Stopwatches at the Top: 7 Chronographs with In-House Movements

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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Chronograph

Looking for a chronograph with a completely in-house-manufactured movement? In this feature from WatchTime’s June 2017 issue, we showcase some of the industry’s top picks, from seven power brands.

1. ANTI-MAGNETIC: OMEGA SEAMASTER PLANET OCEAN 600M CHRONOGRAPH

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Chronograph

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Chronograph

This divebreitling hercules gk 2188 is one of the most modern and sturdiest all-around chronographs on the market. The case, in stainless steel, titanium or Sedna (rose) gold, is water resistant to a depth of 600 meters, and the ceramic bezel resists scratches. A transparent caseback offers a great view of the super-modern, antimagnetic in-house movement. The use of fully antimagnetic components makes a soft iron inner case unnecessary. Stainless steel, ceramic bezel, 45.5 mm, in-house movement 9900, automatic, chronometer, $8,350.

2. VISUALLY ELEGANT: A. LANGE & SÖHNE DATOGRAPH AUF/AB

A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Auf/Ab

A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Auf/Ab

This chronograph offers beauty and practicality. The many indications – time, elapsed time, large date, power reserve, and tachymeter track – are arranged in elegant balance across the dial. The viewer can see the mechanism with all the Glashütte quality features. Other advantages include a flyback function and a long power reserve of 60 hours. For a review of thisbreitling mulliner tourbillon, click here. Platinum, 41 mm, in-house movement, L.951.1, hand-wound, $90,700.

3. HIGH-TECH LOOK: HUBLOT BIG BANG UNICO TITANIUM

Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium

Hublot Big Bang Unico Titanium

A flyback function – to time, reset and restart the chronograph using the lower push button – is just one advantage of the Big Bang. Consider the three-day power reserve, water resistance to 100 meters, and a quick-change system for straps. But the most convincing feature of Hublot’s bestseller is its modern high-tech look with its multi-piece case, skeletonized dial and grooved rubber strap. For more on the Big Bang Unico, and to see other case versions, click here. Titanium, 45 mm, in-house Caliber HUB1242 Unico, automatic, $19,900.

4. CALCULATING: BREITLING NAVITIMER GMT AURORA BLUE

Breitling Navitimer GMT Aurora Blue

Breitling Navitimer GMT Aurora Blue

The hallmark feature of the now 65-year-old Navitimer (we explore it in detail here) is its circular slide-rule bezel, which can be used to determine flight data such as fuel consumption. From a horological point of view, this chronograph icon has been a standout for many years with its in-house movement that has both a high-quality column-wheel control as well as a modern vertical clutch for an enhanced power reserve of 70 hours. Now it’s available in a blue version with a second time zone. Stainless steel, 48 mm, in-house Caliber B04, automatic, chronometer, $9,290.

5. SCRATCH-RESISTANT: ROLEX OYSTER PERPETUAL COSMOGRAPH DAYTONA

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona

This iconic, racing-inspired chronograph was updated in 2016, for the first time in years. In addition to changes on the dial, the most significant improvement was the addition of a ceramic bezel to protect the once-sensitive tachymetric scale from scratches – as integral to this sporty chronograph as the engine of a car. (More details in our report on the watch from Baselworld 2016). Humming under the hood is the well-known in-house Caliber 4130 with its three-day power reserve and proprietary blue Parachrom hairspring that resists magnetic disturbances and impacts alike. Stainless steel, ceramic bezel, 40 mm, in-house Caliber 4130, automatic, chronometer, $12,400.

6. SIMPLICITY: PATEK PHILIPPE REFERENCE 5170R

Patek Philippe Ref. 5170R

Patek Philippe Ref. 5170R

Patek Philippe filled out its portfolio with the 2009 introduction of hand-wound Caliber CH 29-535 PS. It’s the brand’s first mass-produced chronograph movement without additional functions. Men’s chronograph Reference 5170 appeared in 2010 in yellow gold, then in white gold and now in rose gold with a silver or black dial. The darker model is the most striking version so far and adds a new, sporty touch to the attractive basic chronograph. Rose gold, 39.4 mm, in-house Caliber CH 29-535 PS, hand-wound, $81,080.

7. EVERGREEN: ZENITH EL PRIMERO 36,000 VPH CLASSIC CARS

Zenith El Primero 36,000 VPH Classic Cars

Zenith El Primero 36,000 VPH Classic Cars

Tricolor subdials are a distinguishing feature of this legendary high-beat chronograph from Zenith, whose balance frequency permits measurements of 1/10 second. Legendary, too, is the El Primero caliber: Presented to the public in January 1969 as the world’s first automatic chronograph, the functional and attractive column-wheel movement has never undergone major revision. Stainless steel, 42 mm, in-house Caliber 400, automatic, chronometer, $6,700.

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