Pushing the Envelope: Five Unconventional Chronograph Watches From the Past Decade


A growing number of chronographs have push-pieces in unorthodox places. Here, we present a list of five of the most interesting takes on the style from the past decade.

In 2013, Omega introduced an updated version of its 1969 Bullhead watch, named for its asymmetric case with chrono buttons on top, which bears a (perhaps mild) resemblance to a bull’s head. The modern Seamaster Bullhead Chronograph looks much like its ancestor, but behind the dial, there’s something different: a co-axial automatic Caliber 3113, with a column-wheel chronograph mechanism. This Bullhead trades the original’s rounded push-pieces for flat ones. The watch also has an internal rotating bezel, which can be controlled by the second crown, found at 6 o’clock. The bezel has a 24-hour scale on it, with alternating blue and black backgrounds for day and night.

Omega Seamaster Bullhead
Panerai‘s Luminor 1950 Rattrapante 8 Days Titanio has its push-pieces on the left side of the case. The button at 8 o’clock starts, stops and resets the main chronograph seconds hand. (A rattrapante, or split-seconds chrono, has two superimposed chronograph seconds hands.) The 10 o’clock button controls the split seconds hand, which can measure partial times or a second event simultaneous with the first. These push-pieces, like the case, are made of brushed titanium. The watch is powered by a manually wound Caliber P.2006/3, which has three barrels to provide an eight-day power reserve. Small seconds are at 9 o’clock, the chronograph minutes counter is at 3, and above 6 is a linear power-reserve indicator. When it was released in 2012, the watch came with a rubber strap and was water resistant to 100 meters.

Panerai Luminor 1950 Rattrapante 8 Days Titanio

 

 

Left-hand crowns and push-pieces are hallmarks of the U-Boat brand. The Chimera 48 mm Carbon is an automatic GMT chronograph with a 48-mm forged carbon case. The crown has a special locking release at 7 o’clock. The crown and locking device, as well as the unusually shaped left-side pushers, are made of titanium. The dial uses a superimposed two-level design. On it, you can find a snaking GMT hours hand, a date display at 9 o’clock, and small seconds and chronograph counters for 30 minutes and 12 hours.

U-Boat Chimera 48 mm Carbon

To highlight its connection to motorcycle racing, C.T. Scuderia designs its chronographs to resemble stopwatches. The Master Time has its crown and push-pieces at the top of the case, stopwatch style. (The crown also has a bow, like that on a stopwatch crown.) The start/stop push-piece, at 11 o’clock, is raised and the reset push-piece, at 1, is almost flush with the case, making it easier to distinguish start from reset without looking. The watch has a 46-mm stainless-steel case plated in rose gold and comes on a leather strap. Price: $3,295.

CT Scuderia Master Time

The Chronofighter models from Graham have a distinctive trigger on the left side of the case to start and stop the chronograph. The Chronofighter 1695 Silver is a recent addition to the series. The crown at 9 o’clock is dwarfed by the large silver trigger that covers it. (The case is also made of silver; hence the “silver” in the watch’s name. The “1695” refers to the year London watchmaker George Graham began making watches.) There is a reset button at 10 o’clock and a 30-minute totalizer at 6. For a hands-on review of the Chronofighter, click here.

Graham Chronofighter 1695 Silver

This article first appeared in the June 2014 issue of WatchTime Magazine and has since been updated.

One Response to “Pushing the Envelope: Five Unconventional Chronograph Watches From the Past Decade”

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  1. Daniel McDonald

    As dedicated yachter, I’m always on the lookout for some new wrist candy to flash around the club. I thought I was sold on the Luminor Rattrapante until I stumbled on this article. Now, I think it will have to be the Cambiano. You had me at solid oak subdials.

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