Once you move past the beginner stage in chess and understand the fundamentals, the next step is to acquire a chess clock and start to test your skills in tournament-style situations.
Chronos is one of the most reputable and widely popular brands when it comes to a tournament standard chess clock. In this article, we are going to review the Chronos chess clock to see what features you can expect with this product as well as looking into all of the pros and cons that come with it.
What Is a Chronos Chess Clock?
Chess clocks are used to keep track of the total time it takes players to make a move in a two-player chess game. Their purpose is to stop players from delaying a move longer than they need to.
A chess clock has two different timers that run independently from each other and are both controlled separately by a button on each player’s side. This might seem simple but chess has a variety of tournament-style modes and a decent chess clock needs to have an array of settings to cater to these needs.
The Chronos chess clock is a classic and respected brand that all serious chess players are familiar with. They come with either a push-button or touch button mechanism but all function the same and come with a rather large 48-page manual that we will cover shortly.
First, we’ll get into this review.
Chronos Chess Clock Review
For this review, we will be looking into both the Chronos Digital Chess Clock but everything in this review will also relate to the Chronos GX. The Chronos GX is just a smaller model with fewer preset modes so if you want a Chronos without the full setup, the GX might be the better option.
The Chronos chess clock, as mentioned, is widely accepted as a high-quality chess clock by most seasoned players. Below are some of the key features that enable this product to be held in such high regard by players worldwide.
The programming is the standout feature with a Chronos chess clock. The clock comes pre-programmed with 70 timer modes that cover the majority of the most popular games and tournament modes that you are likely to come across.
This clock also supports up to 12 programmable modes which can be a combination of your favorite or most commonly used games and accessing these modes takes only a few button combinations.
Due to the extensive range of modes available, this clock offers mass appeal to beginners and grandmasters alike. The one point we will make is that you need to learn the programming combinations which means reading and learning the 48-page manual.
Chronos chess clocks are not a budget option and this is because of their build quality and durability. When you purchase a Chronos model you are making an investment into the long-term quality of use (not a cheap model that will lose track of time and accuracy).
The frame is made from steel ensuring a sturdy product that will hold up against the occasional drop or mishandling incident whilst a lack of moving parts greatly reduces the risk for unnecessary damage.
The preset modes feature the most commonly played games including blitz, GO, 5-minute chess, Byo-yomi variations, and can even be programmed to have move counters and different timing settings (both Bronstein and Fischer timing modes).
The option for beeps, end-of-game beeps, and even LCD flashing means that this is one of the most customizable clocks available despite only being controlled with three buttons!
The final “feature” for a Chronos chess clock is its reputation. Chronos is a commonly used tournament clock around the world which is a testament to its durability, accuracy, and reputation.
You can look up any review from a Chronos clock and besides the one single drawback of some people having difficulty programming a Chronos, the reviews are unanimous in Chronos being a solid and reliable product.
What We Liked
- Programming: An extensive range of 70 pre-programmed modes, customizable beeping and move counting plus the option for you to program and save up to 12 of your most commonly used games/modes makes this a universal clock for any playing level.
- Simplicity: Everything on this clock is controlled by just 3 buttons (the 2 players buttons and the on/off button) and once you learn the commands, it’s very straightforward and simple to control.
- Quality: The manufacturing quality for a Chronos clock is arguably unmatched in this category. The steel frame is solid and the product has virtually no moving part that can be subjected to unnecessary damage.
- Versatility: The Chronos chess clock is not only used for chess but is also a good option for other two-player games like Scrabble, Othello, or any other turn-based two player game.
What We Thought Could Be Better
- Programming: Despite the programming being a benefit with this product, the manual programming for this clock is notoriously difficult for some users to get the hang of, especially those of us that are used to user-friendly programs in the form of mobile apps!
You, therefore, need to fully read the manual in order to get a full grasp of programming the different timer modes. If you are struggling there are a few YouTube tutorials that will help you program this clock in around 10 minutes which almost eliminates the only con to the Chronos chess clock (difficult programming…).
If you’ve finally started to get serious about chess and you’re looking into the best chess clocks, you can’t really go wrong with a Chronos. They are widely considered to be among (if not the) best clocks on the market regardless of whether you go for the Chronos Digital or the smaller Chronos GX.
They are made from high-quality steel for durability, have a clear LCD display, a wide range of programmable modes (70 preset modes and 12 custom programmable modes), and keep their time and accuracy with precision.