5 Most Iconic Chronographs

The chronograph is one of the most popular complications for watches, that it’s a category on its own.

Aside from being useful for everyday life, chronographs remain popular because they offer a lot of variety. The abundance of dials, pushers, scales and crowns give room for a lot of creativity when it comes to style and design.

There are hundreds of chronograph styles being released every year, but there are a few that have stood the test of time. Our picks for the most iconic chronographs debuted in the mid-20th century, and are still being produced today — setting the benchmark for all chronographs to come.

 

Portuguese
pictured: IWC Portuguese Chrono Automatic Stainless Steel Mens Watch
#5 | IWC Portuguese Chronograph (1939)

While chronographs are closely associated with sport and racing, this is one that’s decidedly refined in design.

The Portuguese started as a time-only watch, but in the mid-1990s, IWC decided to make the automatic chronograph version, which is now one of the brand’s most successful watches of all time. The simple round dial, two vertical subdials, and thin, propeller-style hands will remain timeless even 50 years from now. SEE ALL IWC PORTUGUESE >

 


 

 

Carrera
pictured: TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Mens Watch
#4 | TAG Heuer Carrera (1962)

TAG Heuer is a brand closely associated with the world of auto racing. The Carrera was created by Jack Heuer (CEO from 1962-1982), to create a watch intended mainly for motor racing, a niche that was underserved back then.

Today’s Carreras come in an extensive range of designs; and as the brand’s direction is “creating watches for the future”, they are more avant garde and racing-inspired. SEE ALL TAG HEUER CARRERA >

 


 

 

Navitimer
pictured: Breitling Navitimer Chronograph Silver Dial Watch, Breitling Navitimer Black Arabic Dial Watch
#3 | Breitling Navitimer (1952)

The Breitling Navitimer is the chronograph-of-choice among pilots and aviation enthusiasts. The characteristic slide rule bezel is no longer a necessity in manning flights, but it is still very much part of the Navitimer’s identity and aesthetic.

The Navitimer has evolved into different shapes and sizes over the decades, but there are models in production that are still very close to the original – proving the timelessness of its design. SEE ALL BREITLING NAVITIMER >

 


 

 

Daytona
pictured: Rolex Daytona Yellow Gold Paul Newman Dial Mens Watch
#2 | Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (1963)

Named after the Daytona International Speedway, and seen on the wrists of racing legends, the Rolex Daytona easily takes us back to the glory days of racing in the 60s.

What was meant for the racing circuit is today one of the most sought-after watches, both on the new and vintage market — not just because of its looks and heritage, but because it makes a great daily-wearer.  SEE ALL ROLEX DAYTONA >

 


 

 

Speedmaster
pictured: Omega Speedmaster Vintage 321 DON Dial Mens Watch
#1 | Omega Speedmaster Professional (1969)

While it was originally created for the race track, the Omega Speedmaster was the only watch to meet NASA’s incredibly tough standards. It eventually made history as the first watch on the moon.

The Omega Speedmaster that you can buy today is still very similar in style to the one worn on Apollo 11, and is run by virtually the same caliber that powered it through the lunar landing. Timeless, indeed.  SEE ALL OMEGA SPEEDMASTER >

 

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