Longines Twenty Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chrono - Buying Watches
When I first saw the Longines Twenty Four Hours Single-Push Piece Chrono, I immediately thought of obtaining this timepiece to enrich my collection once it became available. I had, at the time, just a handful of digital pictures released by Longines and a few lines describing its technical features. Today, that watch is wrapped on my wrist 24/7 - apart from those few days during summer when it's too difficult to wrap anything that sports a leather strap - and I'm used to wearing a light diver, after all. The Heritage collection is a winner among Longines' collections; it is sort of a modern archive where each year the brand adds a re-edition of some of the best timepieces from its rich past.
They represent the modern versions of vintage watches that are highly sought after today (especially Chronos) and the proof is in the results of the latest auctions where some vintage Longines have raised incredible prices and got collectors crazy. When it comes to Chronos and complications, the single push-piece Chrono is one of the most admired and, I would add, funny. While it might be hard to find Single Push-Piece Chrono complications, the Heritage collection has the widest offering available on the market. Collection wise, the Longines Twenty Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chrono is not an entirely new model but a consistent (and premium) upgrade of the Twenty-Four Hour, an aviator-like watch with the hour visualization on the 24 hours launched between the 50s and the 60s for the Swiss Air pilots.
In adding the Chrono complication to the base model, Longines has re-designed the onion shaped winding crown that is now squared and houses a tiny co-axial push button that lets you start, stop and reset the central Chrono hand. The pros of using a single push-piece is that, from an aesthetical standpoint it helps in keeping a timepiece's style sleeker, as it seems you are simply wearing a vintage piece similar to a big aviator watch that is also featuring a neat dial and a nice complication.
The 47,5mm stainless steel case of the Longines Twenty Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chrono is exactly the same as the one that you may find on the original model - at least, according to Longines - a claim that I do not doubt although I'm more than curious to take a look at this original model now, something that I guess needs me to pay a visit to the Longines museum in Saint-Imier, where I've been told it is on display. That wide case size helps the dial's aesthetical balance for it gives enough room to the two separate scales: the inner one is used to read the time on the 24 hours and is overlapped by the big recessed running seconds counter at 9, while the external one is designed to track the Chrono seconds counter and minutes.
Needless to say, that logo printed at 12 is the same logo Longines used on the original model as well as it is the beautiful historical winged logo reproduced on the case back that - this is bizarre - cannot be opened to take a look at the movement. A pity if you think that the Longines Twenty Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chrono adopts a nice custom made caliber created by ETA exclusively for Longines (you're not going to find it anywhere on any other watch by the Swatch Group) featuring a column-wheel mechanism, 4Hz and 54 hours of Power Reserve.
These last raw figures are relevant, as they are, but not a key factor in buying this watch. The Longines Twenty Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chrono is a pleasing timepiece with a classic and timeless style, a fully mirror polished case and a bold presence on the wrist.
The only flaws are that, on a daily basis, it is not easy to read time at a glance and, secondly, I would have added a rubber inlay on the strap’s wrist side to maximize the everyday comfort. These last two points are, however, peanuts if I consider I have paid €3210 to get my hands on it - that is a competitive price for a nice aviator like timepiece with a true pedigree, an interesting while rare Chrono complication with...no competitors...
(Photo credit: Horbiter's proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C. @Horbiter