Ever since chronographs made their debut in the 19th century, people have been using them as a stopwatch and measuring tool for speed and distance. While most people today may not be familiar with the additional functions of this watch, staunch chronograph users love its classic design and feel over modern, minimalist-style wristwatches.

The best part is that you don’t need to shell out a lot of money just to have a refined-looking chronograph!

For this list, we have the best chronographs that cost less than $500. Fashion and function don’t have to be expensive, and these wristwatches are proof of that.

1. Diesel Men’s Mr. Daddy 2.0


Diesel Men's Mr Daddy 2.0 Quartz Stainless Steel and Leather Chronograph Watch, Color: Grey, Brown (Model: DZ7314)
 in stock
7 new from $211.41
3 used from $138.73
Free shipping
as of October 1, 2021 9:56 am

The Diesel Men’s Mr. Daddy 2.0 has a stainless steel casing made more durable with its gunmetal plating. Its authentic brown leather strap adds to its bold design, which definitely feels luxurious on the wrist even if you wear it on a regular work day.

This watch has a huge 57mm case that features a 3-hand analog display, a date window at 3 o’clock, 3 sub-dials for its chronograph functions. The case is covered with mineral crystal for a break-resistant protection. The blue textured dial fits perfectly with the leather strap and definitely looks and feels grand considering its affordable price.

2. GRAF Zeppelin Chronograph


Graf Zeppelin Chronograph and Alarm Watch 7680-1
$355.00  in stock
2 new from $355.00
as of October 1, 2021 9:56 am

Ask anyone what a classic wrist watch looks like and they’ll tell you it has a white dial color with the iconic Breguet hands, which is what the GRAF Zeppelin Chronograph exactly looks like. A great timepiece to wear on any occasion, this offers a sophisticated feel of a multipurpose watch right on your wrists.

The dial window is made of mineral crystal that prevents minor scratches and dents, and the stainless steel case offers superb protection with a vintage aesthetic. The tachymeter is found within the all-white dial, and the 42 mm case is also large enough to fit and view the three sub-dials without squinting your eyes. If you’re into style and function, this is the perfect pick.

3. Seiko Chronograph Solar Power Watch


Seiko Men's SSC015P1 Chronograph Solar Power Stainless Steel Watch
 out of stock
as of October 1, 2021 9:56 am

If you like the feel of steel clasps compared to leather watch bands, the Seiko Men’s Chronograph Solar Power Watch is a great choice. Made with a 43 mm stainless steel case, this watch has a deluxe appearance and a durable build.

This solid wrist watch has a water resistance of 200 meters, suitable even for most water sports and activities. Better yet, it has built-in solar-powered panels that recharge the watch’s battery, no need for replacements! For a mid-price chronograph, you’re definitely getting the style and functionality you need as expected from a leading watch brand such as Seiko.

4. Fossil Neutra Chronograph Watch


Alpina Startimer Pilot Men's Big Date Chronograph Watch AL-372B4FBS6
$499.00  in stock
as of October 1, 2021 9:56 am

Chronograph watches have never looked as good as the Fossil Men’s Neutra Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch. You can never go wrong with its all-black design with matte finish that just looks suave and charming on the wrist. A must for any style-conscious shopper, this watch certainly adds class to any outfit in every occasion.

It’s not just aesthetics, mind you. This gorgeous watch has a shatter-proof mineral crystal dial window and a decent water resistance of 50 meter, which is safe enough to use while swimming. It also has a lightweight and comfortable feel, a stark contrast to other chronographs with bulkier and heavier designs. If you want both fashion and function, this watch is a must-have.

5. Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Chronograph


Citizen Men's Eco-Drive Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch with Date, AT2141-52L
$296.25  in stock
2 used from $197.46
Free shipping
as of October 1, 2021 9:56 am

As part of the Eco-Drive lineup, the Citizen Men’s Eco-Drive Chronograph turns both artificial and natural light into energy for its battery. As long as light hits the panels, it will continuously recharge and you won’t ever have to worry about replacing the battery. This watch even has a tachymeter placed on the bezel, a functional feature especially if you need to measure speed and distance.

The 42 mm stainless steel case is protected by a sapphire dial window, which is considered the most durable material used in watches that prevents scratches and preserves its brand new look for years. At a glance, this watch looks high-end and upscale, but it’s actually our most affordable chronograph watch on the list!

Still not sure what chronograph watch to get? Check out our other reviews of the best chronograph watches under $1000 and the best chronograph watches overall in 2021!