Cheap thrills: 3 top chronographs for under a grandJames Robinson
Chronographs are, to this day, one of the most useful complications you can find on a wrist watch. They’re just so practical — whether you’re timing your next run, daily commute or next lap time around the Phillip Island Grand Prix track, a chronograph has got you covered. Thing is, though, because of its complexity, the exceedingly useful complication normally commands a higher price point than your standard three-hander. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and we’ve found three admirable chronograph-equipped wristwatches for under $1000 AUD:
DAN HENRY ALARM CHRONO 1972
A specialist in “derivation mash-ups”, the Dan Henry brand takes what it believes to be the best bits of the past and cobbles them together in yet another attractive and cohesive package. The 1972 Alarm Chrono takes high-level design cues from all over the place, with a splash of Omega here, and a dollop of Porsche there. The result is an extremely wearable, weirdly timeless beater for not much money at all. Limited (as is the norm for Dan Henry watches) to 1,972 pieces.
Ref No: 1972 / Case size: 41mm / Case material: PVD Steel / Movement: Miyota 0S80 / Price: USD$350
UNDONE SNOOPY STARLIGHT
To mark the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, UNDONE produced two limited-edition models. Snoopy frequently pops up on watches, thanks in part to his global popularity as well as his association with NASA (the Silver Snoopy award is given to any NASA employee or contractor for outstanding achievements related to human flight safety or mission success). The “Starlight” edition is limited to just 300 pieces and makes excellent use of lume to light up a starry sky.
Ref No: Undone Snoopy Starlight / Case size: 40mm / Case material: Steel / Movement: VK64 / Price: USD$480
DAN HENRY RACING CHRONO 1962
Dan Henry watches are always good value for money if what you care about above all else is the immediate visual impact of a piece. The Dan Henry Racing Chrono 1962 is another excellent example. Three classic colourways – Blue, Panda and Evil Panda (black dial with white sub-dials) – are available to choose from, and all three employ the Seiko VK63 meca-quartz movement. While the seconds hand ticks like a traditional quartz in motion, the chrono hand sweeps, adding a layer of luxury to proceedings.
Ref No: 1962 / Case size: 39mm / Case material: Steel / Movement Seiko: VK63 / Price: USD$260