Longines combines the original beauty of its historical products with cutting-edge watchmaking technology. The Swiss watchmaker’s Heritage models are a tribute to the spirit that has inspired Longines designers since the company’s early days. The brand’s products have accompanied many pioneers in their adventures in the air, on land and under the sea. And many of those timepieces were equipped with chronographs.
Among the pieces in the Longines Heritage range, the most famous the Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch, a re-issue of the timepiece developed for the American pilot Charles Lindbergh in 1931. The Longines Weems Second-Setting Watch, a tribute to the navigation system devised by Captain Philip van Horn Weems, and the Longines Twenty-Four Hours, a re-issue of a watch designed especially for Swissair pilots in the 1950s, also feature among the stars of the Heritage models.
The chronograph has come a long way from one of its earliest incarnations as a timer for horse races. As devised by Nicolas Rieussec in 1821, that early timer was a box into which the user would drop ink onto two moving discs. When that boxed chronograph was operating, its dial made one revolution per minute, and since its circumference was divided into sixty parts, the angular motion of one division corresponds to one second. This type of chronograph operated for about three-quarters of an hour without stopping.
Most of watches today originated stylistically and technically from pocket watches, however, not ink-based timers. Early pocket watches have a certain Old World style rarely seen in today’s mechanical watches, though many still attempt to emulate early dial layouts and functions.
The single-button chronograph is one of the earliest types of chronograph watch mechanisms, and the column wheel, which helps control the starting, stopping and resetting of the chronograph, is one of the earliest known type of control system for the chronograph functions.
In a chronograph with a column wheel (which is the small blue circle in the accompanying picture) the wheel rotates one increment with each click of the chronograph pusher. A mechanical finger falls between the teeth of the column wheel to activate the functions.
These movements require precision in design & build. If done well, the user will notice a smooth pusher that is also quick to respond.
Chronographs also frequently boast inner bezels used to indicate a variety of functions. The Tachymeter, for instance, is used to measure speed. A Telemeter is used to measure sound and has historically been useful to soldiers who could utilize it to measure artillery rounds. A Pulsations scale, rare but still seen on several well-known chronographs, is used by doctors to tell your heart rate.
The Longines Column-Wheel Single Push Piece chronographs include models that feature one or more of these inner-bezel functions. Available in black matte or white lacquer, its dial bears black or white contrasting Arabic numerals and a tachymeter scale. Its rhodium-plated or blued finish steel hands stand out, ensuring perfect reading. A black or brown leather strap harmoniously completes this model. Here we show you several of the best known.
Longines has been based at Saint-Imier in Switzerland since 1832. Its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance.With many years of experience as a timekeeper for world championships in sport or as a partner of international sports federations, Longines – famous for the elegance of its timepieces – is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd, the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. The brand known by its winged hourglass logo now has outlets in over 130 countries. Discover more about Longines here.
Kabir Singh works for Jewels in Paradise.