One of the things horology enthusiasts love most about timepieces is complications. What this term refers to is extra features built into the watch’s machinery. While people love having access to the date or a different time zone, the most popular complication might be the chronograph. Aside from its utility, there is just something so alluring about a piece that manages to incorporate a tiny stopwatch into such a small space. My love for chronographs has motivated me to create the list you’ll find below: Seven chronograph watches that don’t break the bank.

Timex Weekender Chronograph

The Timex Weekender is a legendary watch in the horology community.

chronograph watches

The reason is that it has an incredible amount of class and quality while also costing less than a trip to a sit-down restaurant. Luckily for us chronograph lovers, Timex has a version of the Weekender that incorporates this complication. It has a moderate 40mm case, reliable quartz movement, and is water resistant up to 30m. My favorite thing about this piece, though, is how customizable its look is. Not only does it come in many dial colors, but you can choose the perfect strap for your taste too. Whether that means classy brown leather or a bright NATO strap, you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for.

Seiko Men’s SNDC31

Jumping up a level in quality, we have the Seiko SNDC31. One thing I love about this watch is that you can wear it in any setting.

chronograph watches

If you’re going out to the woods for a camping trip, you can throw on a water-resistant strap and this piece will keep up with the most rugged watches out there. When you get back and go to attend a luxurious dinner party, you can put on a leather strap and this Seiko will still fit right in. Aesthetics aside, this watch is also incredibly well built and should last many years before needing repair or replacement.

Citizen Brycen Eco-Drive

One of the reasons why I own so many Citizen watches is their commitment to the Eco-Drive movement.

chronograph watches

This term refers to their quartz machinery that is powered by sunlight. In practice, that means never having to change out your battery, which is both convenient and impressive. This specific watch lives up to that spirit of excellence, as nearly no customer out there has a bad thing to say about it. One word of warning is that this piece has a 49mm case. For many people out there, that will be too large for their taste, so make sure that size is what you want before purchasing.

Casio Men’s MCW-100H-1AVCF

One thing you learn in the horological world is that the typical Casio aesthetic is incredibly divisive.

chronograph watches

While some love the chunky, sporty look of their pieces, others find them distasteful. If you are in the former group, purchasing a Casio chronograph watch is an excellent decision. Not only will it not break the bank, but that resilient piece of machinery should keep ticking through the most extreme conditions.

Victorinox 241432 Maverick GS

People outside of the horology community often double take when they see the brand Victorinox.

chronograph watches

The reason is that this company is incredibly famous for making Swiss Army knives. What most do not know is that they also produce excellent timepieces at reasonable prices. This model is an embodiment of that assertion, with is Swiss quartz movement, chronograph, and dive capabilities.

Citizen AT0200-05E

Our second Citizen watch is a personal favorite of mine because it has the quintessential military aesthetic.

chronograph watches

It’s green strap, large dial numbers, and uncluttered look make it a classic piece that almost anyone would love. As I explained previously, most Citizen pieces have a solar-powered quartz movement, and this model is no exception. The fact that is has three sub dials and chronograph capabilities is icing on the cake.

Timex Men’s Expedition Field Chronograph Watch

Lastly, we revisit Timex, this time for their Expedition field watch. This piece is a favorite for frugal outdoors enthusiasts around the world for three reasons.

chronograph watches

First, this captures the rugged aesthetic that this group of people loves. Second, it has a remarkably low price for the number of features it contains. Lastly, it is insanely reliable, making it a piece that you can own for many years without servicing. Combine all of those factors with a chronograph and you have a can’t-miss pick.


When talking about affordable chronograph watches, you really can’t go wrong with the likes of Timex, Citizen, Casio, Victorinox and Seiko. Of course, more expensive brands use chronographs as well. If you have a larger budget, check out Omega, Rolex and all of the other esteemed Swiss brands out there. With such diversity in brands and aesthetics, you’re sure to find something that you love no matter what price point you shop at.

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