Best Chronograph Watches: In-Depth Buying Guide

NanaDC watch reviews

Read this guide if you're looking to find the best chronograph watch on the market.

Most people have probably gazed in amazement at some chronograph watch advertisement just because it looks cool.

Those little hands and subdials seem to have the power to hypnotize us into buying the timepiece regardless of whether we know how those little hands work and what they are for.

Of course, knowledgeable watch lovers know that these chronographs have practical purposes.

You can use them in a variety of ways such as timing your exercise routine, timing your pizza delivery, timing your dish and even timing how long the traffic light turns green in case you’re stuck in traffic with nothing else to do.

Regardless of your motivation on why you want to possess a chronograph timepiece, we are here to help you achieve that goal as painlessly as possible.

With the mind-boggling choices in the market out there, choosing the top chronograph watch for you can be a daunting task.

To ease your task considerably, we’ve made a product round-up of the best ones we could find.

Take a look at our selection.

MEGIR Wrist Men Chronograph Waterproof Watch

If you are looking for a quality but cheap men's watch, then the MEGIR Wrist Men Work Watch Analog Quartz-Chronograph Waterproof Stylish Business Watch with Leather Band is perfect for you.

We have included this modern, yet affordable timepiece in this roundup as its price fits the budget of most buyers.

Performance-wise, this Megir watch is on par with some of the higher priced brands out there. Its timekeeping is surprisingly very precise considering its price and has an accuracy of +/- 45 seconds per month.

MEGIR Men's Analog Business Quartz Chronograph Luminous Watch with Stylish Black Leather Strap Blue...
314 Customer Reviews
MEGIR Men's Analog Business Quartz Chronograph Luminous Watch with Stylish Black Leather Strap Blue...
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It is also a very easy-to-read watch with its highly visible hands and hour markers against its black dial. With its chronograph functionality, you can use it as a stopwatch for by the second, minute or hourly tracking via its three subdials. Forgetful folks would appreciate its calendar function as one could instantly tell the date at a glance.

Water splashes and sudden rains are bound to happen but it will not be a problem for this Megir watch. It has a water resistance of up to 30 meters or 100 feet making it suitable for daily use. However, the manufacturer warns that it won’t be suitable for water-related work, snorkeling or diving.

ALSO READ: Filipo Loreti Watches Reviewed

It’s a military watch featuring quartz movement with analog display. The case measures 4.7 cm and is made of stainless steel alloy for durability. It has an intricately designed bezel and a leather strap with a pin buckle which enhances the watch’s visual impact.

  • Water-resistant up to 30 meters
  • Chronograph functionality
  • Calendar
  • Reading is easy
  • While suitable for everyday use, the watch is not suitable for water activities

BENYAR Quartz Business and Sport Wrist Watch

BENYAR -Wrist Watch for Men, Stainless Steel Strap Watches, Perfect Quartz Movement, Waterproof...
3,210 Customer Reviews
BENYAR -Wrist Watch for Men, Stainless Steel Strap Watches, Perfect Quartz Movement, Waterproof...
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Looking for the best ultra stylish sports watch that won’t bust your wallet? Look no further as the BENYAR Quartz Waterproof Watches Business and Sport Design Leather Band Strap Wrist Watch for Men is most likely what you are looking for.

With its stylish black and silver color scheme, it is definitely a head turner, giving off that luxurious vibe that you will normally associate with high-end timepieces.

But its modern visual appeal – no matter how stunningly elegant it might be - is not the only reason why we’ve decided to include this model in this guide.

The heart of the Benyar quartz chronograph watch is a quality timepiece packed with features you’ll normally find in more expensive watches.

The case is made of alloy and measures 43 mm. Polished to a high gloss silver finish including the bezel, it contrasts perfectly with its black dial and its black high-quality leather band.

The watch’s dial is very stylishly done. Its hour and minute markers are all silver colored while its hands are of the same color scheme as that of its markers except that the hands have touches of white to enhance their visibility. There are no Arabic or Roman numerals which give its dial a timeless, clutter-free appeal.

This piece has a chronograph functionality so there are three subdials for seconds, minutes and hour indicators. However, these subdials do not add clutter to the watch’s dial at all. Rather, they seem to enhance its overall visual impact. The same goes for the black and white calendar which can be seen between the two subdials and located on the lower right portion of the dial.

Water resistance is important for any watch. The Benyar BY-5104M is water proof up to 30 meters or 3 ATM. This makes it perfect for daily use as it can handle splashes or rains but it is not suitable for prolonged water immersion.

  • Stylishly elegant black and silver color scheme
  • Chronograph function
  • Affordable price
  • With date window
  • Water resistance can’t handle swimming or snorkeling

Timex Men's Expedition Field Chronograph Watch

On Sale
Timex Men’s T49905 Expedition Field Chronograph Black/Brown Leather Strap Watch
  • Adjustable brown 20 millimeter genuine leather strap fits up to 8-inch wrist circumference. On...
  • Black dial with date window at 4 o'clock; Arabic numerals in increments of 5 up to 60
  • 30-minute chronograph measures to 1/20th second

Described as rugged and sophisticated, the Timex Men's Expedition Field Watch also known as model T49905 is one of the brand’s consistent top sellers. And it’s not hard to imagine why.

With its color palette that is composed of hues that can be found in nature, this model goes well with almost anything and looks just as good with your business attire or your outdoor gear.

Coupled with its high quality and exceptional performance, it is but fitting to include the timepiece in this list.

Watch owners are very demanding when it comes to performance. Luckily, this Timex brand watch does not disappoint. It features Quartz Movement with an analog display which ensures accurate timekeeping. It also has a chronograph feature that measures up to 30 minutes. In addition, time checking during nighttime is a breeze with its Indiglo light-up watch dial – definitely a useful feature if you’re camping in the wilderness.

Another useful feature for those with an active outdoors lifestyle is water resistance. For the Timex Men's Expedition Field, getting wet is a non-issue at all. It is water resistant up to 100 meters or 330 feet. This makes it the perfect companion for those who enjoy swimming or snorkeling. However, the manufacturer specifically warns that it might not be suitable for diving.

Its appearance says it all – it’s built for nature lovers and adventurers. However, its vintage look will suit just as well in business meetings and social functions as it gives off that elegant yet adventurous vibe. It has a black bezel and metal case that measures 43 mm. A comfortable genuine Calfskin leather strap with stitchings completes its look. For its below $50 price, it’s probably one of the best watches for the money.

  • 100-meter water resistance
  • Indiglo lighting
  • Chronograph function
  • Genuine leather strap for comfort
  • Quartz movement ensures accurate time
  • Some buyers complain of customer support issues

Seiko SSB031 Men's Chronograph Steel Case Watch

SEIKO SSB031 Men's Chronograph Stainless Steel Case Watch
613 Customer Reviews
SEIKO SSB031 Men's Chronograph Stainless Steel Case Watch
  • Quartz movement
  • Case diameter: 40 mm
  • Chronograph, stainless steel case case

Seiko is one of the most recognized brands in the watch industry. A Japanese firm with more 100 years in the business, the brand has pioneered some of the game-changing technologies in watchmaking.

It introduced the world’s first quartz movement wristwatch in 1969 and introduced Kinetic Technology in 1984 which, since then, has powered some of the most beautiful watches ever created by using the body’s movements.

It’s no surprise then for some buyers to think that the Seiko brand SSB031 Men's Chronograph Stainless Steel Case Watch is probably the best automatic chronograph movement timepiece under $500 (click here if you want to find more of the top automatic watches under $500).

With its impeccable craftsmanship, refined look and spectacular performance, we have no choice but to include it in this guide as well.

One look at the Seiko SSB031 Men's Automatic Chronograph Stainless Steel Case Watch and you’ll get the impression that this is one durable timepiece that is built to last. This automatic chronograph has a stainless steel bezel and case that measures 40 mm which is then connected to a stainless steel band. Its dial is mostly black while the markers, hands-on subdials, hour and minute hands are all grey. Its seconds hand, however, stands out as it is colored red.

This automatic chrono Seiko timepiece also delivers a spectacular performance with its chronograph movement. It features quartz movement which ensures accurate time. Meanwhile, you can relax even if you accidentally splashed water on this timepiece. It is waterproof up to 100 meters or 330 feet. You can even go swimming or snorkeling with it. It also features chronograph movement so you can easily measure elapsed time using the timepiece.

  • Solidly built
  • Water resistance up to 100 meters or 330 feet
  • Easy-to-read face design
  • Chronograph movement
  • Some owners say that the 40mm case is too small for them

Citizen Eco-Drive Men's Leather Avion Watch

Citizen Eco-Drive Avion Quartz Mens Watch, Stainless Steel with Leather strap, Weekender, Black...
451 Customer Reviews
Citizen Eco-Drive Avion Quartz Mens Watch, Stainless Steel with Leather strap, Weekender, Black...
  • Silver-tone watch featuring black dial with date window and markers for 12/24-hour time and...
  • 45 mm silver-tone case with mineral dial window
  • Eco-Drive technology is powered by light so it never needs a battery

There is something about the 1950’s aviation that makes people long for it. Dubbed the golden era of travel, it was a time where transatlantic flights were done with style and glamour.

The Citizen Eco-Drive Men's Stainless Steel Leather Avion Watch takes design cues from that period with its brown leather band with contrast stitching, its date displayed in the classic style of timepieces at that time as well as its luminous markers.

But aside from its aviation-inspired retro design which any pilot will love, we’ve included this Citizen model in this guide mainly because of its performance.

After all, it features a Japanese quartz movement with an analog display which means that it is very accurate in telling time.

The case is made of high-quality stainless steel and measures 45 mm. Yes, it’s a bit large compared to others, but it’s probably because a pilot needs easy reading timepieces and the easiest way to achieve that is to have a larger dial, numbers markers, and hands.

Speaking of its dial, there are two layers of markers; one to indicate the hours and the other to indicate the minutes and seconds. These markers, the hands and the three subdials for the chronograph movement are all colored white which goes well with the black dial for clarity and that vintage elegant aesthetic.

We’ve always wondered who makes the most awesome chronographs out of all those well-known brand names in the market. While we can’t offer a definite answer, we can say that the Citizen brand is among the top diving watch brands.

This expertise in diving watch technology is also applied in the creation of the Citizen Eco-Drive Men's Stainless Steel Leather Avion Watch. It is water-resistant up to 100 meters which makes it suitable for swimming and snorkeling. This means you don’t have to worry about accidental water splashes or sudden downpours ruining your watch, it’s not gonna happen.

  • Classic, aviation-inspired design
  • Water resistant up to 100 meters
  • Genuine brown leather strap
  • Design for easy read
  • Some may find the 45 mm case a bit large

Invicta Men's 0070 Silver-Tone/Blue Stainless Watch

On Sale
Invicta Men's Specialty Quartz Watch with Stainless Steel Band, Silver (Model: 6621)
6,520 Customer Reviews
Invicta Men's Specialty Quartz Watch with Stainless Steel Band, Silver (Model: 6621)
  • Stainless steel case 45mm diameter x 12.5mm thick; Blue dial; Luminous hands
  • Japanese quartz movement, VD53 Caliber; Assembled in Japan; SR920SW battery included; Watch weight:...
  • Stainless steel band, 195mm L x 22mm W; Band is adjustable by adding/removing links; Fold over push...

What is the perfect waterproof chronograph timepiece? Well, your guess is as good as ours. After all, companies are constantly striving to beat their competitors’ products so it’s a constant struggle between matchmakers to come up with the best, which could mean, hopefully, that the watches they produce just keep getting better.

But if Invicta has a say on the matter, they would want to make only the best products possible. It’s just in their name.

Invicta is the Latin word for “invincible,” the same principle that is driving the company to continuously challenge itself in coming up with quality products.

Take, for instance, the Invicta Men's 0070 Pro Diver Collection Analog Chinese Chronograph Silver-Tone/Blue Stainless Steel Watch. Not only is it a work of art but it’s also a timepiece packed with features, such as its ability to withstand water pressure under certain depths.

The Invicta Men’s Pro Diver, as its name suggests, is a watched geared for water-loving users. It has an amazing water resistance of up to 200 meters or 660 feet. This means that its extremely capable of handling the stresses of any surface water sports. Everyday water splashes should be no problem for this tough timepiece.

It has a rather large stainless case which measures 49 mm along with its brilliantly designed bezel to withstand water pressure. It has a blue and black dial, three chronograph subdials, luminous indices, flame-fusion dial window, skeleton hands and, of course, dive-style bezel. Completing the ensemble is a stainless-steel bracelet with a fold-over clasp with safety closure.

This chrono watch features Chinese quartz movement with analog display.

  • WaterProof up to 200 meters or 660 feet
  • Chinese quartz movement
  • Easy read face design
  • Durable steel case and
  • Some may find the watch case a bit too big at 49 mm

Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Chronograph Watch

Citizen Eco-Drive Brycen Chronograph Men's Watch, Stainless Steel with Leather strap, Weekender,...
698 Customer Reviews
Citizen Eco-Drive Brycen Chronograph Men's Watch, Stainless Steel with Leather strap, Weekender,...
  • Boldly daring, this sporty watch conveys maximum info at a glance. This 1/20 second chrono measures...
  • 1/20 Second Chronograph Measures up to 60 Minutes, Perpetual Calendar, Dual Time (Second Time Zone),...
  • Rose Gold-Tone Stainless Steel

One of the reasons why we’ve included the Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Chronograph with Date AT0200-05E in our round-up is that it does not need batteries.

In mechanical watches, one of the main limiting factors is its reserve power capacity, the mainspring of mechanical timepieces can only store so much power so it's bound to run out of juice after some use. Quartz movement timepieces, on the other hand, are similarly limited by their battery’s capacity.

But the Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Chronograph, despite featuring Japanese quartz movement with analog display, has no such limitation. With its Eco-Drive technology, this quartz timepiece gets its power from any light source.

This means that the timepiece won’t need any battery and its lucky owner won’t have to experience the confusion of wondering why his chronometer seems so slow after running out of power.

Another than its virtually unlimited power, this military style watch offers other exciting useful features. For instance, it is water-resistant up to 100 meters which means you remain fearless even when facing water splashes, swimming, and snorkeling.

It’s also a very easy-to-read watch. Its large silver colored Arabic numbers, hands and markers stand out against its black dial. Reading the time at night is made possible with its luminous hands and numbers. As one of its top features, Eco-Drive’s 1-second chronograph can measure up to 60 minutes and its calendar feature is also a useful addition.

This is also a very well-constructed timepiece, an equipment that could handle the stresses of daily use. Its 39 mm case is constructed out of tough stainless steel while its face is protected by a mineral crystal window. Its green strap and patterned stitching. Enhances the watch’s military-style while giving comfort to the wearer.

  • No need for batteries due to Eco-Drive technology
  • 100-meter water resistance
  • Luminous hands and numbers
  • Military-style appearance
  • Japanese quartz movement – highly accurate
  • The fit is challenging, canvas strap riveted holes widely spaced apart

Vincero Luxury Men's Chrono S Wrist Watch

Vincero might be a relatively new brand to the watch industry but the brand has already made its mark. It is known as a maker of good looking watches that are surprisingly affordable and the Vincero Luxury Men's Chrono S Wrist Watch is no exception. Considering that it comes loaded with features, we’ve decided to include it in our round-up.

Anyone’s first impression upon getting a glimpse of the timepiece is that it’s a really expensive-looking piece. Its 43mm case made out of surgical stainless steel is done in a silver finish, which contrasts nicely with blue dial.

Meanwhile, all its markings as well as its hour, minute and seconds hands are all also colored silver.

The effect is that they seem to float in the blue background making them very visible. This enhanced visibility definitely helps in telling the time especially since there are no Roman or Arabic numerals to assist the wearer. Nevertheless, the overall visual effect is one of an elegant, uncluttered watch face that one can even call it luxurious.

But the watch is not just all looks, it also has tons of functionality and cool specs. For instance, it features the Japanese Miyota Quartz movement, which is known for its precision, along with a date function. It also has a chronograph function and you can see the three chronograph sundials that serve as timers on the dial.

It is rated with a 5 ATM water resistant, which means you don’t have to worry about water splashes. The dial window is made of sapphire coated mineral glass for its scratch and scrape resistance properties. Completing the luxe vibe is its genuine Italian calf leather strap.

  • 5 ATM water resistant
  • Chronograph function
  • Genuine Italian calf leather strap
  • Sturdy surgical grade stainless steel case and bezel
  • Elegant design
  • Japanese Miyota Quartz Movement
  • Strap tend to have issues

What to Consider When Buying a Chronograph

Glad you’ve finally made it to the end our list. What is the most ideal everyday men's chronograph in your opinion? But before you finalize your decision, here are a few but important things to consider before making a purchase [R]. For those who are still undecided ever after reading the list, read this section so you’ll have some basis when making your choice.

chronograh watches


If you are still looking for a chronograph, the best thing to get the ball rolling is to set a ceiling or the maximum cost of your purchase. Of course, this would mean that cool but expensive watches such as the iconic Omega Speedmaster or Breitling Navitimer will be stricken out of your potential acquisitions but, let’s face it, setting a budget will narrow down your choices. This, in turn, will make your decision easier since you know which watches you might consider buying and which watches you must ignore since they are beyond your budget. If you are eyeing for that Heuer Carrera or Heuer Monaco model, you might need to find a budget-friendly alternative.

Digital or Analog

Another choice you must make is whether you want a digital or analog chronograph. Digital watches are very easy for reading since the time is already presented in numeric format. On the other hand, there are watch owners who feel that analog ones have a certain classy appeal to them, and you can choose between automatic movement and mechanical movement. Whatever watch movements you choose, it all boils down to your personal preference.

Water Resistance

When buying a chronograph watch, you need to choose one that offers some water resistance. The greater the water resistance, the better. You can view it as a form of protection for your investment, which is your watch in this case. Since water splashes can happen even if you are careful, it pays to have a watch that’s designed to protect it from such accidents.

Legibility or Easy to Read Design

You might want to choose a chronograph that is easy for reading. This must be stressed as there are some high-tech and probably high fashion watches that sacrificed legibility to some fashion god creating an instrument that seems ultra-hip and trendy but a bit too difficult to figure out.

chronograph watch


Choose ones that tell the time accurately, or at least, take a long time before you need to correct the time after noticing its already behind or ahead a few minutes of the standard time. There are modern models that are so accurate that they only deviate 5 seconds from actual time in one year. However, these ultra-accurate ones might carry a hefty price tag. Average timepieces will usually have a time deviation of just a second per day which amounts to half a minute a month or a six-minute advance or delay in a year, which is not that bad.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are the answers to your frequently asked questions.

What is a Chronograph Watch?

A chronograph watch is one that has a stopwatch function and is capable to time an event accurately. It is basically an analog version of a stopwatch but more reliable in timekeeping and most of the time has other features like telemeter, tachymeter, pulsometer, etc.

They are easy to recognize due to its two pushers located at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions. The pusher at the 2 o’clock position is meant to start and stop the timer/stopwatch, while the 4 o’clock position is used to reset the timer to zero so you can start timing again. Most chronographs have 2 or 3 subdials and the purpose of each can either be for counting seconds and minutes for the stopwatch, and counting the seconds of the main dial.

Which is the Best Chronograph Watch?

When it comes to performance, style, and price, the best one is the Timex Expedition. You can never go out of style with Expedition’s timeless design since it has calfskin leather band, bears neutral color scheme suited both for rugged and formal occasions.

For under $100, you can already enjoy a watch with accurate timekeeping and stopwatch features. It is also water resistant.

Should the Second Hand Move on a Chronograph Watch?

No. The second hand on a chronograph watch is designed for the stopwatch function. The actual second hand can be seen in one of its subdials with a marker in the 12 o’clock position showing the number “60”.

Thank you for reading this chronograph product roundup. We apologize to the ladies reading this article since all of the featured watches are for men. Our rationale is that probably all of these models specifically targeting male users also offer wristwatches of the same model that are made specifically for women. While you might not totally agree with our recommendation, hopefully, you’ve gleaned some insight that will help you in your watch selection.

Links, prices, and images were pulled from the Amazon API. Last updated on 2022-10-07.