If you are in the market for a versatile watch to add to your collection, it’s hard to go wrong with a chronograph. Most people are attracted to chronographs because of the extra functionalities to your wrist – not to mention its unique aesthetic.
Chronograph watches are simply great timekeeping tools.
However, when people think about chronographs, they expect them to be expensive – that’s a huge misconception. If you are willing to shop around, there’s plenty of chronographs that won’t have you clutching your wallet.
Today, we made a list of the best affordable chronograph watch. Let’s get to it!
Best Affordable Chronograph Watch
|Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph||Military-inspired stainless steel watch, Charges in natural sunlight or indoor light, Mineral crystal dial window, Date window, Three subdials, Luminous hands, Water resistant to 330 feet (100 M)||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Bulova Special Edition Lunar Pilot Chronograph||Six hand calendar chronograph, Stainless steel screw-back case, Silver-tone finish and black dial, High-performance UHF quartz movement, Water Resistant to 50m||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Invicta 0070 Pro Diver Collection Chronograph||Blue dive-style bezel, Skeleton hands, Luminous indices, Three sub-dials, Steel bracelet with fold-over clasp with safety closure, Water resistant to 200 m (660 ft)||★ ★ ★ ★ ½|
|Seiko SNN241 Stainless Steel||Stainless steel case, Two subdials and date window at 6 o’clock, Hardlex dial window, Japanese quartz movement, Contrast-stitched leather band, Water resistant to 100 m (330 ft)||★ ★ ★ ★ ½|
|Timex Fly-Back Chronograph||Stainless steel case, Fly-back chronograph functions, Indiglo night-light, Fourth-hand indicator, Two subdials, Date window, Mineral dial window, Quartz movement||★ ★ ★ ★|
|Casio MTP4500D-1AV Slide Rule Bezel Aviator||Stainless steel bracelet, Black multi-function dial, Three sub-dials, Fold-over-push-button-clasp-with-safety closure, Water resistant to 50 m||★ ★ ★ ★|
Best Affordable Chronograph Watch
1. Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph
When it comes to the best affordable chronograph watch, it’s hard to ignore the value that the Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph offers. It’s a military-inspired chronograph that delivers in terms of functionality and ruggedness.
Highly Functional and Reasonably-Priced
The Citizen AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph has been with me for quite a while and it continues to provide value.
This rugged stainless steel chronograph is very well-suited to everyday wear. As you might expect, the watch is quartz-powered by Citizen’s Eco-Drive solar charging technology. This means that you don’t have to worry about charging the watch. Simply leaving the watch by your windowsill gets the job done of charging, although indoor light works as well.
The pictures of the watch don’t do it justice. It looks better in person which is great if you’re planning to use this watch daily. Furthermore, the strap is quite robust and looks great for casual wear.
The AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph features three sub-dials that measure the hours, minutes, and seconds. The red seconds hand adds a good deal of depth to the dial. All in all, the dial itself is very legible despite the lack of significant texture.
Overall, the AT0200-05E Eco-Drive Chronograph is a durable, no-nonsense watch at a steal price.
2. Bulova Special Edition Lunar Pilot Chronograph
As far as lunar-themed chronographs go, the Omega Speedmaster is widely considered to be the definitive timepiece. However, the Bulova Special Edition Lunar Pilot Chronograph is also worth mentioning alongside the Speedmaster.
A Lunar Chronograph with a History
For a bit of history, the Bulova Lunar Pilot was actually worn by astronaut Dave Scott during his time in the moon, replacing his NASA-issued Speedmaster. The Bulova Special Edition Lunar Pilot Chronograph is the recreation of that lunar classic.
Right off the bat, you know that you have something special on your wrist.
First, this is a stunning chronograph. The case features a wonderful satin finish that gives the watch an elegantly sporty look. The design is a noteworthy departure from the usual Bulova timepiece – this is certainly more of a tool watch than a dressy unit. The build quality is top-notch, especially for a sub-$500 watch.
At 45 mm, the Bulova Special Edition Lunar Pilot Chronograph is not a small watch. For most folks, the large size is a boon as it looks more fashionable. Fortunately, the large size doesn’t come with discomfort and weightiness.
The watch is powered by a high-performance UHF quartz movement. It vibrates 8 times faster than your usual conventional quartz timepiece. There’s not much that can be said here except that the accuracy is on-point.
Ultimately, the Lunar Pilot might be the other “moon watch” but it’s certainly a no-slouch affordable chronograph.
3. Invicta 0070 Pro Diver Collection Chronograph
If you are in the market for a budget dive chronograph, the Invicta 0070 Pro Diver Collection Chronograph is worth looking into. It’s unbelievable that it’s a sub-$200 dive watch and did many things right that it belongs on this list of the best affordable chronograph watch.
Sizable Dive Watch That Delivers
For starters, the Invicta 0070 Pro Diver is a huge and imposing watch. For that reason, the watch works well as a fashion piece. The stainless steel case is brushed and well-polished, and frankly, it looks great for a budget timepiece. Plus, the rugged construction provides the much-needed durability which is important for a dive watch.
The dial comes in marine blue which is always a nice aesthetic when it comes to dive watches. At first look, the dial may look a bit too crowded but I quickly came to realize the mindfulness of the layout. The three sub-dials are all highly readable, although two of them are partially obscured by the date window.
The watch also features skeleton hands which I am not too crazy about. The hands obscure the dial elements more than they need to. As for the movement, it is powered by a Chinese quartz movement which might seem like a drawback but it’s really not. As far as accuracy goes, I have no problem with the Invicta 0070 Pro Diver.
Overall, the Invicta 0070 Pro Diver is an ideal dive chronograph that’s budget-friendly without too many compromises.
4. Seiko SNN241 Stainless Steel
You can’t make a list of the best affordable chronograph watch without listing a piece from Seiko. The Seiko SNN241 Stainless Steel is a luxury dress watch without the exorbitant price.
Solid Dress Watch for the Price
First, let’s get out the drawback out of the way. The Seiko SNN241 Stainless Steel chronograph has a case diameter of 42 mm with a band width of 11 mm. Just by looking at the specs, it’s easy to tell that the watch will look bigger than you expect. It becomes even more apparent once you have it on your wrist.
For a dress watch, it is indeed large so keep that in mind.
Fortunately, the rest of the watch is fantastic. For instance, the construction of the Seiko SNN241 is top-notch. The stainless steel case, hardlex crystal, and contrast-stitched leather band all add up to solid and reliable timepiece.
In terms of timekeeping, there’s nothing revolutionary about it but everything is done accurately and consistently. The Japanese quartz movement, as you might expect, is highly accurate. Both the chronograph dials are working consistently as well. The leather band feels high-quality and comfortable, so no complaints about that.
Seiko did a good job of providing both class and amazing value with the Seiko SNN241 chronograph.
5. Timex Fly-Back Chronograph
Timex has plenty of great affordable chronograph watches from its lineup. Ultimately, I went with the Timex Fly-Back Chronograph due to its unique aesthetic and solid performance.
An Interesting Watch With Unique Complications
It’s hard to look at the Timex Fly-Back Chronograph and not be intrigued. One of the first things you’ll notice about the watch is its unique complication – the Fly-Back Chronograph Movement.
Instead of having two circular sub-dials, the watch features two half-circle displays that measure the minutes and hours. The Fly-Back mechanic is called as such because once the hands reach the end of the scale, they fly back to their starting position for another cycle.
Regardless of its functionality, I’m sold for its interesting complication alone.
With the unique complications, the watch also looks very interesting and aviation-inspired. The dial looks very complicated but it’s not a big deal once you get used to it. It looks elegant and sporty at the same time. The leather strap is a bit thick but it’s well-stitched and comfortable.
Wrapping up, the Timex Fly-Back Chronograph is greater than the sum of its parts. With its current sale price, this is one of the best Timex chronographs that you can get.
6. Casio MTP4500D-1AV Slide Rule Bezel Aviator
Casio isn’t known for their chronographs but that doesn’t mean they don’t have one. The Casio MTP4500D-1AV Slide Rule Bezel Aviator is a well-made chronograph with an amazingly low-price.
Walks and Talks Like a $200 Watch
The Casio MTP4500D-1AV has made it into this list of the best affordable chronograph watch because it’s a steal. It looks and feels like a $200 watch but it’s a bargain timepiece through and through.
The quality of the construction is surprisingly solid and consistent. I am not normally a fan of mirror finishes but I don’t mind it here. Fortunately, it’s very easy to swap out the stainless steel bracelet with a different one – I replaced mine with a NATO strap.
The dial is also very interesting, mainly due to the design of the sub-dials. Personally, I am not too thrilled with the minutes sub-dial which displays a large 60 at the top portion and a large 30 at the bottom. This leads to confusion when trying to tell the minutes when the hands are near these positions.
Overall, the Casio MTP4500D-1AV is a great beater chronograph with a crazy value proposition.
Top Chronograph Watches for Less
This ends our list for the best affordable chronograph watches. If you think chronographs are expensive, think again – you just might not be looking hard enough!