Tufina Pionier Tirona Chronograph GM-550-3 Blue chronograph for men with a blue dial, blue and red bezel, blue leather band, silver sub-dials and leaf hands

What Are Chronograph Watches? How To Choose The Right One

Chronographs  are one of the most recognizable timepieces in the industry. These highly functional watches are extremely practical and useful, especially for people who need to be punctual at all times. If you’ve heard of the term chronograph before but you’re unsure about what makes these timepieces special, read on to learn more about their features and complications. 

Tufina Pionier Tirona Chronograph GM-550-4 date calendar chronograph with a white dial, brown leather band and leaf hands

Tufina Pionier Tirona Chronograph GM-550-4 | Gold - date calendar chronograph for men.

The History Of Chronograph Watches

The first ever chronograph recorded in history was invented by Louis Moinet in 1816. The French watchmaker came up with the chronograph as he needed an instrument to measure time precisely in astrology. However, his chronograph never went to market. The first publicly-marketed chronograph was released in 1821. 

Breitling was one of the first companies to include a separate stopwatch function. Around these years many brands came up with new complications such as tachymeter watches, automatic chronographs as well as other unique versions. 

What Is A Chronograph?

Modern chronographs differ from those created in the 1800s, even if the idea is still the same. Stated differently, a chronograph watch is just a stopwatch with extra features. Numerous versions have sub-dials on the watch face that display additional information. The crown and two more push buttons that are used to reset and start/stop the stopwatch are often located on the right side of the case. 

Although smartphones have a stopwatch app, people still rely on their chronographs to keep accurate time. Moreover, the classic design and their timeless appeal is a huge bonus. Most people are still willing to buy a chronograph piece just for the luxury and elegance it provides the wearer with. 

Tufina Pionier Tirona Chronograph GM-550-1, silver date calendar chronograph with 5 ATM water resistance, black case, white dial, black leather band

Tufina Pionier Tirona Chronograph GM-550-1 | Silver - date calendar chronograph with 5 ATM water resistance.

How Do Chronograph Watches Work?

A second hand that moves independently of the timekeeping mechanism is actually all that is required for a watch to be referred to as a chronograph. You have a chronograph if you can start, stop, and reset that hand.

With one significant exception, the internal components of a chronograph watch are comparable to those of other quartz watches. For chronographs to regulate all of the features or intricacies of the watch, further systems and processes are required.

For this reason, chronograph watches are frequently more costly than other styles. Because of their increased number of moving elements, watchmakers must ensure that these mechanisms don't conflict with one another.

Similar to other watches, chronographs use a mainspring that builds tension before gradually releasing it to move the gears and maintain time. On the other hand, a chronograph watch uses several internal mechanisms to track various time intervals. In most cases, there are two or more.

Tufina Pionier Tirona Chronograph GM-550-3, blue chronograph for men, date calendar watch with a blue dial, blue leather band and white sub-dials

Tufina Pionier Tirona Chronograph | GM-550-3 | Blue.

How Do You Use A Chronograph Watch?

One of the questions most people have is how to actually use a chronograph watch. Although many people own them, they end up using them as simple watches. Even though that’s completely okay (you can wear a chronograph because you like its aesthetic), you are missing out on many other features. Below we will explain a few of the ways you can use unique features of chronographs:


One of the most common features found in chronographs is the stopwatch. Using a stopwatch is easy, you simply use the two push buttons on the side of the case to start, stop and reset this function. Some models may have an extra hand that goes around the face of the watch. However, many timepieces feature sub-dials which are dedicated to the stopwatch function.


Even though not all chronographs have a tachymeter, some popular models do. The tachymeter is made as a rotating bezel that is used to measure speed and distance. Tachymeters were especially useful for athletes who needed a reliable tool to time their races. If you know the time and the distance, you can easily use a tachymeter to calculate the speed. On the other hand, if you know the speed and the time, you can easily measure the distance. 

It may seem a bit complicated at first, however, using a tachymeter is simple. Let’s say you’ve traveled one mile in 60 seconds. In such a case, it would correspond with 60 on the tachymeter, which means that you’ve traveled at 60 miles /hour. Moreover, some watches feature rotating bezels which allow the wearer to perform multiple calculations at the same time. 

How To Find The Right Chronograph For You?

When shopping for a chronograph timepiece, there are a few things you should consider. Buying the right watch is a matter of personal taste, as much as it is of finding a high-quality watch. Here are a few things to consider when buying a chronograph watch for yourself or someone special:

  • Quality: Make sure to invest in a high quality timepiece. You will want to look for a reputable brand that delivers high-end watches made of premium materials. Look for high-grade stainless steel, leather straps, precious gemstones, in-house movements and more. Check whether your watch comes with a warranty and make sure to only buy from official stores.
  • Complications: Figure out what kind of complications you need. If you only need a stopwatch, find the best stopwatch chronograph instead of spending extra money on unnecessary additional complications.
  • Price: Try to find that happy middle between price and quality. You don’t need to spend a fortune on your chronograph piece, as there are many reputable manufacturers that produce reasonably priced chronographs. At Tufina we’ve made it one of our missions to deliver high-quality timepieces at affordable prices. However, it’s also advisable to invest in something that will last you for years. Picking a cheap watch won’t guarantee longevity, which can turn into additional expenses in the future as you will need to replace your watch.
  • Appearance: And last but not least, you want to be sure you like the way the watch looks. At Tufina, we believe that the watch a man chooses to wear not only reflects who he is, but it also helps to create the legacy of who he wants to be.

Top Chronograph Watches For Men

Below you’ll find some of our best chronograph offerings for men who value punctuality, precision and style.

Tirona Chronograph Pionier GM-550-2 Silver chronograph for men with a black dial and leather band

Tirona Chronograph Pionier | GM-550-2 | Silver.

Tirona Chronograph Pionier | GM-550-2 | Silver

A gorgeous chronograph watch made with a stop watch pusher and a date calendar complication. The high-grade stainless steel case is ion plated, while the multi-patterned dial is paired with Lozenge photoluminescent hands. Baton indices allow for great legibility, while the butterfly buckle creates a secure and comfortable fit. 

Tirona Chronograph Pionier GM-550-11 Gold, chronograph for men, gold chronograph with a blue dial and metal bracelet

Tirona Chronograph Pionier | GM-550-11 | Gold.

Tirona Chronograph Pionier | GM-550-11 | Gold

Alternatively, if you are looking for a watch that says “look at me”, you can choose a gold chronograph. Consider Tirona Chronograph GM-550-11, an elegant IPG 22 karat gold-plated watch with a metal brick pattern bracelet. The lively blue dial is paired with a blue and red bezel, creating a truly distinct, old-money “sporty” aesthetic.

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