Another Friday, another list! After picking 10 pilot’s watches for last week’s list, today, we move on to our 10 favorite chronographs. It’s a category that is related to pilot’s watches. Last week’s list featured nine chronographs, so those specific watches were out of scope for this week’s list. Fortunately, however, it still leaves plenty of goodness to choose from. This is our list of the best chronographs of 2023

With last week’s list of the best pilot’s watches in mind, we knew there would be an overlap with today’s topic. That’s why we immediately said that none of last week’s chronographs are eligible for this week’s list. Nevertheless, we quickly ended up with 15 chronographs that would have all deserved a spot here. As with all lists, though, it’s all about choices. That’s why we made the hard decision to leave quite a few great chronographs out to come up with our list of 10 best chronographs of 2023.

best chronographs of 2023 A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph

A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph

An immediate pick for most of the team was the A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph. The watch was introduced at Watches and Wonders earlier this year and is the first automatic chronograph produced by the Glashütte-based brand. But as you would expect, it’s not your normal chronograph. A. Lange & Söhne sought to integrate the chronograph complication without drastically changing the characteristic Odysseus design. The new in-house-created L156.1 Datomatic solved that design challenge. It is housed in a 42.5mm stainless steel case that is 14.2mm thick. Additionally, the watch has a stainless steel bracelet that is in line with the regular Odysseus models.

This chronograph version has a black textured dial that keeps the Odysseus dial design intact. The characteristic Lange day and date windows sit at 9 and 3 o’clock, respectively, and the running seconds register is at 6 o’clock. Essentially, the watch does not look like a traditional chronograph. The red central chronograph hand tells you something different, but you do not see any additional registers. That’s where the additional central hand with a lozenge-shaped tip comes in. It keeps track keeps track of elapsed minutes. Consequently, this is a 60-minute chronograph, whereas 30-minute chronographs are more common.

A watch full of technical wizardry

As the next surprising technical trick, resetting the chronograph is not any ordinary experience. As with traditional chronographs, the wearer can control it with the pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock. But when you reset the chronograph with the button at 4 o’clock, the chronograph minute hand will return straight to the starting position. The twist is that the red central chronograph seconds hand covers the entire elapsed time at lightning speed. So the hand will travel back one revolution for every measured minute. But there is more. To keep the design as clean as possible, the team at Lange designed multifunctional pushers. You can operate the chronograph with them when the crown is in position zero. If you pull the crown out, though, you can correct the day and date indicators with them too.

best chronographs of 2023 A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph

Responsible for all this magic is the new caliber L156.1 Datomatic. This first in-house-developed automatic chronograph movement comprises 516 parts, operates at 28,800vph, and has a 50-hour power reserve. As you would expect, the Odysseus Chronograph is finished meticulously, giving it an impressive presence. A. Lange & Söhne announced that only 100 pieces would be produced for approximately €135,000. It’s a lot of money, of course, but what you get is a watch that is equally distinctive and stunning.

best chronographs of 2023 Rolex Daytona 24 Hours of Le Mans

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona for 24 Hours of Le Mans

This year was also a big one for the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona. The brand’s iconic chronograph was updated in both its design and movement. The new Daytona range was introduced during Watches and Wonders earlier this year and had everybody talking. But a few months later, Rolex unveiled our favorite, a commemorative edition in white gold for the 100th anniversary of 24 Hours of Le Mans. The watch has a beautiful sunburst reverse panda dial and red ceramic “100” in the tachymeter scale, both of which set it apart from the regular models. Additionally, the watch houses a different movement.

The in-house caliber 4132 is a variation of the caliber 4131 introduced as part of the new Daytona range for Watches and Wonders. For this new movement, Rolex replaced the 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock with a 24-hour counter. It’s a nice nod to the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. After the regular platinum Daytona, this special edition is the second with a display case back that reveals the movement.

best chronographs of 2023 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 24 Hours of Le Mans

Overall, we very much liked the new Daytona range that Rolex introduced in March. But this €51,300 white gold 24 Hours of Le Mans model introduced in June takes the crown as the best of them all, which is why it is on this list.

best chronographs of 2023 Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SLGC001 Tentagraph

Grand Seiko Evolution 9 SLGC001 Tentagraph

This year, Grand Seiko released its first completely mechanical chronograph, the SLGC001 Tentagraph. The watch is part of the brand’s Evolution 9 series, which combines modern case designs with the newest generation of Grand Seiko movements. The new Tentagraph has a beautifully sculpted high-intensity titanium case that measures 43.2mm in diameter and 15.3mm thick. While it is substantial, thanks to the lightweight material, the watch is very easy to wear. The case is paired with a black ceramic tachymeter bezel and a beautiful dark blue dial with the “Mt. Iwate pattern” that we have seen in several other models.

Grand Seiko equips the watch with the new mechanical 9SA5 movement. This automatic chronograph caliber operates at 36,000vph or ten beats per second. The movement has a power reserve of 72 hours and an accuracy of +5/-3 seconds per day. As you would expect, all the watch’s different elements are finished to perfection, making the visual impact even greater.

With the new SLGC001 Tentagraph, Grand Seiko enters the territory of the Speedmaster and Daytona. The brand did so with a slightly bigger watch than its competitors. But its balanced design and great Hi-Beat movement make this a fantastic first all-mechanical chronograph from Grand Seiko. It has a price of €14,300.

best chronographs of 2023 Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph

Another highlight of 2023 was the introduction of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph in steel (Q389848J). Most of you know the background of the Reverso, so you will be aware that there are two sides to the story. The first is facing us, with pencil-tip hour markers, dauphine hands, and a railroad minute track gracing the beautiful sunray-brushed gray-blue front dial.


The Reverso Tribute style that we know from other models looks amazing in combination with the 49.4 × 29.9 × 11.14mm stainless steel case. It created a stylish piece that might give the misleading impression that it’s a fairly straightforward watch. But flip the case around, and you’ll see the second side of the story, the Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 860 beneath an open-worked dial.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

The in-house caliber is a fully integrated hand-wound chronograph movement. It ticks away at a 4Hz frequency and has a 52-hour power reserve. Lex explained that it is an impressive power reserve since the movement powers a retrograde chronograph combined with two-time displays. The chronograph displays the elapsed time on a large central seconds display and a retrograde 30-minute counter at 6 o’clock.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Chronograph pocket shot

Additionally, you can read the time in hours and minutes on the back side too thanks to the dauphine hands and almost menacing-looking indices. To make that happen, the movement powers two sets of hands that travel in opposite directions. This new Reverso Tribute Chronograph is an impressive timepiece that can be yours at €27,300.

Seiko Speedtimer SRQ047 And SRQ049 Chronographs best chrongraphs of 2023

Seiko Prospex Speedtimer SRQ047 and SRQ049

Seiko has been successfully reintroducing the Speedtimer name. While it is still a bit strange to see it as part of the Prospex series, the chronographs that the classic Seiko Speedtimers from the 1960s and ’70s inspire are impressive. In late November, Seiko announced the release of the new SRQ047 and SRQ049 models. The SRQ049 is the reverse panda version and a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, while the SRQ047, with its panda dial, is a regular-production model.

As Thomas explained, these watches take inspiration from the Seiko 6138-8001 and 6138-8020 from 1972. These new models have a 100m-water-resistant hard-coated stainless steel case that measures 42mm in diameter and 14.6mm thick.

best chronographs of 2023 Seiko Speedtimer SRQ047

Both come on a characteristic nine-row bracelet, and the limited edition has a matching leather strap. Inside the case, Seiko equips these two chronographs with its caliber 8R48. This chronograph movement features a column wheel and a vertical clutch. It operates at a 28,800vph frequency and provides a 45-hour power reserve. These two models combine a modern chronograph movement with vintage-inspired looks from two vintage chronographs that Seiko fans love. They are a great duo of watches, with a list price of €2,700 for the unlimited SRQ047 and €2,900 for the limited SRQ049.

The New Kurono Tokyo Chronograph 3 best chronographs of 2023

Kurono Tokyo Chronograph 3 Hisui

We’re staying in Japan for one of this year’s most beautiful classically styled chronographs. The Kurono Tokyo Chronograph 3 Hisui is a stunning celebration of 1940s-style chronographs. The watch has a wonderful light green and off-white dial inspired by a piece of natural jadeite that Hajime Asaoka, the brand’s mastermind, picked up at a beach on the Itoigawa coast.

Thor explained that the light green hisui (翡翠) is native to Japan and can now only be found as stones washed down from the mountains to the pebble beaches of the Jade Coast. To achieve the unique effect of the pebble that Asaoka picked up, the artisans in his atelier used a new multi-layered dial-painting technique.

Combined with many intricate details, it makes this dial incredibly intriguing. At the same time, there is quite a bit going on with the combination of a tachymeter and pulsometer scale, two registers, a date window at 6 o’clock, a set of dots for the hour markers, and applied Arabic numerals at 12 o’clock. The dotted hour markers are a small but brilliant detail that makes this dial even better.

Another wonderful detail is the slight color difference between the green registers and the green dial sector, which has a subtle, grainy texture. This dial alone is worth multiple paragraphs. It almost makes details like the 38mm diameter, 46.8mm lug-to-lug, 13.5mm thickness, Seiko NE86 movement with 45 hours of power reserve, and the list price of US$3,460 (excluding taxes) seem irrelevant. Well, the last one is now, at least, because the Chronograph 3 Hisui sold out in a flash.

TAG Heuer Carrera Glassbox

TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox

The new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph Glassbox celebrates 60 years of the Carrera in great style. The first two new Glassbox models debuted during Watches and Wonders and received much praise from the press and fans alike. Both the reverse panda and blue-dial model capture the classic spirit of Jack Heuer’s 1963 Carrera perfectly while adding nice modern touches.

The watches feature a 39mm case that is 13mm thick and 46mm from lug to lug. The classic box-style sapphire crystal adds significantly to the thickness, but it’s an elemental detail that brings back those classic Carrera vibes. On top of that, it gives these new watches their name.

As Nacho explained, the goodness continues with the new concave-shaped dial that features slightly recessed applied markers. The dial layout of the two models is slightly different. The one with the reverse panda dial has three recessed silver sub-dials and a date window at 12 o’clock. It’s a nod to the 1960s Heuer Carrera “Dato 12” ref. 3147 and a detail that has its fans and haters.

The blue-dial version is slightly different, with a sub-dial at 6 o’clock that is not recessed like the other two and integrates the date window. Inside the case of both models, you will find TAG Heuer’s caliber TH20-00. This automatic chronograph movement operates at 28,800vph and has an 80-hour power reserve. Both models are available for €6,500. And if you want something more exclusive, the recently introduced “Golden Panda” might be an option.

Louis Vuitton × Akrivia LVRR-01 Chronographe À Sonnerie wrist best chronographs of 2023

Louis Vuitton × Akrivia LVRR-01 Chronographe à Sonnerie

You probably knew this watch was going to be part of the list. So much has been said about the special collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Akrivia to make this special timepiece come alive. If you want the full story, I advise you to read Robert-Jan’s article. He was present at the launch of the LVRR-01 Chronographe à Sonnerie in California not too long ago. Here, we’ll focus on the watch and the number of firsts that came along with introducing the LVRR-01 Chronographe à Sonnerie.

Louis Vuitton × Akrivia LVRR-01 Chronographe à Sonnerie best chronographs of 2023

The first breakthrough is that the watch combines a chronograph and sonnerie complication. As a result, it is a monopusher chronograph that automatically chimes every 60 elapsed seconds. If you turn the watch around, you can see the chronograph in action on the enamel dial crafted by Nicolas Doublel at La Fabrique du Temps Louis Vuitton. Because the combination of a chronograph and a sonnerie complication needs a lot of energy, Rexhep Rexhepi of Akrivia created a unique two-barrel construction in which the second barrel links to the gear train in a specific way.

The LVRR-01 has a unique movement

Additionally, the watch features a tourbillon with a cage that revolves once every five minutes. While most modern tourbillon cages revolve once per minute, Rexhepi, inspired by the first tourbillons, chose a slower-rotating one because he believed it would make the watch more accurate. The tourbillon alone boasts a 55-piece construction and is visible through the tinted sapphire front crystal. The dial is graced by a unique logo integrating the famous LV logo into the Akrivia wordmark. It also features six gold cubes filled with translucent fired enamel. These are a nod to the patented LV Spin Time jumping-hours display.

Louis Vuitton × Akrivia LVRR-01 Chronographe À Sonnerie wrist shot

Maybe the most impressive achievement is that the movement is housed in a 39.5mm × 12.2mm platinum case. Only 10 pieces of this watch will be produced, each with an estimated retail price of €500,000. But that is not what this collaboration is about. It’s all about how a seemingly odd pairing can produce surprisingly brilliant results with a great passion for the world of watches.

best chronographs of 2023 Omega Speedmaster Super Racing

Omega Speedmaster Super Racing

Undoubtedly, the Speedmaster that stood out in 2023 was the Super Racing. This modern reincarnation of the Speedmaster Racing is also a visual tribute to the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra “Bumblebee.” It was a watch introduced 10 years ago that was antimagnetic to over 15,000 gauss, marking a big technological advancement for Omega at the time. But the aesthetic of the Speedmaster Super Racing was not the biggest news.

The most important thing was that this new Speedmaster is pushing boundaries in terms of accuracy thanks to the new Spirate system. As Robert-Jan explained, it’s a new patent-pending spiral that allows for ultra-fine rate adjustments. As a result, Omega can now achieve a precision of 0/+2 seconds per day on average, which is certified by METAS.

To achieve that, Omega had to redesign the Si14 balance spring. It was a challenge, to say the least, because the balance spring is the most complicated part of the regulating organ. Using a graduated tuner, a watchmaker can act on the stiffness of the hairspring’s attachment point. The result is even greater accuracy than the Master Chronometer standard of 0/+5 seconds per day.

The new 4Hz caliber 9920 is housed in a 44.25mm steel Speedmaster case. It is matched with a “honeycomb” dial with a racing-style minute track, black and yellow hands, a date window at 6 o’clock, a black ceramic bezel with a yellow scale in Grand Feu enamel, and a new Speedmaster Professional-style bracelet. At €12,900, the Speedmaster Super Racing with Spirate technology is a revolutionary step for Omega regarding accuracy. it is also one of this year’s most remarkable releases.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph "The Beast" best chronographs of 2023

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph “The Beast”

In early February, Audemars Piguet celebrated the 30th anniversary of its Royal Oak Offshore line. The brand released a black ceramic Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph as a tribute to the original Offshore model from 1993, known as “The Beast.” The watch has a 42 × 15.3mm black ceramic case and a matching bracelet. Consequently, it is much lighter than the original stainless steel version introduced three decades ago. It is also one of only three Royal Oak Offshore models with a Petite Tapisserie dial.

While the black aesthetic might look surprisingly simple, its deep, brushed finish and perfect mirror-polished bevels will tell you that this is a luxurious timepiece. Plus, inside the case, you will find the in-house caliber 4404. The integrated, in-house chronograph movement with a flyback function has a 70-hour power reserve. Controlling the chronograph are the round pushers, which are a nice nod to the original version of The Beast. This new black ceramic version of Audemars Piguet’s iconic chronograph is available for a whopping price of €87,400. While it is roughly double the price of the stainless steel or titanium versions of the ref. 26238, it also brings a stealthy quality that almost makes it The Beast in disguise. But as a tribute to the original from 1993, it is the perfect closer for this list.

best chronographs of 2023 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona 24 Hours of Lemans

Final thoughts on the best chronographs of 2023

There you have it — our top 10 picks for the best chronographs of 2023. As mentioned, there are so many chronographs to choose from that it’s hard to leave some of our favorites out. That’s why I’d like to pass the question over to you. What are your favorite chronographs that came out this year? Let us know your picks in the comments section, and we will see you next week for a new best-of-2023 list!