Many people consider the chronograph as a borderline obsolete complication, even within the world of mechanical watches which, in essence, is in itself redundant. But that's not to say we can't and shouldn't enjoy these beautiful micro-wonders of engineering, and there is no better way to do that than to peer through the caseback of a mechanical chronograph.
Here are 15 of the best high end chronographs money can buy, with any one of these being a surefire way to win Christmas this year.
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down Lumen
If you stopped here and didn't bother continue reading then you would be forgiven, for the almighty A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Up/Down Lumen is arguably one of the finest manually wound chronographs the world has ever seen, period.
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Flyback Chronograph
The rose gold clad Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Flyback Chronograph is a very left-field choice, but it's one that combines a fantastic aesthetic with some very serious watchmaking pedigree.
Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph
The Breitling Premier B01 Chronograph is another oddity, but it's one that carries with it a certain air of discreteness despite that gorgeous rose gold case gleaming away.
Zenith Defy El Primero 21
Arguably one of the most iconic of all chronograph movements, the El Primero 21 is a living legend amongst legends, and in the Zenith Defy El Primero 21 it has all the hallmarks of a watch that delivers on all fronts.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
Now we're talking, with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph. In any variation, the ROC is perhaps one of the all-time chronograph greats, with this particular model catching my eye with its green dial.
Patek Philippe 5990/1R Nautilus Chronograph Travel Time
The Patek Philippe 5990 Nautilus Chronograph Travel Time sports a rose gold case with matching bracelet and a beautiful blue dial. Wearing this is like wearing a bank vault on your wrist. True high end chronograph watchmaking right here.
Rolex Daytona 'Platona'
The Rolex Daytona reigns supreme as one of the chronograph kings, with the platinum cased model, affectionately dubbed the Rolex 'Platona' being the crowning piece of the collection.
Patek Philippe 5172G Chronograph
A manually wound classical chronograph from Patek was always going to make the list, with the 5172G Chronograph hitting all the right notes.
Patek Philippe 5968G Aquanaut Chronograph
Another Patek, this time with the very wearable and very comfortable 5968G Aquanaut Chronograph making a feature.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph
With enough pedigree to rival chronographs from Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph is a standing figure amongst even the highest end chronographs.
How could any chronograph list not feature the legendary moonwatch, the Omega Speedmaster. Not much else needs to be said, except that in this, the latest variation of the model, you have all the bells and whistles of a bona fide modern chronograph while still retaining that classical Speedy look.
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph
Like the Patek Philippe 5172G Chronograph, the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Chronograph represents some of the finest mechanical watchmaking their respective maison's produce. Clean, restrained and utterly fantastic. A must-have chronograph for anyone and everyone.
Omega Speedmaster Moonshine Gold
The Moonshine Gold encased Omega Speedmaster is a marvel to look at, and if that's too loud for you then maybe the insanely expensive but much quieter looking Speedmaster Calibre 321 is more your thing.
IWC Portugieser Chronograph
Sporting an in-house movement, a gorgeous rose gold case and a beautiful grey dial, the IWC Portugieser Chronograph is a definite consideration for someone looking to add a chronograph to their collection this Christmas.
Hublot Big Bang Integrated Chronograph
Clad in King Gold, the Hublot Big Bang Integrated Chronograph is a really interesting piece that has a very inconspicuous look to it. And if the shine of gold isn't your thing, this super intriguing chronograph comes in titanium, too.
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