- Celine Yap
A long time coming—honouring Longines’ 190 years of watchmaking
It’s got 190 years of watchmaking in the pocket, but Longines continues to slay the horology game, one creative marvel at a time.
Longines Ultra- Chron Diver
For a company that’s just one decade shy of two centuries old, Longines still manages to retain a youthful exuberance not just through its timepieces but in image as well, having recently signed Jennifer Lawrence as its latest brand ambassador. “Longines,” the Don’t Look Up star expresses, “has long been synonymous with timeless elegance, which to me, can be defined as a quiet powerfulness met with grace and confidence.”
Pushing its brand ethos of timeless elegance farther than ever, and into everything from classical timepieces to sporty vintage- inspired watches to contemporary chronographs, Longines is certainly making the most of its 190th anniversary. Whether you’re looking at it from a technical perspective, a historical standpoint or a consumer’s position, the Manufacture has done everything right with such horological standouts as the Ultra-Chron Diver, the Master Collection 190th Anniversary and the Record Heritage Chronograph.
Going back to the late ’60s, the Ultra-Chron Diver revisited one of Longines’ most illustrious chapters in precision watchmaking, when high-frequency mechanical movements were the leading technology of the time. But the watchmaker had been producing high-frequency movements accurate to 1/10th of a second in as early as 1914, and was the first to develop the first high-beat wristwatch movement in 1959. By 1968, Longines had been the first watchmaker to produce a high-frequency dive watch, and this specific model inspires the Ultra-Chron Diver in spirit as well as in design. Its cushion-shaped stainless-steel case and baton-style hands and indexes are deeply redolent of the late ’60s, and that Ultra-Chron insignia offers a nostalgic touch for all vintage lovers. Inside, the calibre L836.6 is a high-frequency movement accurate to 1/10th of a second, and has been precision tested by Timelab in Geneva.
Likewise, the Record Chronograph balances a contemporary spirit with vintage design cues—a formula that has been especially successful with numerous Longines creations. This is the first chronograph model in the Record collection, and it espouses a heritage-rich aesthetic reminiscent of ’50s chronographs, thanks to distinctive elements such as the bi-compax sub-dials, alternating Arabic and tapered baton-style applied hour markers, slender feuille hands and an old-school tachymeter scale encircling the dial.
Slim rectangular chronograph pushers also reinforce the vintage spirit, along with a matte black dial fleshed out in gold- tone elements. Meanwhile, its movement is the Longines calibre L895 which is chronometer certified and anti-magnetic as a result of the silicon balance spring.
MASTER COLLECTION 190TH ANNIVERSARY
But beyond the shadow of a doubt, the best example of timeless elegance for Longines on this momentous occasion is its Master Collection 190th Anniversary. An exclusive trio of new timepieces expressing the company’s time-honoured horological mastery, while fore-fronting spectacular finishing and exquisite craftsmanship, the likes of which have never before been seen at Longines.
Cased in stainless steel, 18K rose gold or 18K yellow gold, each model is presented in a limited, numbered edition of 190 pieces. Meticulous attention to detail was lavished onto every surface of the dial, and that merits special mention. Delicate hour numerals
carved in the classical Breguet style check all the right boxes with watch connoisseurs. Feuille-shaped hands add a lovely touch of old- world charm. Dials in grained anthracite, vertically brushed grey, or with a sandblasted silver décor underscore Longines’ expansive manufacturing savoir-faire honed unceasingly over 190 years. Within their 40mm cases, the Master Collection 190th Anniversary models house a Longines exclusive L888 calibre which also has a high-precision silicon balance spring. This beautiful dichotomy between technology and nostalgia, past and present, design and mechanics permeates every Longines creation as it builds on the manufacture’s continuous devotion to the pursuit of timeless elegance.