Best Automatic Chronograph Under 1000 (Top 5 Watches)

Best automatic chronographs under 1000 bucks

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Chronograph watches are more than just regular timekeepers – they can be extremely helpful tools in a variety of situations.

For example, such a timepiece might be used as a stopwatch, to measure elapsed time between events, or track speed and distance. They are equally loved and appreciated by folks from different walks of life from cooks to dive enthusiasts to professional athletes.

The vast majority of chronograph watch models are battery-powered (quartz) because the mechanism is much cheaper to assemble. That means they’re well within the reach of most enthusiasts.

However, it’s hardly a secret that automatic timepieces are usually the more desired type amongst aficionados. More often than not, the level of craftsmanship behind wrist-wound timepieces is considerably higher and so is their cost.

Chronograph watches powered by the kinetic movement of your wrist are quite pricey and some reach even 7 figure sums! Certainly, finding one from a trusted brand that doesn’t break the $1,000 mark is quite a challenge.

But at TimepieceKing, we love challenges.

After a few hours of thorough research, we have come up with 5 excellent and affordable models that will make the task of picking the best automatic chronograph under 1000 bucks much easier.

Without further ado, let’s go!

Automatic Chronograph Under 1000 (Top 5 Reviewed)

1. Tissot T1154272704100

We open up the list with what is in our opinion the best value automatic chronograph you’re likely to come across online.

For most watch enthusiasts, Tissot doesn’t need any introduction as it’s one of the most reliable medium-priced watchmakers around.

However, if you’d like to learn more about this Swiss powerhouse, feel free to read our Tissot Brand Review.

The automatic chronograph model you see above belongs to Tissot’s T-Race collection which is full of sporty models – particularly chronographs. A lion’s share of these watches is quartz but the collection of wrist-wound chronographs is on a constant rise.

Tissot T1154272704100 (yes, we wish the Tissot model’s names were easier to remember, too) is one of the more affordable automatic chronographs in the entire line.

Thanks to the combination of stainless steel case and a sturdy rubber strap, the watch sends strong sporty vibes. In fact, the model draws inspiration from motorbike racing and is considered a tribute to the MotoGP and all of its fans. 

The timepiece measures 45mm in diameter which is still a moderate size for a chronograph. For sure, its huge selling point is the see-through caseback which is inspired by the shape of a motorcycle wheel. Another one of its iconic features is the brake-disc bezel.

Apart from the blue-themed design picked in the article, the model is also available in 6 other color variations.

The three chronographs sub-dials are responsible for measuring:

  • 30 minutes (top one)
  • 6 hours (bottom one)
  • 60 seconds (central one)

On top of that, on the outer rim of the dial, there’s a tachymeter scale that can measure speed based on time traveled over a fixed distance.

The navy blue dial features luminescent hands for hours and minutes. The hour indices also glow in the dark.  At three o’clock, there’s a date window. All elements have the best possible protection against damage in the form of sapphire crystal glass.

And since we’ve touched on the subject of durability, the watch is water-resistant up to 100m.

On the movement front, it’s a chronograph complication C01.211 produced by ETA, arguably the most reputable Swiss movement manufacturer. It’s a 15-jewel caliber with a power reserve of 45 hours.

2. Victorinox 241598

Next up we have this extremely elegant timepiece from Victorinox

Originally a provider of knives for the Swiss Army, Victorinox is now a world-renowned manufacturer of extremely rugged timepieces that are first and foremost built to stand the test of time.

The model you see above belongs to the AirBoss collection that, as the name suggests, focuses on the pilot watch type.

Victorinox 241598 comes with a neatly designed brown leather strap and a stainless steel case. The watch wears pretty small for a chronograph as the case diameter is just 42mm. The caseback is transparent, allowing you to marvel at the intricate workings of the automatic chronograph movement.

Some might find the snow-white dial a bit difficult to read since the Arab hour markers are also on the bright side. We would have probably liked the model even more if these were black – just like the minute markers engraved on the outer rim. The good thing is, the hour and minute hands, as well as the markers, glow in the dark.

The face features three chronograph sub-dials positioned at 12, 9, and 6 o’clock. Starting from the top one, they measure:

  • 30 minutes
  • 60 seconds
  • 12 hours

Additionally, at 3 o’clock there’s a window displaying the date.

Unsurprisingly for a watch in this price range, it’s equipped with the most durable of all crystals – sapphire. 

The watch also uses ETA-produced movement. The ETA-Valjoux Caliber 7750 is a 25-jewel movement with a 48-hour power reserve. 

On the waterproofing front, the timepiece can withstand depths of up to 100m.

3. LIV 1420.46.36.A500

Compared to other watchmakers on today’s list, it’s fair to say that LIV is still making its baby steps in this history-rich industry.

The brand has been established only in 2014 but the solid quality and affordable pricing of its watches mean it has enjoyed a massive success already.

What links LIV with the other three manufacturers reviewed in the article is the Swiss heritage. All timepieces come with a Swiss-made label and use exclusively Swiss complications (mostly automatic).

It goes without saying that LIV’s automatic chronograph you see above will easily turn many heads. 

It’s another model oscillating on the sporty side although the presence of a black leather strap provides an elegant touch as well.

The LIV timepiece is the largest discussed today as the diameter measures 46mm. The case is made from stainless steel and features a see-through caseback, allowing you to peek at the workings of the automatic chronograph complication.

Perhaps its biggest standout feature is what we often call a “Panda Dial”. It’s a popular way of describing chronograph watches with a white face and black chronograph sub-dials, resembling the look of the wonderful animal residing in China.

The black & white face design ensures excellent readability which is further boosted by the presence of luminous hands and indices. The outer rim of the dial includes minute markings while at 3 o’clock there’s is a date window. Excellent protection from cracks and scratches is ensured by sapphire crystal glass.

Starting from the top one, the chronograph timers measure 30 minutes, 60 seconds, and 12 hours. The complication is manufactured by ETA. The exact caliber used with this LIV model is 7750 which contains 25 jewels and has a power reserve of 48 hours (the longest on the list).

Akin to the previous two automatic chronographs, the watch is water-resistant up to 100m.

4. Revue Thommen 17030.6537

Are you looking for an automatic chronograph that will also be a great companion during diving sessions? Well, this Revue Thommen model certainly ticks the boxes.

Although RV might not be as mainstream nowadays as it was decades ago, it’s one of the oldest Swiss watchmakers that is still producing excellent value timepieces to this day.

The model we picked for today’s list of best automatic chronographs under 1000 belongs to the AirSpeed collection. While the name might suggest it’s more of a pilot watch, all the specs point to an extremely capable dive watch

The model has by far the strongest water resistance properties as it can survive the exposure of up to 300m. Another ever-present element of diving watches is the unidirectional dive bezel with which you can measure elapsed time underwater.

The stainless steel case measures 45mm in diameter and has a solid caseback. The strap is made from rubber.

The timepiece boasts a busily-arranged face. Apart from the chronograph sub-dials, on the outer rim of the dial, you will also find a tachymeter scale. Additionally, at three o’clock located is a day and date window.

While the LIV watch model’s dial above can be referred to as “Panda Dial”, this Revue Thommen timepiece boasts the so-called “Reverse Panda Dial” as the white chronograph timers sit on top of the pitch-black background.  

5. Tissot T0356271103100

We opened the list of best chronograph watches under $1000 with a Tissot model and we will close it with one as well.

Looks-wise, Tissot T0356271103100 is definitely more on the dressy side. The all-stainless steel exterior certainly contributes to the classy feel of the timepiece.

The watch also wears a bit smaller than the previous Tissot model as the case measures 42mm in diameter. The model boasts a stylish 5-link bracelet.

Another striking difference between the two watches is the caseback. While in the T-Race model that opened the list the caseback was transparent, this one has a mostly solid back with just a small centrally-positioned window. 

The snow-white dial blends in neatly with all the other silver-tone elements of the watch. It’s fairly legible, despite being devoid of any large minute or hour markers.

Apart from the three sub-dials responsible for the chronograph function, the watch can also measure speed and distance traveled thanks to the tachymeter markings around the outer rim. All the indices as well as minute and hour hands glow in the dark. Also, next to the Tissot logo at 3 o’clock is a date window. The watch is equipped with sapphire crystal glass.

So what intervals can the chronograph function of this model measure? The largest one positioned centrally displays 60-second measurements, the one at the top measures 30 minutes, and finally, the bottom sub-dial tracks 6 hours.

Naturally, the automatic chronograph is Swiss-made. The manufacturer of the caliber used in this model is again ETA. The caliber C01.211 is a 15-jewel movement with a power reserve of roughly 45 hours.

Finally, the watch is a fairly safe bet for use in water. It can withstand depths of up to 100m.

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