We know you competitive types. For timing grocery runs down to a thousandth of a second, the Bulova Precisionist Chronograph ($799) is one of the most impressive timepieces out there.
More specifically, the Precisionist is one of the most accurate watches that doesn’t receive regular timing signals from a remote atomic clock. It features a unique three-prong quartz crystal (the crystals in most quartz movements have only two prongs) that vibrates at 262.144kHz — yep, 262,144 times per second — which is eight times the frequency of traditional quartz watches. This is what enables its extreme precision and accuracy: plus or minus ten seconds a year, and, as we said, timing up to a twelve hour period down to the thousandth of a second. If that deviance affects your schedule, you have far larger needs than a razor-sharp timepiece. The Precisionist’s decreased variation due to temperature is a neat side benefit, and especially useful to Antarctic scientists measuring water freezing rates (we presume).
The sweep seconds hand is perhaps our favorite part of the chronograph. In normal mode it sweeps continuously rather than jumping once a second; in chronograph mode, it reverts to jumping second to second while the chronograph tenths and hundredths hands on the sub-dial at twelve o’clock whirl like helicopter blades.
A 46-millimeter diameter and 18 millimeters of thickness impart a solid, hefty, tough look to the Precisionist, backed up by a water resistance to 300 meters thanks to a screw-down crown. Our only concern at that depth is the mineral glass crystal, but then again, timing submarine races isn’t usually high on our lists. Maybe you’re that fiercely competitive. In any case, we break down the Precisionist’s full features above.