If you are looking to add a versatile timepiece to your collection, a chronograph could be exactly what you are looking for. A chronograph features a timer usually on two or three subdials. While Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin helped popularize the chronograph when they took their Omega Speedmasters on the first walk on the moon, you don’t have to pay astronomical prices if you want one. Here are my picks for the 9 best affordable chronographs watches under $100 for 2018 plus a bonus best affordable Omega Speedmaster homage pick!
This article is a part of my complete guide to the Best Chronograph Watches Under $100. That link will always be updated with the latest information on dive watch styles, buying guides, and reviews so make sure you check it out!
One thing I would like to note is that all the options on this list are quartz. Adding complications to dial means that you need a more complex movement which increases costs. Entry level watches with mechanical movements, like the Seagull 1963, usually start around $300. If you are looking for an affordable option, quartz is going to be your best option.
Best Affordable Chronograph Watches: #1 Seiko SKS Series
Should not surprise anyone to find Seiko on top of the list of affordable chronographs. Their SKS series has a number of chronographs in different stylistic options in a 43mm case, subdials at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock, and a date window at 3 o’clock. Arabic numeral minute markers line the outside of each hour mark. There are also a couple of versions that have subdials in a 3, 6, and 9 o’clock placement that give a nice Speedmaster vibe.
SKS Models with Subdials at 12, 6, & 9
SKS Models with Subdials at 3, 6, & 9
Best Affordable Chronograph Watches: #2 Casio EF527D
This is a really a beast of a watch. The Casio Edifice line is well known for its great looking chronographs at a tremendous value. To be honest, the only reason this is number two on the list is that I like the cleaner aesthetic of the Seiko SKS series more. The Casio EF527D is a very busy watch and at 45.5mm it features the largest case on the list. In addition to subdials at 12, 6, and 9 o’clock, and a date window at 3 o’clock, the EF527D features a slide rule bezel. If you are looking for a function tool chronograph, this is the watch for you.
Best Affordable Chronograph Watches: #3 Timex Fairfield Chronograph
If you are looking for a dressier chronograph, the Timex Fairfield Chronograph is your choice. The chronograph version of the Fairfield adds subdials at 2, 6, and 10 o’clock, and day indicator at 4 o’clock. Despite the added complications, the dial still maintains a very clean, minimalist Bauhaus design. Another added bonus of the Timex chronographs is that the iconically loud ticking is more muted than their non-chronographs counterparts. Make sure you pick up a brown or black leather strap to go with it!
Best Affordable Chronograph Watches: #4 Timex Weekender Chronograph
Most chronographs are quite large to fit the added complications. If you are looking for a smaller, casual watch, the Timex Weekender Chronograph fits the bill. At 40mm, the Weekender Chronograph is the smallest watch on the list. It’s round case gives a nice classic feel and the plentify dial color variations allow to pick the watch that best defines your own personal style.
Best Affordable Chronograph Watches: #6 Timex Expedition Series Chronographs
Timex offers chronograph versions of both its popular Expedition Field and Expedition Scout field watches. You got to time stuff in the field right? The only real design difference between the two is that the Expedition Scout Chronograph features a cleaner dial with Arabic numeral hour markers, whereas the Expedition Field Chronograph has minute markers at each hour and an addition tachymeter.
Timex Expedition Scout Chronographs
Timex Expedition Field Chronographs
Best Affordable Chronograph Watch: #7 Casio AMW330
The Casio AMW330 showed up on my best affordable dive watch list, and is your best option if you want a diver-style chronograph. It comes in black and white dial versions. It features a combo compass & diving timing bezel along with a tachymeter on the outer edge of the dial.
Best Affordable Chronograph Watches: #8 Casio MTP4500D
Are you looking for an affordable chronograph with an aviator style sliding rule bezel but can’t afford the Casio EF527D? The Casio MTP4500D is a great alternative and a tremendous value at $50.
Best Affordable Chronograph Watches: #9 Seiko SNN241
The Seiko SNN241 featured on my best affordable military watch list. The SNN241 has a unique brown dial and two subdial chronograph complications at 12 and 6 o’clock. The 6 o’clock complication also has a day window!
Best Affordable Chronograph Watches – Bonus Speedmaster Moonwatch Homage: Seiko SSB031
The Omega Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch” is one of the most iconic timepieces that you can have in your collection. If you will have to pay a little more than a $100 if you want a great homage of the Speedmaster to add to your collection. The Seiko SSB031 gets you the iconic subdial placement, tachymeter, and similar styled outer dial as the Speedmaster Professional for only $140.
Best Affordable Chronograph Watches: Closing
I hope you were able find a chronograph that you liked after reading this post. Please make sure you subscribe and follow me on social media for affordable watch updates.