Chronograph Watches - timed to perfection


It is one of the most sought-after and frequently used watch complications. And with good reason – a chronograph watch on your wrist is wonderfully practical, whether you’re at the track, on the water, or in the air. No other complication brings such an air of sporting elegance to a timepiece as a well-thought-out chronograph.

IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Watch (IW392104)

“Writing time”


The word chronograph is a combination of two Greek words – chronos meaning time, and graph meaning writing. So when you start your chronograph, you’re literally writing time. Today’s chronographs offer precision down to a tenth of a second in some cases. And operation is simple – pushers enable the wearer to start, stop, and return the timekeeper to its original state, or even time two intervals at once. The complication adds plenty of practicality and a sporty touch to any timepiece, which is perfect when merely experiencing time isn’t enough.

A history of precision


IWC has a distinctive and storied history with the chronograph watch. The first IWC chronograph, the Porsche Design Chronograph 1 (Ref. 37000), was manufactured in 1980. It was the world’s first watch made of titanium, a highly innovative material, which was supposed to underline the timepiece’s sporty character. Designed by F.A. Porsche, this icon is easily recognizable thanks to a host of unique features, including its smoothly integrated pushers. Five years later, the Da Vinci became the first chronograph to feature a perpetual calendar, which just happened to be mechanically programmed for no less than 500 years. 2004 saw the introduction of the Aquatimer Split Minute Chronograph, with its second minute hand enabling the diver to time the duration of a decompression stop during a dive. And in 2007, IWC released its first in-house movement with a fully integrated chronograph – the Cal. 89000.

IWC Porsche Design Chronograph Watch 01 in titanium (IW370001)
IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher with in-house chronograph movement (IW515104)

Icons of elapsed time


Portugieser Chronograph Automatic (Ref. 3714)

The Portugieser line was already the epitome of elegance, and the introduction of a chronograph added a fresh dimension of sportiness. One of the most popular IWCs ever made, it became an instant classic when it was released in 1998, and it is still made today.


Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph (Ref. 3711) 

The Pilot's Watch Double Chronograph was the first double chronograph from IWC, debuting at the Basel watch fair in 1992. The split-seconds hand can be stopped independently from the stopwatch hand while the stopwatch continues to run, enabling the user to record two separate times, precisely to the second.


Portofino Hand-Wound Monopusher (Ref. 5151)

Though it is no less complicated under the hood, the simplest chronograph to operate is the Monopusher. The ingenious single push-button mechanism is smoothly integrated into the crown. Press once to start the chronograph, press again to stop, and once more to reset. The Portofino Hand-Wound is IWC’s first monopusher, and yet another example of how well traditional manufacturing and modern technology go together.


Learn more about IWC’s chronographs and discover the full collection.