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Thread: My Chronograph Collection

  1. #1
    Master
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    Lightbulb My Chronograph Collection

    Ever since I was a young chap, and first got interested in watches, I was always drawn to chronographs, back then I could only afford cheaper watches, and gravitated towards sekonda, Tissot and some spurious brands Iíve long forgotten.

    As my interest and knowledge grew, I ended up with Sinn, Certina, Heuer and Omega.

    Some time ago I was lucky enough to be able to get what was to me the ultimate chronograph, the Daytona. Following on from that Iíve added a Monaco, a Speedmaster and last but not least a Zenith El Primero.

    To me these are the most iconic chronographs Iíd like to own, so Iím saying my chronic Chrono addiction is satisfied for now...



    So what is it about these watches I find so alluring?. Iím not actually sure, but I think itís to do with two elements, firstly the Chronograph itself, although rarely if ever used, I like the idea that a watch can do something other than tell the time, a Chrono can freeze time, and measure speed, there is something appealing about that.

    Secondly itís the names and the association with speed and motorsport, Daytona, Monaco, Speedmaster, Monza, Silverstone and Carerra, all evocative names, associated with speed, glamour and danger.

    So onto the watches. In no particular order, and please excuse the dust and fingerprints, these watches are all worn on a regular basis.

    The Zenith El Primero. 38mm
    The newest edition, and to me a true re edition of the original.
    Some lovely details on this watch, such as the polished sides, and satin lugs,
    I also really like the little red details on the Chrono hands, itís a great size for a smaller wrist, although it is on the thick side.
    The crocodile strap, and deployant turn it from a sport watch into more of a dressy style, and both the clasp and the bracelet are a very high quality. I particularly like the machine marks on the bracelet butterfly clasp.
    On top of all this we have the display back showing that beautifully finished el Primero movement.
    Pushing the pushers, and seeing them actuate the arms inside the movement is mesmerising.












    Next up the Omega Speedmaster moonwatch, not a lot to be said thatís not been said before, mine is the plexi glass version, and again I can wear it on the bracelet or brown leather strap or nato....Iím not that keen on the nato.
    I like the fact that the bracelet is mostly brush finished and therefore should be more durable than the Daytona or the very polished Zenith bracelet which in all honesty is a bit on the blingy side...
    Back to the Speedmaster, for a large watch it wears well. I love hand winding it, as itís the only hand wind in my collection. Something very satisfying about having to wind it to make it go.







    Onto the Monaco. This is the Steve McQueen re edition with the calibre 17 movement.
    I know many people have a bit of a downer on Tag but not me. I like the Heuer branding, and the pure heft of this watch, considering itís the only one here not with a bracelet, Iíd be surprised if itís not the heaviest. Itís a big in your face watch, and I can appreciate that for what it is. I can imagine that in the 70ís it was probably a bit of a shock to see a watch of this size. Most menís watches back then were around 34mm or less, this thing must have looked like a clock.
    I like the finishing on the Heuer, thereís polished surfaces, brushed and satin, it also has a very thick crystal that looks like it can take a bash and keep on going..
    Ok the movement is nothing special, and if Iím honest Iím not keen on the display back, itís unnecessary and the original looked better with a solid case back.
    In saying that, although itís not a chronometer itís just as accurate as my Daytona. So all in all itís a good addition to my collection









    The Daytona, much like the speedy, I canít say anything about it thatís not been said many times, but I can tell you how I feel about it. I love this watch. For me itís the perfect size, and the perfect thickness, in other words just right.
    The fact that itís a chronometer, and has a 70 hour power reserve is proof enough that itís a step above the others when it comes to the build of this watch.
    Itís a very tactile watch, the curves on the case and the rounded sides just look like pure class to me, in fact a bit like the Datejust case which again is a shape I like.
    Itís the only one in my collection that was bought used, and had just come back from a Rolex service so was like new.
    Iím glad I bought it when I did, and even then I thought it was a bit on the expensive side, but now 5 years on it turns out it was a bargain.
    I would only ever sell this watch if I could replace it with a ceramic, and that wonít happen anytime soon so itís a keeper for now.







    So to the main reason for this thread which was to share my thoughts on my chronographs.
    Iím not knowledgable enough to discuss all the technical details of these watches, and if Iím honest Iím not that interested. For me itís more about aesthetics, history and how they make me feel.
    So letís sort them out in order of preference

    Best watch Daytona. It just is.

    Favourite watch. Zenith. I love the history of zenith, and the little touches that show real attention to the smallest detail. Itís just a beautiful thing to behold.

    Most useful. Heuer. Itís the most legible and easy to tell the time with.

    Most iconic Has to be the Speedmaster, itís history speaks for itself, and the fact itís hardly changed from the original shows that omega got it right first time

    But just to finish off my little chronograph ditty, hereís a spanner in the works..



    The Heuer Monza. As I said above Iím. A Heuer fan, and the Monza is a fine watch with a lot going for it. Titanium so very light, cushion case so very comfortable, same calibre 17 movement as the Monaco so very accurate,
    Much thinner than the Monaco which aids the wearability, and PVD coating making it very durable.









    So thatís it, thatís my chronograph addiction explained..!!!!!

  2. #2
    Master helidoc's Avatar
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    Excellent write up and photography! I love both those (Tag) Heuers, and it's nice to see someone so passionate about them.

    Wear them in good health

    Dave

  3. #3
    Nice post, I also like the aesthetics and history associated with chronographs, even if I do not wear mine as often as I should, probably as they are all on leather which is just too hot at the moment.

    The monza reissue is a nice watch, as you say the titanium case wears very light, even though I still think of it as quite a big, thick watch when I have tried it on in shops. It's a bit of a funny one for me as it is like the offspring of two older watches I own, the chrome 150.511 and the el-primero powered cal 36 from the early 2000's.



    Last edited by carryondentist; 25th August 2019 at 21:17. Reason: Photo link

  4. #4
    Master Thom4711's Avatar
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    Lovely. Thank you for the post


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  5. #5
    Master
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    I like your passion and all the watches excepting the Daytona.
    Have you still got the Sinn?

  6. #6
    Journeyman Watch_Collector's Avatar
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    Congratulations on a wonderful collection. It may not be a ceramic but that Daytona is a lovely piece.


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  7. #7
    Master Tazmo61's Avatar
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    Lovely collection of some stunning chronographs

  8. #8
    Master
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    Lovely watches. Every time I see those zeniths I love them more. The silver dial 1969 may be my next watch.

  9. #9
    Thanks for that, very interesting and relevant to me, Iíve recently traded both of my chronographs (Daytona and Speedy) for a grail and would like one back in the collection. I think a Monaco could fit the bill... or maybe the Zenith... here we go again!

  10. #10
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwest76 View Post
    I like your passion and all the watches excepting the Daytona.
    Have you still got the Sinn?
    No it was sold to a regular TZer... A 956 Klassik


  11. #11
    Master
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    Thatís gorgeous I would have kept it.

  12. #12
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    That's a nice, well balanced collection. Why all new, was it a case of cost or functionality? Or does it not matter to you because they're still the classic watches, just modern versions?
    You can live in your car but you can't drive your house.

  13. #13
    Craftsman RS404's Avatar
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    Great post, great pictures and a lovely collection. I've not yet owned a mechanical chronograph but I plan to change that very soon!

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  14. #14
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Foxy100 View Post
    That's a nice, well balanced collection. Why all new, was it a case of cost or functionality? Or does it not matter to you because they're still the classic watches, just modern versions?
    I like the idea of warranty, but the main reason for buying new is that I like the originals, but Iím not knowledgable enough to buy old watches without getting caught out with a bitsa.

    Another reason is that the new re editions, are generally much cheaper than an originals.

  15. #15
    Grand Master Foxy100's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoch View Post
    I like the idea of warranty, but the main reason for buying new is that I like the originals, but I’m not knowledgable enough to buy old watches without getting caught out with a bitsa.

    Another reason is that the new re editions, are generally much cheaper than an originals.
    I really liked the (TAG) Heuer Silverstone but never managed to pull my finger out and buy one. Even back then they were half the price second hand of an original Heuer one, probably a third now. All my chronographs are vintage and not watertight, and some of them were a mess when it came to servicing (I mean from wear, not from not being watertight!). I'm still very tempted by the modern Zenith chrono with the date at 6, it'd be good to have one completely practical chrono, and with that movement...
    Last edited by Foxy100; 26th August 2019 at 06:41.
    You can live in your car but you can't drive your house.

  16. #16
    Beautiful collection of watches I would be most proud if it were mine .Nice indeed

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  17. #17
    A wonderful post reminding us of the joy of watches and why we love wearing them. Thank you.


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  18. #18
    Craftsman JPE's Avatar
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    You have all the classics. Great collection!!!

  19. #19
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Great collection and nice to know why you like each one. And for once someone who actually wears them all, a pleasant change from the safe queens.
    It's just democracy.

  20. #20
    Craftsman ozzyb123's Avatar
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    Love the El Primero more every time I see it

    Great collection overall - all the classics. Maybe you need something a bit left-field next?

  21. #21
    Craftsman
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    Thanks for posting this - I am a chronograph nut myself and really enjoyed reading this. I have lusted after all the watches you have. But after either trying or buying them the only one that has stuck is the Speedmaster. I couldn't get on with the overlapping sub dials of the Zenith, nor its bracelet. It was beautifully made but the clasp was too chunky for me. The Monaco wears like a clock on my wrist. The negative reaction to that has pushed me any from any sort of cushion or square case. The Daytona was the closest to pushing the Speedmaster out of my first place but I couldn't bring myself to pay the price.
    I am still looking for the next chrono but not sure what it will be. Recently tried the new Arktis, the Bathyscaphe chrono and the Breguet XX. But again none of them pushed the Speedmaster out of my mind. Anyway the addiction goes one.

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  22. #22
    Craftsman
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    Lovely collection and good write up.
    Thanks for sharing.


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  23. #23
    Master
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    Thanks for the comments folks, and glad you like the thread..makes the effort worth while.

    Something I forgot to mention in the initial post was that even though a chronograph is a chronograph, I was conscious of trying to add variety and choice and difference between the watches.
    Round, square, and cushion.

    Hence my decision not to go with the blue Zenith, because I already had a blue Monaco.

    I think I’ve achieved my aim of different colours with white, blue, grey and black. But also the fact that I can dress the watches up or down with a variety of leather, nato and bracelet straps.

    All in all it makes for a very flexible set of watches, and there should be one amongst them for most occasions.

    As a bracelet man, I have to say I’m enjoying wearing the Omega, and the Zenith on leather straps, much more than I thought I would.
    Sometimes a change is good..

  24. #24
    Excellent stuff all around- the watches, the write up and the pics.

  25. #25
    Great write up! I do like a good chronograph. I have a couple - an IWC with a 7750 and a 116520 Daytona. Any chrono I buy next however has to be a step up - so flyback, split or a top quality manual wind column wheel. Things do get pricey very quickly however.

    Incidentally I bought my 116520 3 years ago just after the ceramic version came out. I thought pricey, but no one really wanted them as they were all chasing the ceramic version. Turned out to be a great decision! For a modern automatic chrono movement it's one of the best.

  26. #26
    Thanks for posting those, I like a nice chrono, and could easily be persuaded to have another Zenith.
    Although no trees were harmed during the creation of this post, a large number of electrons were greatly inconvenienced.

  27. #27
    Master
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    A perfect collection! Thanks for sharing, and continue to enjoy them for many years.

  28. #28
    Craftsman
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    Lovely collection. The monaco is not for me but all the others I would be very proud to own and I love my Speedy. As an aside, I also do find the chronograph function a genuinely useful thing!

  29. #29
    Grand Master Mr Curta's Avatar
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    I love threads like this! A really nicely thought out collection, lots of photographs and some really interesting and personal snippets of information about each watch. Thanks for taking the time and effort, it is very much appreciated.

  30. #30
    Very nice quartet

  31. #31
    Journeyman
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    Thanks for posting OP Iíve been looking at the Zenith Heritage Cronometro TIPO CP-
    03.2240.4069/21 but worried at 43Mom it will look too large on my 6.75 inch wrist. The Zenith Premiro at 38mm on the other hand will get a look in
    My flat was recently badly damaged in a fire (mercifully my family were out as it was being decorated pending its sale) so the watch fund is being diverted to get it back to its original state.

  32. #32
    Journeyman
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    Great Read. Lovely pictures. You have reignited my desire for a Monaco.
    Thank you.

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  33. #33
    Very impressive. Congratulations.

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