Which of these chronographs with an in-house caliber is THE chronograph?

Omega Speedmaster

I just closed the poll, let me know present you and analyze the results … 

2045 people participated and 43 % or 874 voted for the Omega Speedmaster. That´s an amazing result, since the number two, the IWC Pilot´s Watch Chronograph Top Gun only got 287 votes or 14 %. Very close Zenith with its El Primero Striking 10th as the number three with 197 votes or 10 %. On fourth place Breitling with 178 votes or 9 % and only on place number five the Rolex Daytona with 157 votes or 8 %.

Guys, what is Omega doing right and Rolex wrong?

Shouldn´t the Rolex Daytona be the absolute number one in such a poll? I would have never thought that Rolex is going to be voted just at fifth position. For me it is another proof that Rolex has to wake up now. The brand is loosing ground especially to Omega.

Omega is much more innovative, has the more attractive models in its collection and Omega seems to head in a very bright future. Still today many first luxury watch buyers go for a Rolex, but the group is decreasing rapidly. Rolex for many young and wealthy buyers is no longer sexy enough. This generation now is buying Omega, IWC, Breitling, Jaeger-LeCoultre, TAG Heuer, Chopard, Audemars Piguet, Hublot and Cartier, to name just a few other attractive watch brands in the order as they have been voted at the poll.

If I may give Omega an advice then I would encourage the management not to be so noble and modest in the company’s external communication. There are still so many positive things to discover and so many stories to tell, that the brand should take more advantage of its glorious heritage and today´s overall strength.

In my eyes Omega is still underestimated by many potential buyers. The fact alone that the “old” Speedmaster, from which I hear that the sell-out has decreased in the last years, performed so strong here proofs what enormous potential even the old, iconic ticking buddy still has.

But not only Omega is underestimated!

If I look at the results, I don´t understand why brands like Cartier and Chopard are not able to clearly change their image. Both are still very much perceived as a feminine and not a masculine brand, although both, Cartier and Chopard, meanwhile have attractive men-watches in their collections. And please do not forget that Cartier and Chopard manufacture a stunning variety of excellent in-house calibers.

It also looks like that Audemars Piguet is loosing ground to brands like Hublot, IWC and Jaege-LeCoultre, since they all have very masculine and technical sophisticated watches in their collections.

No surprise for me is the performance of Zenith. The Le Locle based manufacturer is performing well and winning back a lot of customers, the brand lost during the era of CEO Thierry Nataf. Jean-Frederic Dufour is really doing a great job. Silently and effectively he is attacking IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre; IWC with his authentic Pilot´s watches and Jaeger-LeCoultre with his affordable complications as the Pilot Doublematic Alarm Chronograph and “Unitime” watch.

Breitling could do much better if only the customers would finally honor the brands efforts in building outstanding in-house calibers. Still for many buyers the name Breitling on the wrist is more important then the mechanical values underneath the dial. Many buyers therefore still refuse to pay the surplus for the new Breitling in-house movements. I think it will still take another couple of years until a broader public will appreciate and understand Breitling´s coherent path into the future.

The results of my poll underline that the things begin to change in now. The former kings are slowly kicked of their thrones; ambitious disciples take over the business. Marketing researchers by the way come to the same results. They say: Old brands like Rolex, Porsche and even Red Bull loose more and more ground. They are seen as being boring… These are the brands of the generation of the parents and no longer the brands of the actual young and wealthy generation.

Thank you all for participating at the poll and please check out my new poll that will go online very soon…


watch-insider poll: Which of these chronographs with an in-house caliber is THE chronograph
watch-insider poll: Which of these chronographs with an in-house caliber is THE chronograph






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15 replies on “Which of these chronographs with an in-house caliber is THE chronograph?”
  1. says: Tarik

    Shouldn’t the B01(Breitling) be on this list?

    In my humble opinion the El Primero is way too fragile.

  2. says: Jay

    I think we need to be careful when evaluating polls such as these. This site is probably the best on the Internet for hard core watch enthusiasts but the opinions of the general public is a different matter. With regards to Rolex, there is not another brand in the world that can manufacture 800,000 watches per annum at the tolerances that they can achieve as a vertically integrated manufacturer. Anyone who feels that a stainless Daytona is still not highly sought after should enter a Rolex boutique, anywhere in the world and see if they’re able to purchase one. The fact that after so many years of production it remains a tough to source watch speaks volumes.

    Brands like Cartier, Chooard, Bulgari, etc will always do poorly on polls such as these as we, as watch lovers, view them as Jewelry houses and despite their in house movements it will take at least a couple of generations for this view to change. Even Harry Winston, despite its huge efforts and complex time pieces remains a jewel house that happens to make a small run of complicated watches. Swatch clearly will attempt to change this but only time will tell if they are successful in this.

    AP has been the biggest failure of the high end brands in my opinion within their chrono range. It takes a momentary lapse of reason to dilute the quality of a brand and decades to build it up. Their marketing efforts in the US have been deplorable. What was a watch of pure class worn by European royalty has been one that only wrap stars and athletes aspire to own.

    I could go on and on but I think the point is that “our” opinions are a minority. The vast majority of people who can afford these watches will probably opt for a Daytona way before the put their credit card down for an Omega.

  3. says: bruno

    Well, I respect the poll but couldn’t disagree more. THE Chronograpgh is the Zenith El Primero. NO discussion. I did not say the 1/10 th, but the good old thing made since 1969.
    I fear that people can not judge objectively, Zenith is not as popular as Omega.
    There is nothing wrong with Omega but in all the books I read since a bit more than 20 years I think the conclusion is that the El Primero is the chronograpgh icon

  4. says: Miguel

    Dear Alexander

    Thank you for sharing this article, which doesn’t surprise me to see that the ‘poleman’ is an iconic, timeless and good looking model such as Speedmaster. Omega is almost launching every year a new watch within this product line.

    Moreover, I am not surprised at all to see Rolex being 5th for the moment with Daytona. I personally think that Rolex has so far put more efforts on Oyster, Submariner and Gmt. Nevertheless, I am convinced that Rolex will enter the podium, as the brand is putting more efforts now on Daytona, and an example is their implication in Formula 1.

    Thanks again for sharing very interesting articles frequently.



  5. says: Debashish

    Why don’t you start a new poll?

    Say, whether certified chronometers are relevant any longer or not?

  6. says: Watchaollic

    Very interesting

    I tried yesterday the new speedmaster 57 ( with in-house co-axial mouvement ) and it is just great!
    I saw the new platinum Daytona and I did not like it ( no matter the price)
    It is too flashy and Brown / light Blue on a chrono , no thanks
    If I had the money I would buy a Daytona 6241 Paul Newman ( nicest vintage) instead or the RM 11 chrono ( nicest modern )

    Thank you

    1. The new Speedmaster 57 is awesome, I already tried it on my wrist and I fell in love with it… 🙂

      Concerning the Paul Newman Daytona I can not agree more. Give me the money and the chance to get one … OMG …

      Liking the RM means you have a real good taste my friend 🙂

      1. says: Watchaollic

        Thank you Alexander !
        Yes the PN Daytona is a dream, let´s see what the Christies november auction ( 50 Daytona ) will make !


  7. says: Abdulaziz

    Good day,
    Omega is seriously doing it’s best to attract new customers through extensive adds and creative innovations. As an example of quality, my Omega Deville is still running since 1992.

  8. says: Yiannis

    Hi Alexander
    Thank you very much for your great article.
    In your text you mention “Jaeger LeCoultre affortdable complications
    as the pilot Doublematic Alarm Chronograph and Unitime watch”.
    It seems that you know something I don’t.Maybe these are new SIHH 2014
    complications from JLC?

    Best regards

  9. says: PATRICK

    Very interesting Alexander thank you! I cannot agree more with your comments on Omega, an amazing brand put down for long by its ” first watch for a young man” reputation.The Brand is huge particularly in China and its dynamism not only in the marketing but also in creating innovative products like the amazing 15,000 Gauss watch should be rewarded. Technically I still believe though that a Rolex Daytona is definitely “the” chronograph to own and also the AP but people may get tired of the Daytona and AP is pricing itself a bit high may be for the quality.

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