Watches: Longines Twenty-Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chronograph

By Thierry Ané on August 22, 2014

As a rule, I am not particularly fond of the vintage tidal wave that has flooded the watch industry these past few years. I have absolutely nothing against a retro look and some of the timepieces surfing on this trend are absolutely stunning. My problem is that in my view this approach betrays a lack of creativity rather than a tribute to the past. If designers spend a decade or two imitating past aesthetics, we will be left with an era without graphic identity. The role of watch designers is to innovate. It certainly does not prevent from paying homage to the past once in a while but it is certainly not by doing this on a large scale that the new Gerald Genta will emerge!

Despite this general feeling, I must confess that the Heritage collection is by far my favourite line from Longines. For this collection, the Saint Imier-based brand takes its inspiration from all the models displayed in its museum and they seem to be an excellent trigger for productivity. Earlier this year, the brand expanded the Heritage line with the The Longines Avigation that I presented hereFlash News: Longines The Longines Avigation as well as with the stunning Equestrian Lépine pocket watch in rose gold. This week, the brand adds the “Twenty-Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chronograph” timepiece to the lineup, and successfully catches our attention again with a vintage model!

For its latest creation, the brand has replicated the lines of one of its pilot watches dating from the 1950s. The first exciting aspect is that the designers were not afraid of maintaining the magnificent 47.50 mm case of the original model making it a very masculine but also an extremely authentic pilot’s watch! Crafted in stainless steel and polished to a mirror-finish, it presents a closed back engraved with the Longines winged hourglass logo that the brand has been using since 1889.

The second element that makes this watch stand out is the L789 calibre based on the ETA A08.L21 that has been produced exclusively for Longines. The new column-wheel chronograph calibre is in fact an adaptation of Longines’ very own single push-piece movement originally intended for a pocket watch but eventually adapted to the 1950s pilot’s watch model.

In addition to the monopusher chronograph activated by the crown, this self-winding movement offers an original time display on a 24-hour scale. Indeed, the shorter leaf-shaped hand follows an inner 24-hour charter ring while the longer minutes hand sweeps on the outer 60-minute track. The watch also presents a small seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock and a date window at 6 o’clock.

There are two versions of the new Twenty-Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chronograph: one with a splendid silver dial and blued hands and another featuring a black dial with steel hands. The former is paired with a brown alligator strap while the latter is mounted on a black alligator strap. Both models are enhanced by the presence of white stitches. Priced at US$ 4,800 or £2,750, each model will be individually numbered although not limited in production.

For more information please visit the Longines web site.