Pre-Owned Picks — Cool Chronograph Watches From Chrono24
It’s no secret — we love a chronograph or two here at Fratello. There’s the obvious Moonwatch, but Navitimers and Daytonas get some attention too. But there are plenty of cool chronographs outside of the trifecta of iconic two pusher timers.
Today’s Pre-Owned Picks selects chronographs worth a punt on the largest online watch marketplace. All watches are offered with original box and papers.
All these watches were selected carefully by me without any influence from Chrono24. I chose the topic and found suitable wristwatches that related to the topic. I only request the high-resolution photos from Chrono24 without the watermark. As these are only my suggestions, it is worth always carrying out your research on the watch details and the seller. Ask as many relevant questions you feel are necessary for the watch, and a good seller should answer with accuracy and honesty.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph ref. Q1538530
The Master Control Chronograph from JLC is a two-register chronograph with timing seconds, minutes, and hours. Noticeably absent is the running seconds, but more admirably is omitting the date window. This offers an incredibly symmetrical and balanced dial design with only one erroneous feature, the text “Automatique” above 6 o’clock. However, this gently balances the Jaeger-LeCoultre logo below 12 o’clock without filling too much blank space. Commendable compared to my Rolex Daytona and its long lines of text filling all possible dial space.
The skeleton hands provide legibility when to the chronograph sub-dials when the hands cross over them.
Running the circumference of the dial is the almost hidden tachymeter scale with a blue typeface matching the sub-dial numerals. The skeletonised blued steel hands included in the entire Master Control range offer unimpeded legibility in the chronograph model. Allowing the wearer to view the sub-registers through the hands as they cross over. Despite this, the dial and hands do not have any luminosity, so the watch is only visible with a light source.
The dial also features a variety of textures such as; the eggshell silvered inner dial, a brushed steel outer dial with the hour indices including 12 and 6 and circular graining in the sub-registers. These contrasting textures add depth and interest to the dial as well as serving as a distinguishing characteristic further improving legibility. The in-house automatic chronograph movement is unfortunately non-viewable through the solid steel case-back.
The chronograph is the only model in the Master Control range that doesn’t have a sapphire display case-back. However, the culprit lies with the anti-magnetic protection covering the movement and thus removing the ability to view the mechanism. Although, the attractive JLC logo engraved on the case-back does partly make up for it. An in-house automatic chronograph movement with a 40mm steel case and a two-tone sector dial from top tier manufacture was €8,300 at retail. The example I have found on Chrono24 comes in at €6,999.
Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph ref. 81020-11-431-11A
Girard-Perregaux dipped their toes in the water with the revitalised Laureato in 2016 and disguised it as a 225thAnniversary piece. The following year, the Laureato became a model line to itself with updates and a new lower entry price. Standout pieces like the full ceramic Automatic instantly made a statement albeit with some razor-sharp edges. Now, the Laureato range offers a cornucopia of variances on size, straps, colours, materials even some special collaborations.
The iteration that always stood out for me was the Laureato Chronograph in 42mm and 38mm with dial options including panda and reverse panda styles. My choice would be the 42mm blue ton-sur-ton with blued indices and hands in full 904L stainless steel. As much as I praised the lack of date window in the JLC above, the 4:30 window here in combination with the hobnail and circular graining is less of a bugbear. Still I would prefer a clean bi-compax dial. The Laureato Chronograph also has a closed case-back and a power reserve of 46 hours.
There are very few points of sale of GP’s collection. Even so the price of the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Chronograph was €15,000. Luckily, my configuration of choice can be found on Chrono24 for much less as this example shows for €11,009.
Montblanc 1858 Monopusher ref. 117834
My next pick had its claws sunk into me for a while. A €28,000 steel watch with a green dial without a secondary reset button from a pen-maker. This in no way should be a logical grail watch. While I’ve always hated the supposed scold of “only a pen-maker” that I just used; to be honest, my appreciation of Montblanc watches was pretty limited. It was more, “wow, you can buy a perpetual calendar and world timer for that little?” The TimeWalker never really grabbed me and classic round watches can be found anywhere.
However, the 1858 collection designed by Tudor Black Bay designer Davide Cerrato, changed my tune to “yes I’ll happily pay for this €28,000 steel Montblanc watch.” Simply for that gorgeously constructed Minerva Calibre 13.21 movement. It takes a single watch-maker weeks and months to hand finish all the sharp inner angles and awkward surfaces to get the fine results. Even the inner part of the barrel is hand finished, which not even a watch-maker during a service will necessarily see. This all creates a miniature cathedral within the case-back where light bounces around and dramatizes the mechanics at play.
At 40mm, the 1858 Monopusher is incredibly wearable and in fact, it is because it is 40mm that the Monopusher is separate to the winding stem due to restriction on length. It’s worth the separate pusher as the horizontal clutch column wheel allows for a smooth activation. The Montblanc 1858 reminds me of my own Oris Artelier Calibre 112. A watch punching above its weight in comparison to its mainstay collection but dedicated to fine Swiss watch craft. Almost nostalgic in its tradition but extremely well executed. It may not be a bread and butter watch, but it sure is the cherry on top. And on Chrono24, an example for €19,950 is the very best cherry.
Happy Holiday Hunting!