Keith W. Strandberg, WorldTempus contributor
The chronograph is far and away my favorite complication. Just about every watch I own and wear regularly is a chronograph and, unlike most other people, I use my chronograph all the time. I’m either timing my six year old son as he runs around the yard, the pizza in the oven or how long it takes me to ride my motorcycle up the St. Cergue hill.
So, when I was examining the GPHG entries for chronographs, I came at it from a heavy user’s perspective.
Of the six watches in this category, I’m going to choose two chronographs on opposite ends of the spectrum. My first finalist is the Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph, because it is so elegantly nostalgic, and I love a single pusher chrono. The size, at 41mm, is perfect, and the bone white dial is simple and elegant at the same time. And, it features a tachymeter scale, a favorite of mine.
On the other end is the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Laptimer Michael Schumacher. It’s futuristic and in all shades of gray, so it couldn’t be more different from the Longines, which is why it caught my eye. At 44 mm, it’s bigger but it has to be to showcase the laptimer complication, where you can control two separate chronograph hands. Fantastic and very useful trackside.
Choose one? No thanks, that’s up to the jury.
Rafael Fernandez, Editor-in-chief of Time Avenue magazine (Venezuela)
The Chronograph Complication is the most popular and appreciated among collectors and followers of High Horology, its usefulness in everyday life, variety of applications and technology involved in the design and construction of a chronograph movement allows for a very competitive and highly innovative environment. This year’s GPHG Chronograph contestants show different approaches to how to build a reliable, functional and beautiful chrono caliber from scratch. The common marker among them is the presence of the classical column wheel as a symbol of tradition and precision, however, we must single out the Montblanc Heritage ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph Vasco da Gama for the extraordinary technical difficulty of putting together a chronograph with a tourbillon while using artistic resources that go the extra mile to show Villeret’s superb watchmaking know-how.
Timmy Tan, Editor-in-chief of Timewerke magazine (Singapore)
The Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph Vasco da Gama Limited Edition 60 is a pure statement piece with a dial that introduces itself as a highly technical piece.
With features unique to the brand such as its innovative tourbillon cage, semi-circular chronograph counters and stop-second function that halts the rotation of the tourbillon cage, this watch lives up to its namesake Vasco da Gama for it is ideal for those wishing to explore new frontiers in terms of looks and technical features. Best of all is its price of EUR 45,000 for a highly limited edition timepiece with all the bells and whistles.
Piaget’s Altiplano Chronograph is surely about pure understated elegance. On the surface, it looks like a classic chronograph. However, it is a pleasure to know that it is a flyback chronograph with a second time zone display. Moreover, it lays claims to a double record of the world’s slimmest chronograph flyback movement and the thinnest flyback chronograph watch.
The Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph is aesthetically pleasing. Single-button push-piece chronographs date back to the early beginnings of chronograph wristwatches. For such a clean-cut, classic look with a column-wheel and at the highly reasonable price of CHF 3,000, it is little wonder that this watch only requires one single push to hit all the right buttons.