Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph

This is a new edition of a historic Longines chronograph present in the brand’s museum and dating back to the first half of the 20th century, with a steel case housing a column-wheel chronograph with a single pusher within the crown, and with a tachymetric scale on the dial. It is available in two versions, gloss white enamel dial and matt black dial. Longines benefits from its position in the Swatch Group, able to use movements made by ETA that after 2020 will no longer be available to brands outside the Swatch Group, and so its long-term future looks very bright. Longines is market leader in the price sector from 900 to 3,000 Swiss francs.

Case and dial

TThe stainless steel case is 41 mm in diameter, water resistance 30 metres, and it has a sapphire caseback revealing the movement. In particular, you can see the blued column wheel that commands the start, stop and reset chronograph functions. The numerals are in contrasting black or white; hands are in blued or rhodium-plated steel, chosen in function of contrast and legibility. The watch has a strap in brown or black alligator leather, with pin buckle. The chronograph function takes the form of a central-sweep seconds hand, and a subdial for chronograph minutes at 3 o’clock.

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The chronograph seconds hand can be used with the tachymetric scale to measure the velocity of a vehicle. It’s a tradition al feature of chronographs, but I’m always puzzled as to why they usually have this scale, which to be used needs a measured distance, rather that a telemeter scale which can be used whenever there is a storm, to judge how far the lightning is away. Luckily Longines have a telemeter chronograph in their catalogue as well. In actual fact, the seconds scale with its 1/5 second intervals, the minutes chapter ring, and the tachymetric scale combine to create a vintage slide-rule type appearance that gives the watch its period character.

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Movement

TThe watch is powered by the L788.2 movement, made by ETA exclusively for Longines (ETA A08.L11). It runs at 28,800 vph (4 Hertz) and has a power reserve of 54 hours.

References and price

The Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph, reference L2.800.4.23.2 (white dial) and L2.800.4.53.0 (black dial), costs €2,730.

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