Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph

It was whilst looking at the illuminated display cabinets, in a watch retailer, that I spotted a Longines Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph for £2850 and was charmed by its vintage appearance and clean white dial. However, as I nonchalantly examined the watch I realised that it represented a real bargain.

This detailed review of the Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph includes live images and specificaiton details.

Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph

I have just visited Manchester. My children wanted to go on a shopping spree and spend some of my hard-earned money. They didn’t want me in attendance as I am an inhibiting influence on their frivolous frittering of funds. Moreover, no self-respecting teenager wants a middle-aged father in attendance.

In between consuming several over-priced espressos at the numerous coffee shops which populate British high-streets, I decided to visit a few watch retailers.

The retail scene in the UK

I am always curious to see the brands stocked in retailers, the models on display and, in some instances, seeing if any models are being discounted.

Clearly, there has been much dialogue about recession and economic slow-down and, yes, the general public are being more cautious when it comes to parting with their cash. There remains demand for high-end watches, but the middle-classes are feeling the pinch and refraining from purchasing luxury goods with the same alacrity as they might have done a few years ago.

Pricing of watches

On ESCAPEMENT, we seldom talk about price but rather focus on timepieces produced without compromise. In the perfect world, those who have absolute knowledge, along with limitless funds, would select a grand complication from one of the most prestigious maisons. However, we do not live in an ideal world and invariably we have to make compromises.

It was whilst looking at the illuminated display cabinets, in a watch retailer, that I spotted a Longines chronograph for £2850 and was charmed by its vintage appearance and clean white dial. However, as I nonchalantly examined the watch I realised that it represented a real bargain.

The word, “bargain” is not something I ordinarily use, but this watch was a revelation.

A high specification

The round-cased chronograph was created by the brand to celebrate its 180th Anniversary in 2012. To my shame, I had missed seeing the watch until my shopping sojourn in Manchester.

Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph

As I examined the Caliber L788, via the exhibition back, I noticed a blued column wheel and realised that it has a fully integrated movement. A column wheel chronograph is normally the preserve of costlier timepieces and represents the pinnacle of chronograph movements. To find a column wheel chronograph at this price level was a surprise.

The watch has a discreet crown featuring a monopusher for the chronograph. A monopusher is yet a further detail which normally attracts a price premium, reinforcing my perception of the barely believable pricing.

The case measures 40mm, and has takes its styling cues from the first Longines wrist chronograph released in 1913. Close examination of the dial revealed blued steel hands providing a traditional aesthetic allure and appealing contrast against the white lacquered polish dial.

 

Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph

1913 model

The watch has several functions including hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds, date and chronograph.

I looked at the brown alligator strap and the steel loops which affixed it to the caseband and smiled at the elegance of the timepiece.

Summary

I saw much merit in the wristwatch. Longines, the historical brand from St. Imier, is part of the Swatch Group and while some of Longines’ sister brands offer timepieces bestowing a much higher specification, I can think of few watches which deliver so much value for money.

This train of thought lead me to think, what is the reaction of those companies who compete in this market segment? Based on this model, I would imagine it has given rival brands in Switzerland a few sleepless nights.

Technical Specification

  • Model: Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph
  • Reference: L2.776.4.21.3
  • Case: Stainless steel case; diameter 40.00 mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; subsidiary seconds; date; mono-pusher chronograph.
  • Movement: Caliber L788, Self-winding movement; frequency 28,800 vph (4 Hz); 27 jewels; 54 hour power reserve
  • Strap: Brown alligator leather strap presented on steel pin buckle.

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