The Best Recently Released Chronograph Watches — Top 10 From IWC, Longines, Zenith, And More
Summer is in full swing, and by now, most people have selected their favorite summer watches to take with them on holidays. But after the summer is over, you might want to think about a new timepiece to add to your collection. What about a new chronograph? You know that we collectively love chronographs here at Fratello, with one particular chronograph at the top of that list. That’s why we wanted to take the chance to find out what some of the best recently released chronographs are. Are there any new kids on the block that give the iconic chronographs we all know and love a run for their money? Let’s find out.
For this list, we focused on watches that have been released recently, whether as all-new models or modern updates to classics. And in the world of chronographs, there are classics galore along with some of the most iconic watches ever created. From the Speedmaster to the Daytona to the Navitimer, there are so many great chronographs out there. While dive watches may be the most popular category of watches overall, chronographs easily compete when it comes to legacies and stories. So let’s find out about some of the best recently released chronographs that you can buy today
Tissot PRX Chronograph
The Tissot PRX Chronograph came as quite a surprise addition to the PRX collection, but it is an absolute winner. I had the pleasure of wearing it for some time after receiving it in the Fratello office, and it was a brilliant move by Tissot. The watch takes the aesthetic of the PRX line to the next level and proves how great the design really is. At 42mm, the watch is slightly wider than the 40mm three-hand version, and it measures a substantial 14.5mm in height.
But what both Robert-Jan and I agreed on immediately is how forgiving the watch is on the wrist. You will have to get used to the weight of 184 grams, but once you do, the watch really wears like a charm. Inside the case, Tissot equips the PRX Chronograph with an ETA A05.H31 movement, which is basically a new version of the famous Valjoux 7753 caliber. At €1,795, the watch is unbeatable in terms of style, presence, and value. On top of that, the watch still wears great despite its more daunting specs.
Grönefeld 1941 Grönograaf
I have to give some love to my hometown of Oldenzaal in The Netherlands, which also happens to be the hometown of Grönefeld. Only a couple of weeks ago, Bart and Tim Grönefeld unveiled their latest creation, the 1941 Grönograaf. As Lex explained in a Coffee Corner Watch Talk article, the name Grönograaf is a fun play on words that combines the last name of the two brothers with the Dutch word for chronograph (chronograaf). But the watch itself is serious work. It comes with the brand’s signature 1941 case that measures 40mm wide and a nice 11.3mm thick.
The dial side feels familiar in style but introduces a new visible and mechanical element to the layout. At 4 o’clock, we see a “centrifugal governor” or soft-reset mechanism that prevents excess force when resetting the chronograph. If you turn the watch around, you will see the 408-part hand-wound column-wheel chronograph caliber G-04. The 25 “Premiere Edition” pieces in Tantalum have all sold out at €165,000. The stainless steel version will be limited to 188 pieces and will cost €155,000. That is serious money for a very serious chronograph.
Airain Type 20
We are staying in The Netherlands for our next pick. The iconic Type 20 pilot’s chronograph was developed according to a specification by the French Ministry of Defense. In his article about the new Airain Type 20, Dave explains more about the history of the original Type 20 watches and Airain’s role in their production. The brand’s Dutch refounder Tom van Wijlick has released a great modern version of that classic. It comes with a 39.5mm stainless steel case that is under 11mm thick, has a lug-to-lug of 47.7mm, and is water resistant to 50 meters.
The slim profile is thanks to a manually-wound flyback chronograph caliber by La Joux-Perret with a 60-hour power reserve. So far, we have seen a non-limited black version that retailed at €2,600 and two limited editions. The first limited edition came with a brown dial, and the second featured a green dial (pictured). Both were available in a limited run of 134 pieces for €2,800. The black version is currently sold out but is slated to return, so if you are in the market for a really well-done version of the iconic Type 20, keep an eye out for this one.
IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “Lake Tahoe”
When Lex first showed me a picture of the white IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Edition “Lake Tahoe,” I wasn’t sure what to think. I am no stranger to loud colors, but a completely white IWC “Flieger Chrono”? Let’s say I was a bit more skeptical than Lex. Once we got it in the office with the green “Woodland” version of the same watch, the white “Lake Tahoe” version made more sense. It is part of a bigger series of pilot’s watches that IWC introduced earlier this year called “The Colors Of Top Gun.”
My personal favorite out of all of them is the “Mojave Desert” Pilot’s Watch Chronograph. That, however, was released as a limited edition back in 2019. While the black 41mm Ceratanium version would be a logical next pick, the “Lake Tahoe” ended up finding a place in my heart. It comes with a 44.5 × 15.7mm white ceramic case and a snow-white rubber strap. Inside the case, IWC uses its in-house caliber 69380. This automatic column-wheel chronograph provides 46 hours of power reserve. Both the “Lake Tahoe” and the green “Woodland” edition are available for €11,800. IWC will produce 1,000 pieces per year of each of these stand-out pieces.
Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph 41
The Navitimer B02 Chronograph 41 Cosmonaute is my favorite Breitling release of this year so far. But as it’s a sold-out limited edition, it’s worth a mention but not a spot on this list. That spot is reserved for the new 41mm Navitimer that was released in March. The 41mm model saw a long-awaited update featuring the brand’s in-house B01 movement. Previously, this caliber had only been available in models measuring 43mm and up. Our resident Breitling expert Michael Stockton was very happy to see this new historically sized version of the brand’s icon. But what else is new?
The watch has a “bowl-shaped” dial, and the date window is integrated into the hour counter at 6 o’clock. The central chronograph hand no longer has the “B anchor” counterweight, and the old AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) “wings” make a return to the dial. Additionally, the lugs are slimmer, and the bezel teeth are more rounded. The case measures 41mm × 13.60mm, and inside of it ticks the B01 movement with a power reserve of 70 hours. The 41mm stainless steel Navitimer comes with a leather strap for €8,300 or on a traditional seven-row slanted Breitling bracelet with a new butterfly clasp for €8,650. The new Navitimer is a cleverly updated version of the brand’s biggest icon.
Longines Spirit Pioneer Edition
Last year, I was very impressed with the Longines Avigation BigEye in titanium. The watch looks beautiful with its blue dial, black registers, and vintage lume. On top of that, it was a joy to wear. This year, the brand released a new chronograph in its Spirit collection, the Spirit Pioneer Edition. While the watch does have that retro-inspired style that many watch fans have grown to love, it features a very modern 42mm titanium case that is a whopping 16.5mm thick.
I haven’t actually gotten the watch on my wrist, but people have said the case shape makes it a fairly comfortable watch to wear. The watch stands out thanks to the contrasting green elements found on both the black dial and strap. The dial features large Arabic numerals and hands, almost all of which are filled with neon green lume. Additionally, the strap features green stitching for a contemporary overall look. Inside the case, Longines uses its COSC-certified caliber L688.4 (ETA A08.L01). This movement is based on the trusted Valjoux 7753 architecture and provides a 66-hour power reserve. The watch is a perfect combination of vintage style and modern execution, and it is available for €4,030.
Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical Chronograph
It’s no secret that we are fans of the Hamilton Intra-Matic Chronograph. In particular, the hand-wound Intra-Matic H is a Fratello favorite. But Hamilton is obviously more well-known for its military-inspired timepieces. A more recent military-inspired chronograph is the Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical. The watch was inspired by Hamilton’s hand-wound chronograph that the British Royal Air Force supplied to its pilots in the 1970s. This modern version comes with a 40mm asymmetric case that is 14.35mm thick. It gives the watch plenty of wrist presence.
As Lex explained in his review, the case defines the style with its recessed crown and humble pushers. Inside the case, Hamilton uses its hand-winding H-51-Si caliber, which features a silicon balance spring and a 60-hour power reserve. The watch comes on a 22mm brown leather strap that creates a very retro style in combination with the black dial and aged lume. But swap the leather strap for a NATO or canvas strap, and the presence of the watch changes completely. At €1,995, the Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Mechanical is a great vintage-inspired chronograph that doesn’t break the bank.
Aquastar Deepstar Chronograph 39mm
I also featured the 39mm Aquastar Deepstar in our list of the best recently introduced dive watches, but there is no reason not to feature it again on this list. It shows the crossover capabilities of this remarkable timepiece, which works as well as a chronograph as it does as a diver. On top of that, I love the quirky style of the watch. It is unique in the world of watches and instantly recognizable. Let’s quickly remind ourselves of what makes this such a great timepiece. The initial Deepstar from 2020 featured a 40.5mm case with a lug-to-lug of 50.5mm. It was a great fit for my wrist, but I would have preferred it a bit smaller.
Enter, the 2022 version of the same watch with a 39mm case and a slightly friendlier 49mm lug span. It is still substantial but a bit friendlier on the eye and the wrist. The watch is defined by its skin-diver case, the unique dial design, and the bezel with its decompression scale. Inside the case, Aquastar uses the same La Joux-Perret column-wheel automatic chronograph that powered the bigger model. The watch is available for €3,590 on a Tropic-style rubber strap or for €3,790 on a beads-of-rice bracelet. Both look stunning on this brilliant timepiece.
Patek Philippe Chronograph 5172G
Patek Philippe graced us with a string of brilliant new releases this year. I was particularly impressed by the 5326G Annual Calendar Travel Time during Watches And Wonders. A close second was the 5172G that I picked for this list. The 5172G is a favorite amongst Patek fans and not without reason. Just look at this stunning chronograph. Patek Philippe introduced the white gold 5172G with a blue dial back in 2019. This year, the brand added a white gold version with a stunning salmon dial. I was greatly impressed by the watch when I saw the press pictures.
But as Lex explained in his article about the new Patek introductions, they really should be witnessed in real life. Seeing the dial on this version of the 5172G proved that once more. The watch comes with a white gold case that is 41mm in diameter and 11.45mm thick. It features a gilded opaline rose gold dial with contrasting charcoal-gray elements. It’s a color combination that works really well. Inside the case, you will find the in-house caliber CH 29-535 PS. This manual-wind chronograph consists of 270 parts and delivers 65 hours of power reserve. At CHF 68,000, it’s a pricy piece, but what you get in return is unbeatable.
Zenith Chronomaster A384 Revival Lupin The Third – Final Edition
The last watch on this list is a giant curveball. Yes, it’s a limited edition, and yes, it is sold out, so crucify me. You might know by now that I absolutely love the Zenith El Primero A384, both in its vintage form as well as the modern Chronomaster A384 Revival. The spin-offs that came after, such as the A3817 that I reviewed and the A3818 “Covergirl” are also winners in my book. Zenith also created an absolutely beautiful one-off pink-dial version for the Pink Dial Project. All of these executions show the great versatility of the A384. Further proof of that is the series of three A384 models created for the Lupin The Third animation series.
The first featured a black dial with gray registers, a gray tachymeter, and gilt hands and indices. The second — my absolute favorite, pictured above — came with a panda dial with a white tachymeter scale instead of the black one from the regular model. Additionally, it had a black date disc and a black chronograph seconds hand for a wonderful contrast. The third “Final Edition” features a diagonally split dial that combines the dials of the two first models. The characteristic case is 37mm × 12.6mm and has a 47mm lug-to-lug span. The watch is paired with a Gay-Frères-inspired ladder-style bracelet and powered by the El Primero 400 movement. But it’s all about the creativity and gutsiness that Zenith showed with this bonkers release. I might chase the brilliant panda-dial “2nd Edition,” but this “Final Edition” is definitely one of the most remarkable chronographs that came out recently.
There you have it — a list of ten recently released chronograph watches that could be your perfect next chronograph purchase. But I certainly realize that this list is by no means complete. There are so many great watches that could have been on this list. That’s why I pass the question to you…
What is your favorite recently released chronograph watch? Let us know in the comments section what your pick would be.