The Best Affordable Chronograph Watches (2020)

If you are looking to add a versatile timepiece to your collection, one of the best affordable chronograph watches 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 six best affordable chronographs watches under $100 for 2020.

Updated: 8/13/20

This is article is apart of the Affordable Watch Buying Guide series. Check my other guides for the best affordable watch picks in every style!

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Why Quartz is Your Best Option for Affordable Chronograph Watches

It should be noted that all the options on this list are quartz. Adding complications to dial means that you need a more complex movement which results in an increased cost. Entry level chronograph watches with mechanical movements, like the Seagull 1963, are much more expensive. If you are looking for an affordable option, quartz is going to be your best option.

Best Affordable Chronograph Watches: #1 Seiko SKS605

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, three subdials, and Arabic numeral minute markers line the outside of each hour mark. The SKS605 features a black dial with subdials in the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock placement that give. a nice Speedmaster vibe. Other variants feature different color schemes and subdial placements.

#2 Timex Weekender Chrono

Timex Weekender Chronograph by James Case (Flickr)

Timex is the most famous American watch brand with an amazing horological history. If you have read my Timex Weekender 40 review, you also know that I love the Timex Weekender series. I actually rate all of the Timex chronograph’s above their non-chronograph versions because there is no loud ticking that drives drives people crazy!

The Timex Weekender Chrono is pretty much the perfect first watch. The round case gives a nice classic feel and the plentiful dial color variations allow to pick the watch that best defines your own personal style. 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 Chrono is the smallest watch on the list and you will always be able to pick one up at a reasonable price.

#3 Timex Expedition Field & Scout Chrono

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. Both are available in a number of different dial color and band options.l

#4 Timex Fairfield Chrono

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!

There are too many variants of the Timex Fairfield Chrono to list individually. Check out what’s available to buy on Amazon here.

#5 Casio Edifice 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 so low on the list is because the cleaner look of the watches above fits better with my personal aesthetic. 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.

#6 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 at a tremendous value.

Best Affordable Chronograph Watches: Closing

I hope you were able find a chronograph that you liked after reading this post. I would love to hear your feedback and answer any questions you have in the comments. Please check out my other watch guides and follow me on Instagram.

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