When it comes to an affordable chronograph, you can definitely buy something that won't quote-unquote break the bank, but if you want to get something at the very least mechanical, you're going to have to stretch your budget. But not by that much.
I've picked out some of the coolest, most-wallet friendly affordable chronographs I could find, including watches from the very cool Seagull Watch company, Seiko, Montblanc and of course Tissot. All are relatively easy on your back pocket, and all represent some facet of a bona fide chronograph timepiece that won't make your eyes water when you check your bank account the day after Christmas.
Here are 13 of the best affordable chronographs you can buy.
Seagull 1963 Chronograph
Seagull Watches popped up a few years ago and, and they've been making waves since, making some of the coolest and most affordable chronographs money can buy. This particular one is manually wound, has an exhibition caseback and comes in a variety of dial colours and sizes to choose from.
Alpina Alpiner Chronograph
The Alpina Alpiner Chronograph presents as one of the better all-round chronographs on this list, with wonderful proportions and great execution. This one is offered with a huge 75% discount, too.
Seiko Chronograph SSC77101
One of only a handful of Quartz chronographs that I have included, the Seiko Chronograph SSC77101 is here because of that awesome dial.
Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph
Montblanc's TimeWalker Chronograph was all the rage a few years back, and even today its contemporary styling still hits all the right notes for a practical and affordable chronograph. Here it is offered at almost 70% off retail and with a coupon to boot, too.
Timex Q Chronograph
The Timex Q Chronograph is another Quartz chronograph that makes the list, almost entirely for its Rolex Daytona Paul Newman-like aesthetic.
Hoglund & Sons Mark II Chronograph
Another piece that is similar conceptually to the Seagull 1963 Chronograph is the Hoglund & Sons Mark II Chronograph. Manually wound, well enough put together and super affordable. What more do you want in a sub-$500 mechanical chronograph?
Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph
The "other" moon watch. The Bulova Lunar Pilot Chronograph is, in its own right, a legend, having been worn during the Apollo 15 mission on the moon in 1971. Yes, it's Quartz. But it's a damn cool chronograph with plenty of pedigree and heritage.
Seagull 1963 Chronograph "Tactical Frog"
The Seagull 1963 Chronograph "Tactical Frog" brought the world's eyes and ears to the Chinese watchmaking brand, solidifying its status as the OG affordable mechanical chronograph. My order is in.
Omega Speedmaster Racing Chronograph
Not as esteemed or as highly coveted as the Speedmaster Moonwatch Professional, the overshadowed Omega Speedmaster Racing Chronograph still carries with it enough oomph to make a statement.
Tissot PRX Chronograph
The Tissot PRX platform has been a revolutionary force for the watchmaker. And in the chronograph variation we have a look and feel that far supersedes how the brand is viewed from an exclusivity and quality stand point. Love these.
Tissot T-Navigator Chronograph
Tissot's T-Navigator Chronograph is an unloved hero of affordable chronographs, and at under $1,000, if you're looking for a bold, rugged and off-the-beaten-track chronograph, then look no further.
Tissot T-Trend Couturier
The final Tissot chronograph is the T-Trend Couturier. Classy, sophisticated and with a svelte black aesthetic, you would be hard pressed to find a better offering at this price point.
Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph
The Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph presents as the last piece of the puzzle here, but boy does it pack some punch. Yes, it is a mechanical chronograph from an esteemed and long-standing Swiss watchmaker. Yes, it has a day date function. Yes, it looks far more expensive than its price tag lets on. And yes, you can get this model or any of its variations right now (this one is my favourite, though).
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