Tough Timers: 10 Watches for Extreme Conditions

Mechanical watches are delicate pieces of machinery that can be thrown off kilter if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Magnetic fields, extreme temperatures, and shocks are among the risks watches face. Below, in this list we take a look at some watches designed to withstand these outside factors.

1. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2

The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2 has a safety band around its hairspring, limiting the motion of the spring when the watch receives a shock. The watch also has two screws to hold the hairspring stud. The hairspring itself is made of silicon and weighs only one-third as much as a conventional metal hairspring. It is therefore less vulnerable to shocks. Jolts are also buffered by the case, which combines an inner container and exterior housing, both made of the titanium alloy TiVan15.

2. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss

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Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra >15.000 Gauss

The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss became the world’s most magnetism-resistant watch, exceeding the level of magnetic field resistance of other pioneering antimagnetic watches such as the Rolex Milgauss, when it was introduced in 2013. The key to this milestone is its innovative movement, Omega Co-axial Caliber 8508, which is made up largely of non-ferrous components such as silicon balance springs and nickel phosphorous escape wheels. Click here for more details on the watch.

3. TAG Heuer Monaco Twenty-Four Calibre 36

TAG Heuer Monaco Twenty-Four Calibre 36
TAG Heuer Monaco Twenty-Four Calibre 36

For its Monaco Twenty-Four Calibre 36, TAG Heuer developed what it calls an Advanced Dynamic Absorber System. The movement is suspended at all four corners inside the square case. Four plastic buffers protect the movement against shocks and especially against vibrations in the frequency range of one to 10 Hz.

4. IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph

IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph
IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph

 

The IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph protects its movement from the effects of magnetic fields with a “Faraday cage,” and inner case of soft iron around the movement.

5. Richard Mille RM 036 Tourbillon G-Sensor

Richard Mille RM 036 Tourbillon G-Sensor Jean Todt
Richard Mille RM 036 Tourbillon G-Sensor Jean Todt

The first watch with a complication geared toward high-speed road-racing safety, the Richard Mille RM 036 Tourbillon G-Sensor Jean Todt was conceived by brand namesake and racing enthusiast Richard Mille with the aid of French motorsports executive Jean Todt. In addition to its tourbillon movement, free-sprung balance with variable inertia, and gearbox-inspired “function selector,” the watch features a patented, mechanical G-Sensor system that is designed to visually display the “Gs” accumulated by the watch’s wearer during rapid deceleration, thus making a driver aware when he is approaching dangerous road speeds. For more details on this watch and its unique function, click here.

6. Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea

Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea

Rolex was able to make its Sea-Dweller Deepsea, which has a water-resistance level of 3,900 meters (nearly 13,000 feet), more than 10 percent slimmer than it otherwise would have been by using an entirely new case construction. It consists of three pressure-absorbing elements: a 5.5 mm thick sapphire crystal, a 3.28 mm thick back made of grade 5 titanium, and an inner ring (on which both of them rest) made of Biodur-108 steel.

7. Sinn UX

Sinn UX
Sinn UX

The Sinn UX has a case filled with liquid, which, because it cannot be compressed, makes the watch pressure-resistant to just about any depth. The liquid expands at higher temperatures, so the back is composed of two parts and contains a membrane that allows the inner part to move slightly outward. The watch contains a quartz movement, because the liquid would interfere with the oscillations of a balance. The movement is also lubricated with special oil so that it can function at extreme temperatures ranging from -45° to +80° Celsius, or -49° to +176° Fahrenheit.

8. CX Swiss Military Watch  20,000 Feet

CX Swiss Military Watch 20,000 Feet
CX Swiss Military Watch 20,000 Feet

One of the most water-resistant watches is a model called “20,000 Feet,” from the CX Swiss Military Watch brand made by Montres Charmex. The watch is a tremendously chunky (28.5 mm thick) chronograph with a thick, curved crystal (the curvature enhances the crystal’s pressure resistance).

9. Ball Watch Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon

Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon
Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon

Ball Watch uses specially blended oils in its Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon models that enable them to operate at temperatures ranging from -40° to +60° Celsius, or -40° to +140° Fahrenheit.

10. Breitling Emergency II

Breitling Emergency II - Orange dial
Breitling Emergency II

A pilot or explorer stranded in harsh conditions will appreciate the Breitling Emergency II — the successor to the original Breitling Emergency watch, introduced in 1995 — which is the first watch equipped with a dual-frequency locator beacon. Developed in conjunction with major scientific institutes, the watch is powered by a rechargeable battery and incorporates an integrated antenna system; it transmits on two separate frequencies to issue alerts and to aid in search-and-rescue missions. For a full explanation of how the Breitling Emergency II works, click here.

Are there any other “extreme conditions” watches you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments box below.

This article was originally published on November 10, 2013, and has been updated with new material.

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What Exactly Was the Breitling Huit Aviation Department? Five Things You Need to Know

Although it’s been months since the first Breitling collection under Georges Kern was released, the debate over the new lines continues. However, what has been often left out of these conversations is the historical references embedded throughout the different lines, in particular, a reference to a unique period in Breitling’s aviation history found inside the Navitimer 8 lineup. While the first Navitimer made its debut in 1952, the 2018 collection draws on a specific chapter of Breitling’s 134-year old history that solidified the company as an aviation pioneer in the run-up to World War II. Here are five things you need to know about the Breitling Huit Aviation Department.

Willy Breitling led the independent brand for 47 years (1932-1979).

1.) When Willy Breitling, then only 19 years old, assumed control of the company his grandfather founded, he was in a good position. Chronographs were a major source of revenue for the brand and with over 40 different models available, Breitling wasn’t shy about embracing that fact. It’s worth noting that, at the time, chronographs only had a single pusher, so after starting and stopping the timer, you had to reset it. Willy knew this was an inefficient approach, so he developed the world’s first two-pusher chronograph and filed a patent for it 1934. Two years later, he introduced a chronograph specially made for aviators that had a black dial with luminescent numerals and hands. You could consider this the watershed moment for Breitling’s involvement in flight.

A 1934 ad featuring Breitling’s double-pusher chronograph.

2.) In 1938, Willy Breitling embraced the success of his 1936 model and founded the Huit Aviation Department. He was aware of the strict guidelines that were required for instruments used in military and civilian aircrafts so he chose a name to reflect his timepiece’s capabilities: “Huit.” French for the number eight, it was picked to reflect the eight-day power reserve that the onboard clocks and other dashboard instruments had at the time. As you might have guessed, this is where the “8” in the 2018 Navitimer collection comes from.

A 1941 ad for the Huit Aviation Department.

3.) Production within the Huit Aviation Department started immediately and was focused entirely on making the highest quality pilots’ watches in the world. And they weren’t just producing wristwatches either, the young department was developing full-fledged clocks meant to be installed in the dashboard. In fact, that’s where the department had its greatest success, by creating the lightest weight clocks that were the easiest to install.

One of the onboard chronographs built by the Huit Aviation Department.

4.) Breitling’s timing couldn’t have been better. With World War II right around the corner, the demand for flight instruments that could be trusted to perform in unforgiving circumstances soared. It wasn’t long before the Huit Aviation Department had secured a contract to outfit the legendary fighter planes of Britain’s Royal Air Force with onboard chronographs.

Onboard chronographs and instruments for pilots, Breitling catalog, 1941.

5.) To ensure that each Breitling chronograph could perform up to expectations, Willy and his team worked out a battery of tests that proved the brand’s clocks and instruments could function through any type of shock, vibration, temperature fluctuation, and magnetic force that a pilot might encounter during wartime. As you can assume from the brand’s current place in the watch industry, Breitling served its time throughout the war without issue and is now considered one of the longest-running brands with a true aviation heritage.

The first Breitling Navitimer built in 1952.

Vintage Eye for the Modern Guy: Hamilton Intra-matic Auto

Recently, I’ve been reflecting upon some classic watches in the “new vintage” trend that represent really good value for their relative intrigue. My mind was drawn to the Mido Multifort Datometer with its unusual triple calendar, and the Tissot Heritage Antimagnetique with its rejuvenated historical styling,  and to the Timex Marlin which at $200 is in a category all its own. I most of all considered the Hamilton Khaki Field Mechanical 38 mm, based on a standard military issued watch from the ‘60s to 1980s, which I would argue is one of the coolest watches for the money on the market today.

Hamilton Intra-Matic - vintage

As I considered this last Hamilton watch, I thought back on the many other watches the brand produced in mid-century, and how for so long these pieces adorned such a significant portion of American and global wrists. After all, it wasn’t only military-contracted timepieces and Caliber 11 chronographs the brand produced during its golden age, but also timepieces of elegance and class that were accessible to an entire generation of consumers. Possibly the most significant of these watches was the Intra-matic, a watch the brand produced in the late 1960s into the ‘70s as a follow-up to the Thin-o-matic, at the time established as the primary dress watch offered in Hamilton’s collections (vintage picture above left, via The Watch Forum).

Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto - black dial - strap

As it has with many other of its historical pieces, Hamilton has revived the vintage Intra-matic for the contemporary market as the Intra-matic Auto. The watch is available in modest 38-mm or larger 42-mm sizes, with the option of either a black or silver dial in a steel case, or a silver dial in a gold-plated case. The steel-cased versions are available on either a steel nine-link bracelet or a leather strap, while the gold-plated options are available only on the leather.

Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto - silver dial - bracelet

On each of the models, the case has a simple construction with small trapezoidal lugs, a subtle crown, and a thin bezel all meant to showcase the expansive dial that these features frame. The unadorned dial, sunburst and slightly curved, features elongated printed hour markers without an additional minute ring, a 6 o’clock date window, and simple stick hour and minute hands sweeping the face without a seconds counter. Towards the top of the dial is the vintage Hamilton logo, while toward the bottom is the lowercase “intra-matic” script. Inside each watch, and visible through a sapphire caseback, is the Hamilton-finished ETA 2892-2, an automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve, which is known as a slightly more refined version of the more common ETA 2824-2. Currently, new Intra-matic Autos are being priced by the brand as low as $845 for steel 38-mm options on leather straps, and as high as $1,095 for the 42-mm gold-plated version, though you might be able to find one for significantly less through certain dealers.

Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto - gold - reclining

Between the vintage and modern versions of the Intra-matic, the shared qualities are obvious. With an expansive sunburst dial, slim case, elongated hands and printed hour markers, the two watches share all of their major features. Even some slightly subtler details remain very similar, such as the style of date window and lowercase “intra-matic” font towards the bottom of the dial, all together showing the effort the brand made to keep the contemporary version as visually consistent as possible with the original.

Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto - back

As for the differences between vintage and contemporary model, they are little more than slight adjustments to better cater to a modern audience and balance the design. The hour markers are slightly longer, the hands and crown slightly thicker, and the dial’s sunburst finish more pronounced. Noticeably, the date window on the vintage version was at the complete bottom of the dial, covering a would-be 6 o’clock hour, where on the modern version it is slightly more towards the center; likely a practical change by the brand to accompany the larger case sizes and placement of the modern movement inside, compared to the 34-mm vintage watch with its Hamilton Caliber 92 (based on the Buren 1282 micro-rotor movement).

Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto - Gold 

In many ways, the modern Intra-matic represents much the same value as the vintage piece did. With its simple elegance, history, and price accessibility, the watch has the ability to become the centerpiece of an expanded collection, or an additional piece of intrigue in one longstanding. Ultimately, it’s a distinctive piece the brand felt it had to offer, and showcases the versatility Hamilton has shown in bringing forth not only desirable sports watches in its modern collections, but also classy formal pieces to round out its portfolio.

Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto - silver dial - strap

For the most recent article in the “Vintage Eye” series, in which we compare Zodiac Astrographic to its historical counterpart, click here.

Caleb Anderson is a freelance writer with a primary focus on vintage watches. Since first discovering horology, he has garnered extensive knowledge in the field and spends much of his time sharing his opinions among other writers, collectors, and dealers. Currently located near New York City, he is a persistent student in all things historical, a writer on many topics, and a casual runner.

Vintage Eye for the Modern Guy: Siduna M3440 Professional Uni-Compax Chronograph

After covering Swedish startups Maen and Nezumi, I’ve been patiently watching the rise of other Scandinavian brands. This week we focus our eye on another as we spotlight Siduna and its first production watch: the M3440 Professional Uni-Compax Chronograph.

Lemania vintage watch

The new piece is based upon a 1973 standard-issue military chronograph produced for the Swedish Air Force, or Svenska Flygvapnet (vintage model pictured above, via Sotheby’s). It used a case design by Ervin Piquerez SA that originated in 1968 and is commonly seen in military chronographs by Breguet, Heuer, Sinn, and most notably Lemania, among many others. It was this Lemania version, formally known by its reference number 817, which has long been connected to the Swedish military; through time it has taken on the nickname “Viggen,” after the Saab 37 Viggen fighter jet that its wearers flew. Today Siduna, a historical Swedish watch brand absent from the market for more than 60 years, has revived the public-domain design in the first watch from its modern incarnation.

Siduna M3440 Chronograph - angle

The 817 re-creation is a steel 42-mm chronograph with rectangular lugs, a screw-down waffle crown, and pump pushers. A black rotating bezel outlines the domed sapphire crystal protecting the dial. On the Super-Luminova-accented face is a white outer minute track marked at each five-minute mark, with printed Arabic numerals for each of the hours. At the 3 o’clock position is a 30-mintue counter, with a running seconds subdial parallel to 9 o’clock, with standard sword pointers sweeping over both to show the time.

Siduna M4330 Chronograph - side

Powering the M3440 is the Caliber 13 Phi, with the option of either a standard version or an adjusted flyback chronograph mechanism. The movement is based on an ETA 7750 which has been modified and finished by Siduna. The piece is currently available for pre-order and expected to ship in Fall 2018, with the standard model marked at 1,860 euros and 2,340 euros (pre-VAT) for EU residents, or approximately $2,175 and $2,735 for the American market. Each version is limited to 100 numbered pieces, with the models bearing serial numbers 001, 010, 019, 080, 088, and 099 to be auctioned.

Siduna Caliber

The M3440 is in most of its aspects a faithful reproduction of the vintage military-issue Lemania. With the same size at 42 mm, similar lugs, and a standard rotating bezel, the case of the modern watch is a nearly identical to the historical model’s except for a few distinguishing caseback markers common to the “Viggen.” Similarly, the dials of the 1973 and 2018 watches are also very similar, with the fonts, the sizing of the hour markers, the outer minute ring, and subdials all more or less identical The only differences are in the hour and minute hands, which are slightly thicker in the modern examples, and the placement of the subdials: on the vintage model they are closer to the center of the dial. Outside of this aesthetic change, the M3440 benefits from modern production techniques in movement technology and finishing— to be expected, as Siduna is marketing the new model as top-of-the-line rather than the utilitarian tool watch that Lemania produced.

Siduna M4330 Chronograph - dial

Siduna is clearly looking to enter the market in style, and by choosing to recreate a popular vintage design tied to the brand’s home country of Sweden, it is positioning itself to do so successfully. Add to the interesting style a flyback chronograph mechanism and a two-year warranty, and the brand is presenting a high-quality timepiece few other startups have been able to manage in their initial releases. In the future, Siduna plans to release more watches, with the M3440 as both the pinnacle and starting point of the collection; the company is also currently working on sourcing new movements other than the modified ETA calibers it’s currently using.

Siduna M4330 Chronograph - angle-brown

For the most recent article in the “Vintage Eye” series, in which we compare the Cartier Santos to its historical counterparts, click here.

Caleb Anderson is a freelance writer with a primary focus on vintage watches. Since first discovering horology, he has garnered extensive knowledge in the field and spends much of his time sharing his opinions among other writers, collectors, and dealers. Currently located near New York City, he is a persistent student in all things historical, a writer on many topics, and a casual runner.

 

10 Classic Chronograph Movements

A while back, I wrote an article on my top 5 iconic chronograph watches. Some of you readers wondered why Zenith wasn’t in there. Quite simply, it didn’t make my personal Top 5. However, I do love the Zenith El Primero movement, and think that its reputation as a great chronograph caliber is well-earned. So, to make it up for some of you fellow watch nerds out there, here I focus specifically on chronograph movements rather than watches.

One of my late, watch-loving friends had a special appreciation for chronographs and even ended all his e-mails with, “Chronographs, like most finer things in life, only improve with time.” If you want to know more about chronograph movements, and certain specific calibers, from a collector’s point of view, I recommend you read the interview I did with him several years ago (click here). Although it does not include the latest chronograph movements, it is still a useful article covering many important aspects of chronographs.

Another great read that I can recommend if you want to learn more about chronograph movements is the book Chronograph Wristwatches – To Stop Time, written by Gerd-Rüdiger Lang (founder and former CEO of Chronoswiss) and Reinhard Meis. The book dates from 1993 and offers good – albeit very technical – descriptions of the various chronograph movements out there.

My personal Top 10 contains in-house manufactured movements as well as mass-produced movements from manufacturers such as Lemania. You will also note that I’ve included types with both column-wheel and lever mechanisms. Other considerations include aesthetics and other attributes, all based on my experience in watch collecting over the last 15 years.

1. Zenith El Primero

Zenith El Primero movement

The Zenith El Primero was introduced in 1969 and the first two versions were Caliber 3019PHC (with chronograph and date) and Caliber 3019PHF (with triple date, moon-phase, and chronograph).  This first automatic chronograph movement ever is a ‘fast ticker,’ with a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour (vph). Most chronographs at the time of its introduction were ticking at 18,000 vph or 21,600 vph. The 36,000 vph makes it possible to time intervals to 1/10th of a second. The El Primero movement as we know it today is an evolution of the very first Caliber 3019 movements. Over time, we’ve seen several brands other than Zenith using El Primero chronograph movements, including Movado, TAG Heuer, Ebel, and even some Rolex Daytonas (though Rolex made some adjustments to it). If you are really into chronographs, you need at least one watch with this movement inside it.

2. Lemania 5100

Lemania 5100 movement

You don’t have to be a movement expert to see that this one is a rather ugly specimen. It has no column-wheel mechanism and it even has some plastic parts inside. The reason that I put this particular movement at number 2 is that it is a no-nonsense workhorse, with central second and minute chronograph hands (for easier reading), a 24-hour hand, and a day-date feature. This movement was discontinued a few years ago, which apparently brought a few chronograph collectors nearly to tears. Tutima is one of the brands that has used it for a very long time, even after the discontinuation of its production. Other brands that have used the Lemania 5100 include Omega (which calls it Caliber 1045), Sinn, Fortis, Porsche Design, and Alain Silberstein. Lemania also created its own chronograph watches in the past that contained this movement. Word is that Fortis, Sinn and Tutima used this particular movement because it was the only one at the time meeting military requirements for chronograph watches. (Photo from Watchconcept.com).

3. Lemania 2310

Lemania 2310 movement

Another Lemania, but very different than the 5100. This Lemania 2310 is perhaps better known under Omega’s “Caliber 321” label, which was used in the very first Omega Speedmaster watches (click here). However, Omega wasn’t the only brand to use this Lemania column-wheel chronograph caliber. Even Patek Philippe used it for some of its chronograph watches, renaming it Caliber CH27-70. Of course, the Patek Philippe CH27-70 looked very different from the Omega Caliber 321 in terms of its finish, but both are based on that very same Lemania movement. Speedmaster fans crave the original Caliber 321, which Omega replaced in 1968 with Caliber 861 (also based on a Lemania movement), which had a lever mechanism instead of a column wheel. (Photo courtesy of SteveG)

4. Rolex 4130

Rolex 4130 movement

Before 2000, Rolex used hand-wound Valjoux Caliber 72 chronograph movements, and modified Zenith El Primero movements, for its Cosmograph Daytona watches. In 2000, Rolex introduced the successor to its Caliber 4030 movement (based on the El Primero), Rolex Caliber 4130. Fully developed and manufactured in-house, this automatic chronograph chronometer movement is solid as a rock and cleverly engineered. Rolex was able to reduce the number of components with a new, patented solution for the chronograph mechanism. The extra space has been used to house a larger mainspring, which increased the power-reserve capacity from 50 to 72 hours. A watchmaker from a local Rolex service center has also told me that the Daytona is quite easy for them to service thanks to this movement’s construction.

5. A. Lange & Söhne L951.6

 A. Lange & Söhne L951.6 movement

The hand-wound Caliber L951.6 by A. Lange & Söhne powers the brand’s Datograph Auf/Ab timepiece and, as you can see from the photo, has an incredibly high level of finishing and craftsmanship. The balance bridge has that traditional Glashütte finish (hand-engraving) and all the movement parts are meticulously finished as well. All the parts — even the balance spring — are manufactured in-house. This particular movement consists of 451 parts, which means assembly is surely a painstaking job for Lange’s watchmakers in Germany. Although I have much respect and admiration for all Lange movements, the one in the Datograph Auf/Ab (“Up/Down”) movement is definitely one of my favorites.

6. Omega Caliber 9300

Omega Caliber 9300

In 2011, a few years after the introduction of its in-house-developed-and-produced Caliber 8500-family of movements, Omega introduced the Caliber 9300 chronograph movement, which was also entirely developed and manufactured in-house. This impressively large caliber has the brand’s renowned co-axial escapement, a column-wheel mechanism, and a silicon balance spring. The movement has a 60-hour power reserve. So far, Omega has only used Caliber 9300 in its Seamaster Planet Ocean chronographs and Speedmaster Caliber 9300 watches, including the Speedmaster “Dark Side of the Moon.” Caliber 9300 has a two-register layout in which the subdial at 3 o’clock shows both the recorded hours and minutes. This subdial can also be used as a second-time-zone indicator if used cleverly. A review on the Omega Speedmaster 9300 can be found here.

7. TAG Heuer Caliber 1969

TAG Heuer Caliber 1969

Remember the uproar when it was revealed that TAG Heuer’s Caliber 1887 movement was based on a Seiko chronograph caliber? Even though TAG Heuer modified it, and is producing it in Switzerland, the word “Seiko” lit a fire under some diehard Swiss-watch fans. Recently, TAG Heuer introduced another new chronograph movement, Caliber 1969.  The caliber number refers to the year that TAG introduced its first mechanical, automatic chronograph movement, Caliber 11. And it should be noted that this movement has nothing to do with the more controversial Caliber 1887. It is a tricompax chronograph (subdials at 9, 6 and 3 o’clock) and has a power reserve of 70 hours. There are no watches available with this movement yet, as TAG Heuer just recently announced it and officially opened the production facility. I can only hope it will do a perfect re-edition of some of the classic, vintage Heuer watches that used the Caliber 11 movement in the past.

8. Patek Philippe CHR 29-535 PS Q

Patek Philippe CHR 29-535 PS Q

This movement, Caliber CHR 29-535 PS Q, was developed in-house by Patek Philippe. It is hand-wound and was used for the first time in Patek’s Reference 5402P (I wrote about that watch here). The movement consists of 496 parts and features not only a chronograph with split-seconds function, but also a perpetual calendar, placing it firmly in Patek Philippe’s Grand Complications collection. It is a relatively small movement compared to the others here (30 mm diameter) but quite thick. The finishing on all the parts is magnificent. Patek Philippe has filed for a patent on its new split-seconds lever construction. An amazing movement that is unfortunately —  like the A. Lange & Söhne chronograph movement that came in at #5 — available only for a fortunate few.

9. Seiko Ananta Spring Drive Movement (Caliber 5R86)

Seiko Ananta Spring Drive Movement (Caliber 5R86)

I recall that, at one point, Seiko‘s Spring Drive movement got so much publicity that people who inquired about my watch hobby were under the assumption that all watches wound by the motion of the wrist were called “Spring Drive” watches. Seiko did an excellent marketing job on that. The Ananta Chronograph was a Seiko watch that really caught my eye, with its Caliber 5R86 movement. Instead of a traditional escapement, the Spring Drive system uses a combination of a balance wheel, electro-magnetic energy, and a quartz oscillator for optimum accuracy; it uses a rotor to wind the mainspring. As you can see, the finishing is superb. If you can live without the traditional tick-tock of a purely mechanical movement, give a watch with this Seiko movement a chance.

10. Breitling B01

Breitling Chronomat Caliber B01

Following in the footsteps of Omega and TAG Heuer, Breitling also felt the urge to design and develop a chronograph movement in its own facilities. Breitling introduced its B01 chronograph movement in 2009. Before that, Breitling, like many other watch brands, used mainly ETA/Valjoux chronograph movements, along with an occasional Lemania. The Breitling B01 movement is fully developed and manufactured in-house and has a column-wheel chronograph system. It has a 70-hour power reserve and a traditional tricompax layout. It was first introduced in the Chronomat, but since then Breitling has also installed versions of it in a number of its other watches, including the Navitimer 01, Montbrillant 01 and Chronomat 44.

What are your favorite chronograph movements (not watches)? Please share them with us by leaving a comment.

This article was originally posted in 2015 and has been updated.

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