No matter if you’re a newbie to the vintage watch market or a seasoned collector, there’s one thing both types of people have in common: chronographs. The chronograph stands for so much — precision, functionality, history, design — that there’s simply something for everyone to love about it.
The chronograph is such a great timepiece, in fact, that there’s a very strong case for it being the first luxury watch you own — even for it being your only one. Let’s take a look at that case in closer detail and explore three of the main reasons your first watch should be a vintage chronograph.
Adding a stopwatch into a wristwatch has become so commonplace that you could be fooled into thinking it’s an easy feat. However, when talking about handcrafted, mechanical watches, it’s certainly not, and this achievement is thus considered by many as a badge of honour.
The time and precision engineering that goes into building a chronograph is further admired as the outcome can be completely different from one watch to the next. For instance, some types such as the Patek Philippe 3970’s CH-27-70 are much more intricate and therefore complex to produce — and have a price-tag to prove it. On the other hand, what makes vintage chronographs so great is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to bag a high quality one.
The term chronograph may often be used to describe a type of watch, but within the one word there are a whole range of variations and complications.
For instance, take the split second chronograph that allows you to time multiple events in succession and the flyback chronograph that has a quick reset and start function to allow you to measure another sudden activity. They both do similar things, but they do so in their own unique ways which, from a watch enthusiasts viewpoint, makes all the difference.
Such options offer something for everyone, whilst also pleasing collectors and people who simply admire such watches for their quality craftsmanship.
Chronographs have not only had a huge influence in the world of watchmaking, but have played a significant role in the lives of many prominent people and events throughout history.
Many of the world’s most important figures had a chronograph on their wrist, often wearing it — they’re so portable and accurate timepieces — at crucial moments in history. A great example is the Omega Speedmaster that was worn by Buzz Aldrin during the first Apollo mission to the moon.
Not only did Buzz go to the moon looking good, the Speedmaster was crucial in supporting many tasks and calculations over the course of the journey. It’s such stories and significance that means when you wear a vintage chronograph, you wear much more than a device that tells the time. You wear a part of history, something that stands for pushing the boundaries of what man is capable of and that continues to help us do so to this day.