Best Chronograph Watches Under $1,000

Racing chronograph watches feature designs that resemble a car’s dashboard.  The tachymeter bezel, rubber straps, chronograph subdials, the stopwatch function, and the color combination of racing chronograph watches will make you feel reminiscent of the fast-paced world of sports car racing.

If you have a bit of more money to spend on a sports watch, consider our list of racing chronograph watches. At the price mark of $1,000, you can rest assured you’ll be getting a high-quality timepiece from affordable chronograph watch brands.

Racing chronograph watches are a delight to the eyes but they don’t have to be too expensive to get. Here’s a list of affordable chronograph watches under $1,000.

Certina DS-2 Precidrive

Certina is a brand that’s a member of the Swatch Group. They have a solid reputation for making racing chronograph watches under $1,000.

The 41mm DS-2 Precidrive features a stainless steel case, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, a calfskin leather strap, a fixed tachymeter bezel, a screw-down crown, a date window, a 1/100-second hand, chronograph subdials with 12-hour, 60-second, and 30-minute measurements, luminescent hands, and an ETA caliber 251.264 movement.

Pros:

  • Precise hand movements
  • Clear date aperture
  • Colored subdial hands make them easy to read
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Busy watch face
  • Little lume applied on hands
  • Limited edition timepiece that’s a bit hard to find

Price: $410 to $630

Lapizta Addax Racing Chronograph

Lapizta is an American brand that focuses on developing racing chronograph watches. The layout of the subdials, the shape of the crowns, and the texture of the strap all resemble exotic racecar parts.

The 48mm Addax has 316L stainless steel case, a reinforced mineral crystal with sapphire coating, a weave pattern dial, a tachymeter bezel, Arabic numeral minute markers, a silicone rubber strap with tire tread design, chronograph subdials with 24-hour, 60-minute, and 60-second scales, a date window, luminescent hands and markers, and an OS20 Miyota Quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Impressive sporty design
  • Comfortable rubber strap
  • Readings on the subdial are easy to identify
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • The yellow tinge on the actual watch is of a different shade compared to the advertised image
  • It’s big and heavy
  • Very small date window

Price: $550

Tissot PRC200 T0554271101700

Tissot is a maker of affordable chronograph watch brands in the mid-level price range. The watchmaker released the PRC200 to compete with sports chronograph watches from brands like Timex and Seiko who are known for producing chronograph watch under $1,000.

The 44mm PRC200 has a stainless steel case, a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, a stainless steel band with push-button clasp, a tachymeter outer dial, a date window, chronograph subdials with 6-hour, 30-minute, and 60-second scales, luminescent hands and markers, and an ETA automatic movement.

Pros:

  • Solid build that can withstand scratches and bumps
  • Classy look for a sports watch
  • Power reserve of up to 46 hours
  • Water resistant up to 200m

Cons:

  • It’s thick and a bit heavy
  • Large crown can be annoying to some users
  • Band quality feels cheap

Price: $710

Audi R8 Chronograph

The 42mm R8 Chronograph has a stainless steel case, a carbon dial with matte finish, a rubber strap with tire tread texture, a tachymeter outer dial, a rubber-coated bezel, a date window, chronograph subdials with 60-minute, 30-second, and 1/10-second scales, luminescent hands and markers, and an ETA G10.211 movement

Pros:

  • Strap designed to prevent sweat build-up
  • Rubber bezel helps the watch absorb shock from accidental bumps
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Date window is barely visible
  • Oversized crown looks ugly
  • Rubber strap feels chunky

Price: $785 to $920

Gevril GV2 Scuderia Chronograph

GV2 is a small watchmaking company that’s part of the Gevril Group. Honoring Italy’s racing heritage, GV2 decided to take on the Scuderia mantle and develop an affordable chronograph watch under $1,000 to compete with sports watches from other brands.

The 50mm GV2 Scuderia has a stainless steel case, a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, an ion-plated bezel with tachymeter markings, a carbon fiber dial, a calfskin leather strap with carbon fiber design, a power reserve indicator, a GMT hand, a day subdial, a 60-second subdial, a date aperture, and an ISA 8173 Swiss quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Subdial readings are easy to see
  • Large date window
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Skeleton hands make it hard to read the time
  • Watch face looks too busy
  • Clasp lock isn’t that reliable on the metal bracelet variant
  • Expensive for a quartz movement

Price: $980

Junghans 1972 Chronoscope Solar

Junghans is a German watch brand known for its retro-style timepieces. The 1972 Chronoscope Solar is meant to commemorate the time when Junghans became the official timekeeper of the 1972 Olympic Games which was held in Munich.

The 43mm Chronoscope Solar has a stainless steel case, a screwed case back, a unidirectional rotating bezel with minute markers, a sapphire crystal, a stainless steel strap, a tachymeter outer dial, an alarm function, a date window, a 60-second subdial, a 1/5-second subdial, luminescent hands and markers, and a J622.50 solar-quartz movement.

Pros:

  • Comfortable bracelet with a nice fit
  • Sporty, retro design
  • Accurate hand movements
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • Alarm is difficult to set
  • Faint alarm sound
  • Expensive for a quartz movement

Price: $990

Maurice Lacroix Pontos Chronograph

The 43mm Pontos has a stainless steel case, a sapphire crystal, a leather strap with folding buckle, a date window, chronograph subdials with 60-second, 30-minute, and 12-hour scales, luminescent hands and markers, and an ML112 automatic movement.

Pros:

  • Classy look for a racing chronograph watch
  • High-quality leather strap that’s comfortable to wear
  • Power reserve of up to 46 hours
  • Water resistant up to 100m

Cons:

  • It’s heavy and thick
  • Oversized crown and crown guards
  • Confusing position of the date window

Price: $1,000

Conclusion

Racing chronograph watches look more vibrant and lively than your typical chronograph watch as they should be because they represent the excitable realm of sports cars. At the $1,000 price level, these watches strike the right balance between design, quality, and functionality.

If you’re looking for a flashy watch with chronograph functions, look for the affordable chronograph watch brands listed above and take your pick from their array of racing-inspired timepieces.

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