the front, and if that’s not enough the wearer can turn over the watch and see the displayed caseback with the engraved serial number and the number of the allocated limited edition. The diameter of this timepiece is 40.5mm of pure class. This watch is incredibly priced at $595.

9. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Day Date Desert Edition

Blancpain is a sleeper brand that deserves more attention. This limited edition fifty fathoms could be one of the reasons why. The bathyscaphe day date desert edition shows a sandy Champagne colored dial that features day and date complications. The red tip of the second hand adds the perfect contrast across the neutral toned dial. Behind that gorgeous dial lies the Caliber 1315DD movement that boasts a 120-hour power reserve.

A unidirectional satin-brushed steel bezel with a mocha colored ceramic insert makes the dial pop even more. The sail-cloth strap compliments the ruggedness of this watch. At 43mm in diameter, it will sit hefty on the wrist, but with a Champagne dial as unique as this one it is worth the extra real estate. This Blancpain will set you back $12,700.

8. Seiko 5 Sports

The dial of this Seiko Five Sports is a matte beige tone that is lighter in the middle and dissipates to a darker matte style towards the edges of the dial. The SRPD67’s dial paints the picture of a light bottle of sparkling wine. Underneath that dial is the Automatic Seiko caliber 4R36 giving this watch approximately 41 hours of power reserve, however, it may not be the most accurate timepiece to add to your collection.

The movement can run at +45 to -35 seconds per day. A Seiko 5 is a great gift-watch to those just entering the world of watches as they are conducive to most budgets and provide indisputable quality. This model also would match well with a glass of Champagne in hand or as a celebratory gift for an important life moment. Priced on Amazon at $195.98

7.5. Seiko 5 Sports BAIT Collaboration

This watch is a sneaky addition to the list. Maybe I should have called this article “The Top 16 Champagne Dial Watches”? The reason that this watch gets a decimal listing is because it is so similar to the previous Seiko 5. This watch has the same technical specs as the prior with some additional flare.

This is a limited edition collaboration that is done with BAIT and was previously available on the Exquisite Timepieces’ website. The creamy Champagne dial does have the sunburst or reflection that a glass of bubbly produces but it does share the same color palette. This watch was priced at $440 and is limited to 300 pieces.

7. Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 White Grape 116000

To make wine you gather some grapes and through the process of fermentation you can  create that beloved beverage we all love. I had to include the Rolex Oyster Perpetual White Grape in this list because this grape carries a Champagne tone. One thing that pleases me about the Oyster Perpetual models is the symmetry of the dial.

The stainless steel case back encloses the Rolex calibre 3130 automatic movement with 42-hours of power. This Oyster Perpetual 36mm has been discontinued but was on Exquisite Timepieces. Keep your eyes on the website for full sets of watches like this one.

6. The Longines Flagship

As you can tell by the third Longines on this list, I may hold some favoritism to the brand. The simplicity of the indices of the Longines Flagship is what makes it wonderful. The size of the case at 40mm makes it slightly big for a dress watch, yet coming in at 8.7mm thickness makes it feel smaller than it actually is.

This beige-champagne tone dial is contrasted by the silver hands and indices. Similar to the Longines L2.357.4.07.6 this uses the L888 movement that is based on the ETA A31.L11 movement. This handsome Champagne dialed watch is priced at 1,650 CHF and is an incredible value at this price point.

5. Glashütte Original Alfred Helwig Tourbillon 1920 – Limited Edition

This dial may be an off-Champagne tone but the texture is what embodies the theme on this watch. The dial is made of solid gold and is solid plated in silver by friction, replicating the texture that you may find in Champagne or the microbubbles found in different ages of sparkling wine. And of course Champagne and Tourbillon share many of the same synonyms of class, elegance, and success.

The Alfred Helwig Tourbillon 1920 – Limited Edition uses a manual wind Calibre 54-01 which has a running time of 100-hours and hosts a flying Tourbillon through its display caseback. This Glashütte Original is the priciest of this list, coming in at $121,800.

4. Nomos Minimatik Champagne

Nomos is a brand that brings value to the forefront of every single model that they release. The Minimatik in champagne is what I picture when people describe a champagne dial watch. Bauhaus design and the excellence of German manufacturing resonates from the typeface all the way to the minimalist inspired clasp. The dark numerals add a bold contrast to the light shade stretching across the dial.

Nestled between the contrast of light and dark, the neon orange accents compose the dichotomy of colors together. The Minimatik’s galvanized dial is accented with Champagne gold minute markers. Nomos continues to amaze by adding their in-house built caliber DUW 3001 which uses Nomos’ proprietary swing systems that promises outstanding accuracy. All of these features and beautiful aesthetic is priced at $3,800.

3. The Grand Seiko

This watch exudes the fizziness of Champagne dial watches. As we all know, Grand Seiko’s dials are masterpieces and this one surely lives up to those expectations. The muted tones on the dial are contrasted by the stunning blue tempered steel hand. This watch is powered by the Caliber 9R65 Automatic Spring Drive movement.

The movement has a 72-hour power reserve and has a power reserve indicator in the bottom left corner of the dial. Grand Seiko is known for the accuracy of their watches and time keeping ability. The SBGA373 comes in at +/- 1 seconds per day (+/- 15 seconds per month.) This Grand Seiko will cost $5200.

2.Rolex Day-Date President

When you think of a quintessential Champagne dial watch, this Rolex Day-Date immediately comes to my mind. This pristine example of a Day-Date President 18238 from 1990 comes as a full set with original box and papers. This set has been stored in a safe and has the original Rolex sticker on the back of the watch and is in new old-stock (NOS) condition. The bright 18k dial with date and day complications in champagne colored gold only add to the allure of this watch.

This is the watch that is associated with success and celebration. Whether it being a big business deal, retirement, or another celebration of importance; this 36mm piece of perfection pairs well with a bottle of Champagne like Dom Pérignon. The watch and the complete set can be yours for $36,000 found on the Exquisite Timepieces website.

1. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional Co‑Axial Master Chronometer Chronograph 42mm

This watch is truly breathtaking. The dial uses a sun-brushed version of Omega’s proprietary 18K Moonshine Gold™. This may not be an exact Champagne color dial but we can get away with calling it a sparkling Rosé. This Speedmaster Professional is less of a tool watch and definitely embodies the “pop bottles” mentality being shrouded in 18k gold. However, this watch is not just a pretty face. It has the technical specs to back itself up.

This Speedy is a Certified Master Chronometer, approved by METAS, and resistant to magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss, (which is actually 15x the magnetic resistance of the Rolex Milgauss)! If this is not enough to convince you that this is a celebration watch, you can flip this timepiece over and see the sophisticated workings of the manual wind Calibre Omega 3861 through the sapphire caseback that has a 50-hour power reserve. This watch is well worth the price coming in at $39,700.

Time to put a cork in it!

Throughout this list of 15 (I guess 16!) watches I hope everyone found some Champagne that appeases their palate. There is a watch for every Champagne lover and these ones are worth celebrating with. Cheers!

Chronograph watches were first applied in the recording of elapsed time during horse races and since then they have established themselves as a versatile addition to the field of timekeeping. It all began two hundred years ago when French watchmaker, Louis Moinet, invented the first modern Chronograph for astronomers to track the movements of stars and planets.

His amazing tech invention was accurate to within 1/60th of a second and was celebrated until 1821 when Louis XVIII commissioned Nicolas Rieussec to invent a device for timing his horses. Nicolas’s chronograph was accurate to within a fifth of a second and became the first-ever commercialised chronograph. Think of a chronograph watch as a stopwatch that can be ‘activated’ and stopped at your whim.

What Makes a Chronograph Watch?

Not just any timepiece can call itself a chronograph. Wondering what’s special about chronograph watches?? Well, apart from chronograph watches being one of the most well-crafted mechanical fineries used in calculating precise timing, they are compact and downright fantastic. Many chronograph watches can display the time and often the date as well, can calculate your average speed, measure your heart rate, and keep track of two events at the same time.

A lot of them come with two or three subdials that display the hours, minutes, and seconds. So whether you are on a search for an iconic watch or you’re just a collector looking for your first watch, a chronograph watch is a must-have for any watch collector – thanks to its unique features and details!

Here Are A Few Things You Should Know Before Purchasing A Chronograph Watch.

Gather here if you’re a sports fiend with an interest in horology and about to purchase your first chronograph watch. Gone are the days when getting a watch simply because it is ‘cool looking’ was enough. Especially when it’s a tool watch, such as a chronograph timepiece, When it comes to purchasing chronograph watches, there’s always the right one out there for you but take into consideration the following;

Mechanical Or Quartz?

Mechanical watches are designed to run without a battery, while quartz watches require a battery. Often mechanical watches have more interesting mechanisms on their chronograph features and can go on for many years without needing a change but Quartz watches are more affordable.

Legibility

A chronograph watch with an easy-to-read display of elapsed time will offer more value and should be sought for – especially since most manufacturers ditch this feature for the sake of stylish designs.

Functionality

Beyond the aesthetic appeal, chronographs are known for offering many practical uses. With your chronograph, you could tell the distance to certain events, determine the shortest commuting route, track cooking times, parking meters, and of course time races. Tachymeters are usually featured on chronograph watches and are used to measure the speed traveled over a fixed period.

A tachymeter scale function is either fixed to the case or comes as part of the rotating bezel and the most important aspect of it is its accuracy. inspired by the thrill and glamour of motorsport. So if you’re an avid racer, you can use the tachymeter function on your chronograph to measure vehicle speeds accurately, which is considered the most accurate device for measuring time.

And as we creep into the end of the year, we thought it would be only right to offer you 15 of the best chronographs under $5k – enjoy!

In no particular order;

1. Longines Spirit Pioneer Titanium Chronograph

The Longlines Spirit collection takes inspiration from its legacy in aviation and this new ultra-bright and ultra-light elegant piece pays homage to the glory days of aviation while including present-day aesthetics. As with all other watches in the Spirit collection, this new Longines Spirit Pioneer Edition is powered by a high-quality automatic caliber produced by ETA exclusively for Longines, but unlike other existing Spirit chronograph watches, this lightweight piece offers a sporty take and comes in a black synthetic strap in addition to neon green stitches that corresponds with the visible matt black dial’s hands and Arabic numerals.

A scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, with several layers of anti-reflective coating on both sides, gives it a luxurious aesthetic and enhances its modern personality. The L688.4 movement, a COSC-certified chronometer, is compact and refined — a self-winding mechanical marvel with an impressive power reserve of 66 hours and 28,800 vibrations per hour. All contained in this 42mm stainless-steel case, which is an elegant reinvention of the legendary watch.

Quick Facts

Reference: L3.829.1.53.2 – L38291532
Caliber: L688.4
Movement: Automatic
Dimension: 42.00 mm
Lug distance: 22 mm
Thickness: 16.50 mm
Dial Color: Black matt
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Power reserve: 66-hour power reserve
Weight: 92.8 g
Water Resistance: 10 bar (100m)
Strap type: Calf leather
Screw Down Crown: Yes
Price: $3,900.00

2. Hamilton American Classic Intra-Matic Auto Chrono

Powered by the H-31 automatic movement, the Chrono-Matic 50 features a rather unique (and kind of cool) sporty stance with an ultra-elegant reverse panda dial vibe. The vintage-tinged timepiece is a rugged modern reworking of a 1968 signature timepiece that offers a sporty but classic look. The bold red color accents scream legibility, while the comfortable 100m water resistance makes it perfect for the demands of the sportiest of models, relatively spartan for a chronograph watch. Instead of three subdials, there are two that blend seamlessly with the design. This watch relies on the H-31 powerful automatic chronograph movement that offers an impressive 60-hour power reserve.

Quick Facts

Reference: H51616731
Caliber: H-31
Collection: American Classic
Movement: Automatic
Case size: 48.5mm x 51.50mm
Dial Color: Black
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Lug width: 22mm
Power reserve: 60-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 10 bar (100m)
Strap type: Calf leather
Screw Down Crown: Yes
Price: $2,245 for the bracelet, $2,045 for leather

3. Seiko Presage SRQ023

Seiko is a brand known to blend technology with superior craftsmanship and design. So if you need an elegant chronograph watch but aren’t ready to stretch your budget to the Speedmaster level, this one comes in highly recommended.

The watch is powered by a Seiko Caliber 8R48, a hand-wound movement with a 45-hour power reserve and a 28,800 vph. The heart of this timepiece comes encased in a 42 mm stainless steel case with a 100 meter water depth rating, which means you can conveniently swim with it but it’s not suitable for diving. The dial is simple, legible, and protected by a sapphire crystal.

Quick Facts

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Chronograph, and Date
Caliber: 8R48
Movement: Automatic.
Case size: 42mm x 49.5mm
Dial Color: White
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Power reserve: 45-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 10 bar (100m)
Price: $2,400

4. Longines Avigation BigEye

An extremely elegant Swiss-made Longines chronograph wristwatch for gents that has all the attributes of luxury sports with a gorgeous 27-jewel movement. The supple leather band enhances a vintage-inspired look that fits well on the wrist. Speaking of the dial, it’s legible and features a tachymeter scale on the bezel. Inside is a self-winding mechanical movement that beats at 28,800 vph, with a power reserve of approximately 66 hours.

With the Longlines pattern design on the oscillating bridge, there’s no mistaking who powered this reliable movement. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with several layers of anti-reflective coating on the underside lends this timepiece an additional high visual quality. This new model also comes with a 5-year warranty

Quick Facts

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Chronograph, and Date
Caliber: L688
Movement: Automatic.
Case size: 42mm x 49.5mm
Dimension: Ø 41.00 mm
Thickness: 14.50 mm
Dial Color: Petroleum
Case Material: Stainless steel
Material: Titanium
Crystal: Sapphire
Power reserve: 54-hour power reserve
Water Resistance : 3 bar (30m)
Price: US$2,825.

5. TISSOT HERITAGE 1973

Possibly the best value-for-money chronograph sports watch on the market, the Tissot Heritage 1973 bears the emblematic design of the 1970s and has been praised by reviewers universally for its elegant finishing and low price point.

This elegant sports watch comes in a 43mm stainless steel case with domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, which means it does wear very comfortably and follows the distinguished Heritage’s sleek, tonneau shape with a very legible chronograph dial that looks great on the bracelet. It’s a bit big at 125g so if you don’t mind a bit of extra thickness and prefer a watch with a bit of heft, this won’t be a bad option. Inside, the ETA A05.H31, a modified Valjoux 775 provides this timepiece with an extended 60-hour power reserve.

Quick Facts

Brand: Tissot
Model: Heritage
Functions: Central 60-second chronograph hand, 30 minutes and 60 seconds counters, 12 hours.
Caliber: A05.H31
Movement: Swiss Tissot automatic
Case size: 43mm
Dial Color: Silver
Case Material: Stainless steel
Case shape: Tonneau (shape)
Strap color: Brown
Crystal: Sapphire
Power reserve: 60-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 10 bar (100m)
Price: US$2,100

6. KHAKI AVIATION PIONEER MECHANICAL CHRONO

Distinctive, daring, and definitely an attention-grabber, the Khaki aviation pioneer mechanical Chrono alludes to a vintage military aviation design and is inspired by the iconic models which were created for the British Royal Air Force in the 1970s. This elegant timepiece is powered by the incredible H-51-Si is a mechanical chronograph movement with 60 hours of power reserve. It also features a balance spring made from an anti-magnetic silicon material.

Quick Facts

Reference: H76409530
Functions: Chronograph and Date
Caliber: H-51-Si mechanical chronograph movement
Movement: Hand-winding.
Case size: 40mm
Dial Color: Black
Strap: Brown calf leather
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Power reserve: 60-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 10 bar (100m)
Price: $2,045.

7. TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16

Tag Heuer, the trailblazer watch brand in horological content, quality, and prestige presents this sleek, and elegant timepiece in a 41mm case that is nicely shaped, with sharp lugs and conspicuous pump pushers. Although the price is getting quite thin in the < $5,000 category on Tag Heuer’s website, I couldn’t resist the urge to include it here because of its reliable functionality and special features – like the tachymeter scale, inspired by the thrill and glamour of motorsport, which makes it more accurate than most.

It is known that TAG Heuer’s most famous collection is the Carrera and the execution of several components of this timepiece proves very impressive and does not disappoint with a design that hearkens back to the collection’s earliest racing roots. The Carrera Calibre 16 is water-resistant to 100 meters.

Quick Facts

Model: TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 Chronograph
Functions: Chronograph and Date
Caliber: Calibre 16
Movement: Automatic.
Case size: 41mm
Dial color Black
Strap: Black leather strap with contrasting red stitching.
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Power reserve: 42-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 10 bar (100m)
Price: $5,000

8. Oris Divers Sixty Five Chronograph

If you’re searching for a chronograph watch that radiates a sporty, modern charm then the Oris Divers Sixty Five With a passion for precision mechanics, Oris powers this chronograph watch with automatic movement. The layout is just crisp and easy to read, while the trim on the bezel is well finished with a gilt application over a black dial, the elegant steel elements in addition to the brown vintage leather strap and blue stitches exude a stylish harmony that commands attention from every watch collector. This watch also sports a black dial and offers water resistance up to 100 meters.

Quick Facts

Brand: Oris
Model: Divers Sixty Five
Reference: 01 771 7744 4354-07 5 21 45
Functions: Chronograph and Date
Caliber: Oris 771 (Sellita SW510 base)
Movement: Automatic.
Dimensions: 43mm
Dial Color: Black
Case Material: Stainless steel/bronze bezel
Crystal: Sapphire
Power reserve: 48-hour power reserve
Strap/bracelet: Leather or rivet bracelet
Water Resistance: 10 bar (100m)
Price: $4,000 (strap), $4,250 (bracelet)

9. Farer Chrono-Classic Swann

Farer Chrono-Classic Swann bridges a sporty stance with vibes from the 60s in this vintage classic timepiece. The magenta sunray dials with duck egg blue markings pay tribute to Olympic champion, Sidney Swann who took gold in Men’s Eight Rowing in 1912, and meshes well with the smaller vintage-style proportions that it comes with, giving it an overall plush look.

A sapphire domed crystal means it is less prone to damage, making it an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts. The classic style Chrono has soft-edged button pushers, perfect dimensions, and is fitted with Swiss-made Dubois Dépraz DD2022 caliber.

Quick facts

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph.
Caliber: Dubois Dépraz DD2022
Movement: Automatic, 59 Jewels
Case size: 39mm x 12mm
Dial: Magenta sunray adonized dial
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Power reserve: 43-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 10 bar (100m)
Strap: Blue (Meredith/Jackson) or purple (Swann) leather with stainless steel buckle fastening.
Price: $2,598.29USD

10. Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture

Inspired by 1930’s Flyback Chronographs, The Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture came with a desire to go beyond a regular chronograph configuration. It was first released at Baselworld in 2017, and is equipped with an FC-760 automatic manufacture movement, an in-house movement with 32 jewels.

The 42 mm stainless steel case is comfortable on the wrist Inspired by the Flyback chronographs of 1930, it features a time-counting mechanism that can be stopped and reset at the push of a button. Now available in two new colorways (blue and chocolate). This modern interpretation of the classic 1930s chronographs features a time-counting mechanism that can be stopped and reset at the push of a button.

Quick facts

Reference: FC-760V4H4
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph.
Caliber: FC-760
Movement: Automatic, 32 Jewels
Case size: 42 mm
Dial: Silver
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Power reserve: 38-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 5 bar (50m)
Strap: Alligator.
Price: $4,295 (Blue) and $4,595 (Chocolate)

11. Massena LAB Uni-Racer

The Massena LAB Uni-Racer, a faithful replica of the Universal Geneve Big Eye is an attestation to Massena LAB’s art of defying the rules when it comes to bringing back the form and function of the chronographs. The limited Massena Lab Uni-Racer, now available in three new colorways, is a modern illustration of the cult classic, but with a “Big Eye” thanks to its oversized 30-minute sub-counter and its smaller seconds sub-dial. The case measures 39mm in diameter and 13mm in height, contrary to the original model’s 36mm case.

An outstanding element of vintage Universal Genève watches has always been their bold hands, and the Uni-Compax is no exception to the rule, with modern dauphine hands for the hours and minutes, and straight luminous batons for the sub-counters. Inside a solid steel case back, the limited Massena Lab Uni-Racer is powered by the Uni-Racer ​UR-001. A well-known, and reliable Sellita SW-510 and movement, that offers a comfortable 58h power reserve and runs at a 4 Hz frequency.

Quick facts

Functions: Hours, minutes, with small seconds, Chronograph with central minute counter and 30-minute subdial
Caliber: SW510 M
Movement: Hand Wound, 23 jewels, 28,800 vibrations/hours
Case size: 39mm x 13mm
Dial: Black Dial with silver register
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Dome acrylic crystal
Power reserve: 58-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 5 bar (50m)
Bracelet: Dove grey strap with signature stainless steel tang buckle.
Price: $3,495USD

12. MIDO Multifort Patrimony Chronograph

Together with Tissot, Hamilton, or Rado, Mido is one of the brands that play on the watch world’s accessible luxury timepieces. This exceptional watch is a tribute to the MIDO’s Multichrono. An iconic chronograph from the 1930s. To meet contemporary standards, it is offered in a 42mm diameter case, which means it will sit comfortably on most wrists, with tapered lugs, a very thin bezel, and a sapphire crystal on top to present the retro looks of a vintage watch.

The sunray-brushed blue dial plays beautifully with light and is all about legibility. Equipped with a tachymeter scale, two counters add to offer it a more balanced and uncluttered look. At the heart of this chronograph, the Caliber 60 automatic movement offers a power reserve of up to 60 hours.

Quick facts

Item: Mido Men’s Watch
Model: M040.427.36.042.00
Collection: Multifort Patrimony
Case: Rose Gold PVD Stainless Steel
Caliber: Mido Caliber 60 (Base ETA A05.H31)
Movement: Automatic
Case size: 42 mm
Dial: Blue
Dial Features: Date Display / Luminous Hands / Chronograph / Tachymeter / Arabic Numerals
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire Crystal
Power reserve: 60-hour power reserve
Water Resistance: 5 bar (50m)
Bracelet: Brown Leather Strap
Price: $2,200USD

13. Sinn 103 St Pilot Chronograph Automatic Watch – Black Dial – Solid Bracelet

Sinn watches are renowned for outstanding technical refinements such as AR Dehumidifying and Tegiment technology, lubricant-free escapement, and even titanium cases. 103 St is distinctively Sinn with a classical and simple design that bears roots dating back to Sinn’s early history of pilot chronograph making. This elegant timepiece features a matte black dial, three subdials for continuous seconds, a date/day display, and luminous coated hands and indices making legibility in the dark a walk in the park! Oh – and that 41mm sizing is a real sweet spot that is all about endurance and functionality.

Inside, the reliable Concepto C99001 self-winding movement, which is anti-magnetic as per DIN 8309, powers this watch. With a chronograph, pilot’s bezel with a luminous key mark, day-date indicator, and low-pressure resistance to 200 meters, this is a watch built to be a versatile and trustworthy daily wearer.

Quick facts

Functions: Hours, minutes, with small seconds, Chronograph with central minute counter and 30-minute subdial
Caliber: Concepto C99001 (German)
Movement: Automatic
Case size: 41mm
Watch Thickness: 15.5mm
Dial: Matte black dial protected by shock-resistant acrylic glass.
Case Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Acrylic Crysta
Power reserve: 58-hour power reserve
Weight: 74 grams
Water Resistance: 20 bar (200m)
Bracelet: Stainless steel
Price: $2,486.05USD

14. Longines Master Calendar Chronograph

At $3,325, Longines Master Calendar Chronograph represents one of the greatest values in watchmaking. First launched in 2005 and inspired by Longines’ desire to continue producing long-lasting iconic luxury timepieces, the Longines Master Collection of chronographs impeccably encapsulates the outstanding engineering and classic aesthetics for which Longlines is renowned. For starters, the blue steel hands are without many reflective surfaces on the dial, which are designed to mimic the look of a guilloche-engraved dial and offer a high amount of legibility.

Inside, the Swiss-made ETA Valjoux 775, modified visually and technically with the inclusion of a column-wheel transmission system to become Longines caliber L687, provides a 48-hour power reserve. This timepiece might not be a sports watch at only 30 meters of water resistance, but it is designed with top-notch materials and is durable enough to serve as a daily-wear timepiece.

Quick facts

Brand: Longines
Model: Master Collection reference L2.673.4.78.3
Functions: Chronograph, Month, Date, Day, GMT, Moonphase, Hours, Minutes, Second
Caliber: Longines Calibre L678m
Movement: Automatic
Case size: 40mm
Watch Thickness: 14mm
Dial Color: Blue
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Crystal: Scratch Resistant Sapphire Crystal
Power reserve: 48-hour power reserve
Water Resistance : 3 bar (30m)
Price: $3,325

15. Kurono Chronograph 2

Last but not least, we have this cool, vintage-inspired chronograph, launched in 2021 by Kurono, the accessible sub-brand of watchmaker Hajime Asaoka. The Chronograph 2 was a smash hit when it dropped, selling out in less than five minutes. Kurono’s 38mm column-wheel chronograph timepiece effortlessly combines the historic appeal of a true icon with the sophistication of a contemporary timepiece.

The dial features contrasting layers of gloss black with a base of dark brown accentuated with a copper tachymeter and silver chronograph scale, creating a unique personality that makes it stand out from the crowd. Inside, a solid Seiko caliber NE86 automatic movement keeps the price accessible so if you’re in the market for an exquisite chronograph but aren’t willing to stretch your budget to the Speedmaster level, Kurono has delivered a terrific alternative that is more than just a piece of mechanical finery for precise timing.

Quick facts

Brand: Kurono
Model: Chronograph 2
Functions: Chronograph, date window
Caliber: Seiko caliber NE86
Movement: Automatic
Case size: 38mm
Watch Thickness: 13.9mm
Dial Color: Black
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Crystal: Sapphire Crystal
Power reserve: 45-hour power reserve
Water Resistance : 3 bar (30m)
Price: $3,993USD

There are few features that enamor a watch enthusiast like a chronograph function. I am not sure exactly what it is that draws us in, but their popularity among enthusiasts speaks for itself. With limited objective purposes that a wristwatch can provide outside of telling the time, it could simply be the fact that a chronograph gives us another way to interact with these machines we obsess over.

If that was the only factor, wouldn’t we all just aspire for the most complicated watch that we can afford. It must go deeper than that. The chronograph function turns our watch we love into an actual tool. It makes them easier to justify their necessity of ownership, not only to yourself, but to your significant others as well (and isn’t that what really matters)!

If we are honest with ourselves (something most of us watch enthusiasts HATE doing), a chronograph watch doesn’t really serve any practical function to our lives that we couldn’t get from our phones. To those of you logical enough to make that argument; How exactly did you find this article? And why are you still reading? This hobby is clearly for the unhinged radicals that value precision over practicality and craftsmanship over convenience!

How many types of Chronographs are there?

As we evaluate the chronograph there are several ways to provide this functionality to our timekeepers. There are affordable quartz offerings, hand winding mechanical movements, automatic mechanical movements, and then the jaw dropping artistry coming out of the ultra-luxury brands such as A. Lange & Sohne or Breguet. Add to this the fact that almost every brand all the way from entry level to ultra-luxury, both mainstream and micro brand, create a watch with a chronograph and we are certainly spoiled for choice.

Are all chronographs expensive?

Time to slam on those brakes! If you’re reading this article, you very well could be in my same shoes. A mere mortal, with enough money to pay for things you need and a little extra for the fun stuff. Unfortunately for us instead of choosing a perfectly fine hobby like collecting rocks or another free medium, you chose wristwatches; A hobby most enjoyed by those with copious amounts of spare cash.

If you work hard and are disciplined most of us could save up $2k. There are some excellent examples of wristwatches under this price that really make me question why I ever need to spend more. Chronographs rarely make these lists of best watches under $2k and there’s a good reason. These complicated watches are expensive! Let’s take a journey to the most affordable corners of the entry level and luxury watch market (the irony is not lost on me) and find the 12 best chronograph watches under $2k. And because I want this list to be as interesting and informative as possible, I am only going to select one watch per brand.

Budget Options for the most Frugal of Collectors

Seagull 1963

Starting off our list is a true hero of the frugal watch community. The Seagull 1963 provides a mechanical hand wind movement at a price that many other watch companies charge for a replacement strap. The version that I would go with comes in with a 38mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, and classic cream dial with gold indices. The watch screams vintage and has small pops of flair like a red star on the dial to help it stand out from the crowd.

The real showstopper here is the in-house Seagull ST19 hand wind mechanical chronograph. The movement is manufactured in China but based off the famed Venus caliber 175. Prices vary on this model depending on how you choose to spec it out, but even if you spec it to the top, you’ll be under $500, let alone the $2000 budget we have here. You might even have enough left over to pick yourself up a nice time only piece to round out the collection.

Bulova Chronograph A 98A252

If vintage design is your thing, but you’d rather have a piece that you can just pick up and go, look no further than the Bulova Chronograph A. This model, which is commonly referred to as the “surfboard” by collectors, has a great vintage aesthetic, but will be ready for action thanks to the robust quartz movement. The watch features a 40.5mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, and a nice 200-meter water resistance. The real stand out for this watch is the surfboard style sub register layout and bicolor dive bezel.

This gives the timepiece a very sporty vibe. There are lots of colors to choose from within this model, but the black and red really sings to me. This model will come matched with tropic style rubber strap allowing you to not only look at a surfboard on the dial, but have the option to actually jump on a real one and catch some waves. With a list price hovering around the $700 mark and discounts almost always available, this watch is far from a budget buster.

Citizen Promaster Skyhawk A-T JY8078-52L

In the world of chronographs, pilot inspired timepieces are highly coveted and commonly drawn upon for inspiration. If the $6k plus market for a new Breitling Navitimer isn’t for you, but you want something with serious aviation heritage, than Citizen and their Promaster Skyhawk line might be exactly what you’re looking for. This version is a Blue Angels edition and comes with a classic blue and yellow color scheme to match.

The stainless steel case comes in at a hefty 45mm, but given how many complications they managed to squeeze on this, the size is more than justified. My favorite attribute of this watch is the Eco Drive movement, gaining its power from the sun as opposed to a traditional battery. Add to this the atomic time keeping feature, slide rule bezel, and endless digital features and you have a watch that can almost do it all, whether you’re in a plane or not, at less than $800.

Micro Brand Offerings for those Seeking Something to Match with their Favorite IPA
Unimatic U3 Classic

One of the best ways to stretch your hard-earned dollar in the world of watch collecting is through the exploration of micro brands. This area can be hit or miss, but there are a few brands on this list that absolutely knock it out of the park. First of these brands is Unimatic with their U3 Classic. This quartz powered chronograph carries the distinct Unimatic Italian aesthetic and seamlessly integrates a chronograph function.

This watch comes in at 41.5mm stainless steel case and features a sapphire crystal and unique meca-quartz caliber with the use of the Seiko VK64. This movement utilizes a mechanical chronograph module that is added to a typical quartz powered watch. If you are mesmerized by the smooth sweep of a mechanical watch, this chronograph may be enough to scratch the itch. Combine this technology with the distinct no frills look of a Unimatic and you have a very compelling option at roughly $700.

Studio Underd0g Mint Ch0c Chip (Gen 2)

Perhaps one of the best examples of a microbrand catching fire in the watch community is Studio Underd0g. Their bold color choices helped them achieve success almost immediately while introducing their collection to the world during the uncertainty of a global pandemic. The watermelon color iteration receives a lot of the glory, but I am an absolute sucker for their Mint Ch0c Chip design. The mint green dial and brown accents help to give this watch its namesake and the combo works surprisingly well.

This watch features 38.5mm stainless steel case and is powered by the previously mentioned ST19 mechanical chronograph. The price will come in at close to double what you could find a Seagull 1963 for and good luck finding one in stock as they are almost always out of stock. Even with those drawbacks this watch deserves all of the hype that it has received and I would certainly line up for 2 scoops of this!

Maen Skymaster 38 MKII-Panda

If you’re open to a micro brand but lust after something a little more traditional, there are few brands that can pack as much of a punch as Maen. Their Skymaster 38 MKII has a beautiful 38mm stainless steel case and features a 12-hour ceramic uni-directional GMT bezel. Add this functionality to the already pleasing visual representation and you have a watch that is hard to beat at any price. Where Maen really separates itself from the other micro brands on this list is their use of a top-grade Swiss ETA 2892-2 movement.

This modular chronograph allows this watch to come in at a very svelte 12.9mm. The panda dial variation with the bracelet is my favorite of the current offerings and even with this upgrade you are still looking at less than $1100. As is the case with many of these lower production micro brands, supply can be hard to come by. It’s like people have figured out that this is a tremendous value or something.

Sticking to the Classics of Mainstream Entry Level Luxury

Longines Conquest Chronograph Quartz-L3.700.4.96.6

There are few brands in the luxury watch space that carry as much name cache among the general population as Longines. With a history dating back to the 19th century and some of the greatest watchmaking achievements under their belt, the Longines name stands for something. All of their traditional mechanical chronograph movements, despite presenting some of the most significant value among all chronograph watches, do fall just outside of our $2k parameter. That’s when our favorite cost saving movement, quartz, is here to save the day.

The Conquest Chronograph is aesthetically very similar to the automatic version, featuring a 41mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal, and unique button pushers that scream Longines. The quartz movement in this watch is the L440.2 manufactured by ETA and is capable of measuring 1/100th of a second. Considering that human reaction time is considerably higher than that number, this watch is as accurate as humanly possible. If precision in a chronograph is what you are looking for, you simply won’t do better than this Longines Conquest Chronograph and you won’t even need to spend $1500 to get it.

Christopher Ward C65 Chronograph C65-41ACH1-S0BB0-B0

Long considered one of the mainstays of the micro brand community, Christopher Ward has done enough for the watchmaking community, and British watchmaking in particular, to graduate to a mainstream brand. Sure, they are still disrupting the industry and cutting out the middleman (collective watch enthusiast eyeroll), but they are going about it the right way. The C65 Chronograph is a beautiful example of what makes Christopher Ward so great.

A 41mm Stainless steel case, screw down pushers, and sapphire crystal help give you the confidence that this watch will stand the test of time. What really helps set this watch apart is their use of vintage inspired colors and sub dials. I can’t help but picture this watch in a Steve McQueen film and very much looking the part. Pair this with their use of a Swiss made Sellita SW510 automatic movement and you have a very compelling option for anyone looking to buy a chronograph, whether you have a $2k ceiling or not. Lucky for you, this great watch will set you back less than $1800.

Certina DS Chronograph Automatic

If traditional watch design is more your speed, there are few options that will look as classy as the DS Chronograph from Certina. This design evokes the spirit of something that would be coming out of the Holy Trinity and not a mid-tier brand of the Swatch group. Coming in with a 42mm case and 14mm case thickness, this watch may struggle to be your exclusive dress watch, but luckily with the swap of a strap, this watch would look just at home with jeans and a sweater.

The DS Chronograph is powered by a modified ETA movement that incorporates silicone components into a traditional 7750. Despite looking the part of a watch from a bygone era, the modern sizing and use of modern components help elevate this watch to a suitable everyday wear. Despite having these improvements, this watch still finds a way to slide beneath the $2k budget, even if there is literally nothing to spare.

My picks- The 3 Chronographs that have me in Jeopardy of Sleeping on the Couch

Tissot PRX Automatic Chronograph T137.427.11.041.00

I am not sure if you know this, but blue dial integrated steel sports watches are kind of having a moment. Despite most of these mainstream offerings being presented from brands who would never be on a list like this, Tissot decided to change the game and make something for the common folk. The Tissot PRX has had a meteoric rise in popularity and the expansions in this line are evidence to this. The PRX Automatic Chronograph is the best iteration of this line yet, combining the iconic design and Swiss Made automatic chronograph movement.

The 42mm stainless steel case and integrated bracelet may reserve this option to watch enthusiast with average or above average wrist, but the cool vibes of this piece have me considering bulking up to put some meat on these chicken wrists. The Blue dial and white sub dials give this watch a classic look, that will have no problem adding just enough pizazz to any outfit. This watch is coming in at under $1800 and with the extra cash, you might be able to score yourself a nice integrated rubber strap to mix things up.

Hamilton Aviation Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono H76416135

Of all the watches on this list the Hamilton Aviation Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono surprised me the most. To be honest, I didn’t know that it existed. I went to Hamilton’s website only to be gutted that the beloved Intra-Matic falls outside of my price range. This watch however is the silver lining to that devastating story. This watch features a 41mm stainless steel case and is powered by the same H-31 automatic movement as the aforementioned Intra-Matic.

What makes this watch really stand out is its timeless design. There is something about this watch that feels very familiar and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Of all of the watches that have made this “prestigious” list, this feels like the safest choice. A watch that will go unnoticed yet always be there when you need it. The Aviation Pilot Pioneer Chrono comes in at just under our $2k budget but considering the stainless steel bracelet and similar components of the Intra-Matic (the one well over our budget) you’re getting a terrific value.

Seiko Presage SRQ025

If you thought that I was going to complete a value packed list of any type of watch and not include a Seiko, you must be out of your mind! There is no brand that can pack as much value into a wristwatch as Seiko. Even after allowing their prices to catch up to the rest of the market, what you get far exceeds what they are asking for their watches. The Seiko Presage Chronograph is no exception. Much like the Certina, the modern case size of 42mm and 15.2mm (that’s thicc with 2 c’s) may not match up exactly with the traditional design, but I am ok with it!

The beautiful dial pattern, intricate numerals and stunning case finishing are enough to let me overlook the extra heft. The in-house 8R48 Movement powering this watch offers all of the robustness you would expect from a Seiko while also rivaling the Swiss in overall construction and build quality. We all know that Seiko can sometimes fall behind the Swiss in terms of +/- tolerances of daily deviation, but that’s something a qualified watchmaker could sort out in an afternoon. You’re going to eat up almost all of that $2k budget with this watch, but this Seiko absolutely deserves it.

So there you have it, 12 of the best chronograph watches your hard earned $2k can afford you. There are several other options we could explore if we were willing to look at more than one option from each brand. Even with this price restriction, it appears we are still very spoiled for choice. You might have to explore some options you wouldn’t need to if it wasn’t a chronograph you’re heart desired, but if there is one thing I learned from this exercise it’s that variety is fun!

Take a look at micro brands when you’re bored of seeing the same old options. Be willing to look past that quartz watch snobbery when looking for a more complicated watch on a budget. More than anything, however, when researching a watch with value being the main criteria, remember this one simple adage; All roads lead to Seiko (at least for me they do)!
Happy watch hunting!

Are IWC watches better than Jaeger LeCoultre watches? Is JLC more prestigious than IWC? These are pressing questions in watch collector circles that we look to clarify once and for all. In a world of Rolex and Richard Mille knockoffs, IWC and Jaeger are some of the few fine watchmakers that catch a collector’s fancy.

Both brands are regarded as industry titans, with Jaeger Lecoultre distinguished by a tradition of in-house production and IWC’s commitment to sustainability and high-quality pilot and titanium watches. This comparison guide looks closely at each brand’s history, craftsmanship, popularity, and warranty that put them in the spotlight. And clarifies who’s the better brand.

History and Target Market

International Watch Co. (or IWC Schaffhausen)

IWC was founded in 1868 – 154 years ago – by a renowned Boston watchmaker and engineer, Florentine Ariosto Jones, who had a vision of fusing swiss horology with American technology to create masterpieces. Jones established IWC’s headquarters in Schaffhausen to enjoy the cheap overhead costs and abundant skilled workforce in Switzerland at the time.

The eponymous Jones caliber helped IWC establish its reputation in the early years of the company’s existence. This company produced its first pocket watch that evolved into its first wristwatch in 1885. The watches may look familiar at first glance, but you should know that they are not comparable to other high-end models you have seen.

Jaeger Lecoultre – The Watchmaker’s Watchmaker

Surprisingly, Jaeger and IWC share a common history. JLC was founded in Le Sentier, Switzerland, in 1833 – 189 years ago – by Antoine as a small watchmaking shop after he invented a device for cutting watch pinions from steel. Antoine, like IWC’s founder, F. A. Jones, was a visionary who invented the most accurate time measurement instrument and a keyless rewind system of the era.

From the get-go, JLC combined all aspects of watchmaking under one roof: a heritage they’ve kept to date. Unsurprisingly, they became the most valuable company in the Swiss region of Vaud due to their impressive production capacity, using machines and hiring over 400 employees. That’s an impressive feat for a company in the 1800s.

Today, Jaeger LeCoultre is known as the master of complications, with over 1,300 unique calibers under their microscope. They also supply movements to high-end luxury watchmakers like Rolex, AP, and Patek Philippe, hence, their alias, “the watchmaker’s watchmaker.”

Craftsmanship

You can expect no less than the finest craftsmanship on any timepiece from both brands. But they use different patent finishing and quality control techniques to achieve that indestructible and elegant aesthetic of upper-market luxury watches.

Jaeger LeCoultre, for example, runs a 1000-hour control test on every watch that ships out of the factory. IWC, on the other hand, opens the doors to its 14-000 square-foot factory for anyone who wants to learn about its sophisticated craftmanship through virtual or in-person fan tours. It shamelessly showcases IWC’s first-class equipment, movement-making prowess, and world-class craftsmanship. It’s another area both IWC and JLC outshine upscale competitors, and you’d see in detail in their Brand Prestige comparison.

Jaeger and IWC also use handmade alligator or calfskin leather straps, titanium steel, precious metals, and rubber straps that are tough and comfortable. In addition, IWC offers an EasX CHANGE system that allows users to swap bands like an Apple watch in its Big Pilot series. Notwithstanding, it’s a close call on which brand has the most sophisticated craftsmanship, but Jaeger LeCoultre wins, with a bias towards their A-Z in-house manufacturing process.

Brand Prestige

Jaeger LeCoultre and IWC watches have gained considerable prestige in their respective century-old existence. And our overlords with a rich history and brand image that stands out even in ultra-high-end luxury watch scenes. But it’s insensitive to hold one’s prestige over the other as their values appeal to different audiences.

Jaeger LeCoultre is the “watchmaker’s watchmaker” because, unlike many luxury brands, they create, design, manufacture, and curate all timepiece parts under one roof. And they’ve continued to supply some of the best luxury watchmakers with movements over the decades. With this history, super-complications, and limited yearly production, JLC is a collector and enthusiast favorite.

While IWC doesn’t have the credibility of complete in-house production, they’ll appeal to a sustainability-conscious wearer. The watchmaking industry receives rightful hot backlash from environmental activists and agencies over the sourcing and processing of its precious metals and gems.

IWC is a frontrunner in this war and was ranked no.1 among 15 major watch manufacturers, which includes Jaegar LeCoultre and big names like Rolex, Omega, Tissot, and Audemars Piguet. However, most watch collectors and enthusiasts would value JLC’s consistency in making all timepiece parts under one roof. Therefore, Jaeger LeCoultre has numbers on its side as the more prestigious luxury watchmaker over IWC.

Brand Recognition: The 8th and 11th Best Swiss Watchmakers

While their brand prestige is a choice between values, recognition boils down to popularity and revenue, which is objective. And if we’re talking numbers, IWC has the upper hand with an estimated worth of 779 million CHF (Swiss Francs) over JLC’s 673 million CHF value. They’re also the eighth and eleventh most valuable swiss watchmakers, respectively.

How do they stack up against Rolex, the world’s most renowned watchmaker? It’s not a close battle as Rolex is worth an estimated 7 billion CHF – nearly ten times more than IWC – to top the Interbrand study list.

Fun fact: both brands are subsidiaries of Richemont Group (includes brands like Cartier, Vacheron Constantin Montblanc, Piaget SA, A. Lange & Söhne), a luxury goods holding company worth about 13 billion euros.

However, IWC are traditional watchmakers focusing on crafting complicated watch movements for watch lovers. JLC clarifies this concept using the chic and classy Queen’s Gambit star Anya Taylor-Joy as their ambassador for their flagship Reverso. Far from the Rolex ideology of aggressive marketing to different fields and as a symbol of wealth and power. Ironically, it’s not surprising for an IWC or Jaeger LeCoultre owner to have a Rolex in their collection.

Warranty: The Richemont Group Privilege

JLC and IWC recently introduced an extended warranty option, perhaps as a Richemont group procedure. With this extended guarantee, you may add an extra six years to the standard 2-year warranty of your watch. Generally, you can enjoy coverage for up to 8 years with both brands, which is longer than the average five years warranty from ultra-luxury watchmakers like Rolex and two years from entry-level brands.

IWC and JLC require registration for their respective MY IWC and Jaeger LeCoultre CARE programs to qualify for this extended warranty period. Therefore, you must complete the registration process for an extension while your watch is still under warranty.

Watch Comparison: IWC Aquatimer vs. JLC Polaris

Remember that these comparisons only apply to each company’s most recent model.
Although there are specific differences between both brands. Even though both brands produce elegant C-level executive-type watch designs, it still needs to be determined which one is superior.

The Jaeger LeCoultre Polaris has a titanium case with a limited edition white-gold color. Whereas IWC’s Aquatimer has a stainless steel case, matte black dial, and specialty leather bracelet with a quick-change system to swap between the rubber and stainless steel straps.

Style and Design

IWC is way more unique than LeCoultre in style and design, and this characteristic elevates this watch to the same level as its rival. Jaeger LeCoultre consists of a stainless steel case finish with bright dials and a white gold bracelet. IWC, on the other hand, is made of mate dial plates and mate body in the leather bracelet. IWC allows their designers to choose the color, which comes with a mate body and panel finish.

Special Features

Although the IWC is a diving watch, it resembles the sporty design of the Polaris. Also, they can both withstand pressure up to 1000 feet underwater. In addition, they both come in a white and yellow gold edition, water resistant, and Cartier special.

Price: Portofino VS JLC Master Control

LeCoultre and IWC are almost evenly matched when it comes to price. Both brands offer several pricey models that are reasonable for both businesses, given their quality and quantity. Each offers versions with prices around $30,000 and entry-level models starting at about $3,000 apiece.

The Yes: IWC watches

  • Trademark quick-change bracelet system
  • Inner-rotating bezel and lightweight titanium case
  • Best environmental conscious watchmaker

The No: IWC Watches

  • Off the shelf 7750 movements

The Yes: Jaeger LeCoultre

  • Manufactured 100% in-house
  • Innovative movement complications
  • Timeless dress watch collections

The No: Jaeger LeCoultre

  • Might be unknown to non-watch enthusiasts

IWC Portuguese Auto Vs. JLC Master Control

Both watches cost almost the same price, and they have amazing functions. However, it might not be easy to decide which one to buy. Here is a brief description of the design and functions of these two extraordinary watches:

IWC Portuguesier Auto

With an automatic date at 6 o’clock, a plain white dial, chronograph replacing 9 and 3 o’clock, the Portugieser maintains a simple design like the debut 1930s version. But unlike the 36mm case in the old version, IWC increased its size to 40mm and adorned it with a refined contemporary finish.

The stainless steel casing has a warm tone that accentuates its gold-plated hands and indices. Its caliber 82200 movement is made in-house with ceramic components and boasts a Pellaton winding mechanism with a 60-hour power reserve. And you can admire the complications through its see-through sapphire glass back.

JLC Master Control

JLC’s Master Control collection, with its celebrated round design, has become a flagbearer for the brand since its debut thirty years ago. The recent Master Control Date adds date and time features to the dial while staying simple. The 40mm casing, hands, and indexes for this watch are all stainless steel. To reduce friction and increase efficiency, the escapement and pallet of the watch’s Caliber 899 movement have been upgraded for the Master Control Date.

And it provides up to 70 hours of power reserve before manual winding. Jaeger LeCoultre’s most complicated wristwatch, the Hybris Mechanica (with 26 complications) and only 30 pieces made, costs $2.5 million. While the Siderale Scafusia is one of IWC’s most complicated watches, which costs around $750,000.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are JLC Watches So Expensive?


Jaeger LeCoultre is an almost 200-year-old pioneer in the watchmaking industry. JLC designs and manufactures its timepieces by hand under one roof – and is the first to achieve this feat. And JLC produces less than 40,000 watches yearly, making them valued as ultra-luxury watches.

What kind of person wears IWC?


Only true watch lovers, collectors, and reserved personalities proudly wear the IWC or Jaegar. A person who wears an IWC watch wants values sophisticated watch movements and prefers a discreet show of her wealth or affluence. If you’re looking to wear a luxury watchmaker that sends eyes gazing, you’ll be better off with a Rolex or Richard Mille.

Is JLC better than Cartier?


The Jaeger-LeCoultre brand is considered more prestigious than Cartier. JLC is an ultra-high-end and super watch producer, whereas Cartier is regarded as a jewelry brand. Also, Cartier watches typically have a relatively lower resale value and complications in general.

Final Thoughts: IWC or Jaeger LeCoultre?

And there you have it, an in-depth comparison between IWC and JLC watch brands. If you are more movement and accuracy fanatic, Jaeger LeCoultre is the better brand. And IWC is a better case maker, eco-friendly, and marketable brand.

It’s why IWC is more valuable, and you’d spend just as much for both of them as you would on any upscale luxury watch. What are your thoughts? Browse our collection of IWC and Jaeger LeCoultre watches.

Hublot and Richard Mille’s watches are synonymous with luxury. Both companies manufacture limited edition watches targeting the very apex of the consumer spectrum. Highly skilled craftsmanship, coupled with an ingenious marketing model made these watchmakers stand out from the rest despite being in the watchmaking business for less than half a century.

As a comparison base, Rolex and Seiko companies had been operating for almost 100 years before Hublot came into the picture in 1980, followed by Richard Mille 21 years later. Despite their relatively young status, Hublot and Richard Mille companies command a lot of deference in the watchmaking industry for their revolutionary timepieces.

And their price points match this. It is not surprising to find custom pieces from both companies selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars! You could easily pay off your mortgage by selling a limited edition Richard Mille or Hublot watch. But, between the two companies, which one makes the better watch? To get to the bottom of this, we have to place these watches side by side and analyze them to find out what makes them tick and which one is superior to the other.

Brief History of Richard Mille and Hublot

When Richard Mille went shopping for a watch that would blow his mind about two decades ago, nothing seemed appealing enough. Despite the allure and wave of luxurious watch brands sweeping the watch industry (think of Rolex Daytona, Patek Phillippe Aquanaut, and the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore watches) during this period, Richard wanted a timepiece that would be a first among equals.

Having spent his whole life as a watchmaker and having stepped down from a management position at a watchmaking company, he was ready to dive into the industry without a life vest – literally. He partnered with Dominique Guenat, another renowned and experienced watchmaker and launched the Horometric SA Company.

The company was tasked with the production of the Richard Mille watch brands. With an Audemars Piguet partnership, the first watch from the company, the Tourbillon RM001, debuted at Basel world in 2001. The success of this watch led to the creation of other models, including the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson we shall explore in this article.

Hublot is also a fairly new company when compared to the likes of Rolex and Seiko. It was founded in 1980 by Carlo Crocco. Crocco, an Italian, wanted to take advantage of the advanced Swiss watchmaking technology to create a masterpiece that would make a statement in the luxury watch industry. And he did just that.

The Hublot Big Bang watch series was the most popular and successful series. In 2009, Hublot released the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang which remains the best-selling watch from the company to date. It was a wonderful watch (still is) with revolutionary features that gave other luxury watches a run for their money. This article compares the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang watch with the popular RM 038 Massa Flyback Chronograph model.

Why compare the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson with the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang?

Before we jump into the design and analysis of these watches, it is important to understand why we have chosen these specific models. Both are limited edition watches. Only 38 pieces of the RM 038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson and 77 pieces of the Hublot Big Bang Aero bang watch were manufactured. Both pieces were released in 2011 and both received a lot of acclamation and deference from the industry. 

Design and style analysis

Hublot and Richard Mille watches have beautiful and stylish designs. We shall explore these features, similarities, and differences.

Case style and Dimensions

The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a micro-blasted black ceramic casing. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson is made of AZ91 material, an alloy of magnesium and Aluminum. Both materials are lightweight making the watch one of the lightest luxury watches in the world. Mille was inspired by the construction of fast cars and airplanes to use this lightweight alloy for the watch’s case.

The whitish color of the casing develops from treatment using the electro-plasma oxidation method. This creates a cristalline ceramic coating that improves the hardness of the case and protects the underlying alloy. It also protects the watch against corrosion and scratches. The case has 12 abrasion-resistant screws made of titanium and washers made of high-grade stainless steel.

Both Hublot and Richard Mille are large watches. The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a diameter of 44mm, a lug-to-lug distance of 57.3mm, and a thickness of 15.7mm. It has over 330 individual components enclosed in a stylish skeleton case. It comes in 3 versions; Gold ceramic, red gold diamonds, and tungsten.

The watch sits flush on the wrist because the lugs were designed to turn down at the edges. The RM038 case has a diameter of 39.7mm, a lug-to-lug length of 48mm, and a thickness of 12.8mm. The bottom plates of the case, the balancing cock, and the bridges are made of titanium (grade 5).

Bezel

The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a micro-blasted black ceramic bezel with 6 H-pattern, highly polished PVD (physical vapor deposit) Titanium Screws. RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson has a sapphire bezel with antiglare treatment. There are 12 spline abrasion-resistant screws on the bezel. These are grade 5 titanium screws and 316L quality stainless steel.

Dial and Crystal

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a black skeleton dial with a sapphire crystals. The crystal has undergone anti-reflective treatment that enables the watch to reflect light uniformly. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson has a transparent tonneau-shaped dial. This is a skeleton dial protected by an anti-glare-treated sapphire crystal. The bridges and hands are the luminescent skeletons and the minute hand is crafted in white carbon fiber.

Strap and Clasp

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has white-lined rubber straps. The clasp is made of micro-blasted black ceramic and black-plated stainless steel deployant buckle. The seatbelt buckle has a one-click deployment system that allows you to remove and change straps without using special tools.

The stainless steel clasp has a twin-trigger system that holds the watch in place preventing accidental pop-ups. The strap goes under the clasp, effectively hiding the excess (protruding) strap and eliminating the need for a minder loop. The strap on the RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson watch is made of natural-grade rubber with a folding clasp system. It is a white strap with a pin buckle clasp.

Water resistance

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang is safe to use underwater up to 100m or 10 ATM. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson is water-resistant up to 50 meters. It has 2 nitrite O-ring seals that enhance this resistance.

Movement

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a HUB44SQ caliber, self-winding chronograph Movement. It has a 42 hours reserve. The RM038 has a manual winding tourbillon movement. The Tourbillon movement was invented in 1795 by Breguet. It is a mechanism that rotates the balance wheel inside the watch, the escapement, and the balance spring to counter the gravitational force imposed on the wheel and spring.

The fast-rotating barrel inside the RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson caliber provides a decrease in periodic internal mainspring adhesion. This produces a higher power reserve/regularity ratio and increases performance. The 20 degrees pressure angle provided by the third-wheel pinion and the central involute profile allows for compensation of variations in the going train and promotes effective rotary motion. This results in excellent torque transmission and ultimately enhances the watch’s performance.

Weight

The RM038 watch was designed for the golfer Bubba Watson. The inspiration behind this watch was to create a timepiece that was comfortable to wear, shock-resistant, and light. Bubba Watson wore this watch while playing golf to showcase how agile the watch was and applicable to any situation. Excluding the strap, the watch weighs 29 grams. The Hublot Big Bang Aero bang weighs 15.84 ounces.

Power Reserve

Hublot Big Bang Aero bang has a 42-hour power reserve. The RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson watch has 48 hours of power reserve.

Which is the best watch: Richard Mille or Hublot?

Following the analysis and comparison we have done here, the ultimate question remains: What would you buy between a Hublot and Richard Mille? If all factors are kept constant, it all boils down to your tastes and preference. A Richard Mille’s watch is designed to make bold statements. It is designed to intrigue and prop the owner into a certain class and category.

Since most of these watches are limited editions, owning a Richard Mille watch speaks volumes about your social and financial status. A Hublot watch is also classy and offers great value for the money. They are certainly more affordable than Richard Mille watches but they do not command similar attention. That said, both Hublot and Richard Mille create wonderful watches. Both companies keep on innovating to dominate the luxury watchmaking segment.

Hublot and Richard Mille prices

The price of Richard Mille watch is approximately $60,000 to $1.3M. There are a lot of factors that come into play to determine this pricing. Some of them include the make of the watch, the watch edition, how complex the watch is, the material used, and the target clientele. Hublot prices are more moderate. You can pick a good Hublot from approximately $1,200. Price variation for Hublot also depends on the factors mentioned herein.

FAQs

Is the RM038 Tourbillon Bubba Watson still in production?


No. The RM038 watch was an experimental watch designed for the golfer. Only 38 pieces were manufactured. With the success of this watch, Richard Mille came up with the RM038-01 editions that had added functionalities (such as a g-sensor using the tourbillon mechanism), and only 50 pieces were manufactured.

Are Richard Mille watches good?


That depends on perspective. However, there is a reason why a Richard Mille watch commands such high figures among enthusiasts. You are likely to see these watches on the wrists of celebrities. The continued investment in research and innovation in the company enables the company to manufacture sensational yet highly functional and reliable timepieces.

Does Hublot have resale value?


Generally, most Hublot watches depreciate over time. However, there are some which hold their value and this depends on several factors;

The age of the watch – The older the watch is the more value it has to a vintage collector

The condition of the watch

Whether it is a limited edition or not – Hublot manufactures a lot of same-model watches in a year. This minimizes the possibility of these watches gaining value over time because they are readily available in the market

Design of the watch – Unless you own a uniquely designed Hublot (such as one with a gold case) your watch may not appreciate over time

Conclusion

Both Richard Mille and Hublot watches are elegant watches. A Richard Mille timepiece commands attention because people who can afford these watches (especially the limited edition ones) have a privileged social and financial standing in society. When a watch goes beyond the million-dollar mark and still sells out, you know the brand is respected and trusted.

Richard Mille has managed to keep their brand exclusive by releasing limited edition watches and employing ingenious marketing strategies. Noting that the two companies are less than half a century old, their achievement in the watchmaking industry is understated. They came to disrupt the industry with excellent timepieces that utilized innovative technology and carved a niche for themselves.

You will not be disappointed by any of the pieces you decide buy from either company. If money is not a concern to you, I would advise you to go for a Richard Mille watch and get to share the sensation your favorite celebrity has when they are wearing a watch that could pay off your mortgage on their wrist.

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