Swiss luxury watchmaker Longines maintains a long-standing tradition of timekeeping accuracy, with over 100 years of innovation and technological advances to show for it. The brand has proven itself particularly adept at precise movements and complex mechanics, which are capable of measuring 1/10th or even 1/100th of a second. As far back as 1914, Longines was equipping handheld stopwatches with these movements for the respective worlds of sports, military, and medicine. With the latest release, that distinguished legacy continues.
Dubbed Ultra-Chron, the new Longines model takes direct inspiration from a 1968 diver of the same name. Sharing a similar design language, it brings the painstaking accuracy and supreme durability of its predecessor into the modern age. The name doubles as a reference to its “ultra chronometer” certification by TIMELAB, an independent testing laboratory in Geneva. Going well beyond the standard “chronometer” certification process, TIMELAB tested the watch at three different temperatures (8°C, 23° C, and 38°C) over the course of 15 days so as to confirm that it met the strictest precision criteria.
Whilst boldly stylish and highly resistant to shocks, scratches, and water pressure, the new Longines Ultra-Chron is most clearly defined by the parts you can’t see. Under the skin is calibre L836.6, an in-house movement whose balance spring oscillates at 36,000 beats per hour (i.e. 10 beats every second). It’s through this feat of strength that the watch earns its “high-frequency” status and delivers more accuracy than a standard chronometer. Ultra, indeed!
The Original 1968 Ultra-Chron
Before Longines’ latest release, there was the 1968 original. It similarly continued a long-running legacy of precision technology that dates all the way back to the brand’s aforementioned stopwatch in 1914. In 1959, Longines developed the first high-beat movement for a wristwatch and set new standards of accuracy in the process. Nine years later, the brand introduced the Ultra-Chron Diver, the first dive watch to run on a high-frequency movement.
The New Longines Ultra-Chron
Picking up where its iconic predecessor left off, the new Longines Ultra-Chron employs a similar visual aesthetic along with carry-over specs like a unidirectional rotating bezel and screwed-in caseback and crown. The watch’s prime legibility and steadfast performance are likewise inspired by the 1968 original, though this one stays the course down to 30 bar (as opposed to the original’s water-resistance to 20 bar). It’s also larger than its predecessor, with a 43mm cushion-shaped case of high-grade steel.
Ultimately, the new Ultra-Chron is downright striking in its fusion of stylistic temperaments. Nowhere is that more apparent than the black-grained dial face, which hosts a white minute track and alternating Super-LumiNova-coated batons and rhodium-plated appliques. Look closely and you’ll spot the original Ultra-Chrono logo both on the display and then again on the caseback. Also featured is a classical diving bezel with a sapphire insert and luminescent accents—it too cultivates an expert blend of retro and modern.
Available with either a leather strap or steel bracelet, the new Longines Ultra-Chron is delivered in a special presentation box, inside of which is a black NATO strap crafted from recycled material. And so a new chapter unfolds in the watchmaker’s legacy, which like all great chapters doesn’t rewrite the book as much as it does continue a brilliant story. In this case, it’s a story of bold innovation, groundbreaking precision, expert style, and palpable passion. If you’re similarly passionate about horological history and brilliant design, then you’ve just found your latest acquisition.