The Swiss watchmaking company Longines has recently revealed some info regarding their new Saint-Imier collection of automatic timekeepers that will be revealed next month during the Baselworld 2012 event. Although there will be around a dozen different pieces in the new line, only a single photo accompanied their press release depicting the sporty Longines Saint-Imier Automatic Chronograph (Ref. L2.753.5.52/72.7) in a two-tone mix of 18-karat rose gold and stainless steel.
I have already mentioned not long ago that last year was especially successful for the brands that have gold and two-tone models in their product range.
The reason for that is, probably, the unstoppable rise in gold prices, which makes buying a gold watch a nice investment. Those who can’t afford to get the real thing, prefer the more affordable “mixtes” where only parts of the body (most often, the bezel and the crown) are crafted from the precious metal.
It is no wonder that Longines, too, decided to add one more two-tone model to its enormous product range.
As you can see on the photo, the model with reference number L2.753.5.52/72.7 features its fixed bezel, setting crown, a pair of chronograph push-pieces and elements of the bracelet crafted from 18-karat rose gold. I must admit that I am not the greatest fan of the combination of materials in general and am not terribly happy with this particular example.
This piece looks generic and, frankly, rather dull. I have no intention of hurting their ego, but, if not for the famous winged logo, it could well be just any watch from any mid-range watchmaking brand.
The only thing that I like about this model is the size of the case: at 39 millimeters in diameter, it is just right for a normal wrist. Also, it doesn’t look as impertinent as some other “sporty” chronographs above 44 millimeters in diameter that always require a fat, hairy wrist and a couple of thick gold rings for the perfect ensemble.
On the other hand, the new Longines Saint-Imier offers an easy to read layout with a standard tri-compax design with a 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters at 3 and 6 o’clock respectively, a small seconds indicator at 9 hours and a date aperture between 4 and 5 hours. As it is the case with many recent models from Longines, the date window is rectangular in shape, although a slightly trapezoidal one would surely look better.
Like the last year’s Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph Record (Ref. L4.754.4.52/72.X) that was presented during the Baselworld 2011 show, this watch is, too, powered by their new Caliber L688.2 (aka ETA A08.231) that was developed and produced exclusively for the Swiss watchmaking brand.
Being a column-wheel chronograph, the movement (and its derivatives) will probably replace the legendary ETA Valjoux 7750 work-horse movement as the chronograph caliber of choice for the Swatch Group members.
See also: Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Anthracite DLC
Longines Saint-Imier Automatic Chronograph (Ref. L2.753.5.52/72.7) specification
Price: $4600 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Caliber L688.2 (base ETA A08.231,) column-wheel chronograph, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Movement decoration: Polished screw-heads, perlage, oscillating weight in yellow gold with open-worked “Longines” logo
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, date
Power reserve: 54 hours
Case: Stainless steel
Bezel and Crown: 18-karat rose gold
Size: 39.00 mm
Numerals: Arabic, applied
Hour markers: Applied, with luminous dots
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Two-tone steel and pink gold bracelet with butterfly clasp and pushers
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective