The self-winding Longines Tachymeter chronograph (Ref. L2.781.4.13) is essentially a redecorated version of the elegant Telemeter (Ref. L2.780.4.18) chrono that was presented in August 2012. Powered by the same movement, which is protected from the elements inside the same medium-sized case, this one differs from its sibling only with a pair of tachymeter scales printed on its snow-white dial.
Although the watch is not terribly original in its styling, there is still a nice twist to its design. You see, unlike many chronographs that feature tachymeter functionality, this new watch features not one, but two tachymeter scales!
The first one, which is printed in blue and black on the bezel flange, needs an object to travel the whole kilometer for its speed to be measured. The other one, transferred in red on the dial itself, can estimate your speed on a distance of just 100 meters, which is nice.
The rest is the same.
The chronograph sports a standard tri-compax layout with a small seconds indicator at 9 o’clock, a 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock, and a 12-hour totalizer at 6 hours.
Since the watch is powered by the Longines L688 movement (a column-wheel chronograph caliber, which is based on the ETA A08L01 blank caliber and modified on-premises exclusively for Longines), the date window is placed between four and five hours, which makes the Breguet-style Arabic numerals in the lower-right sector of the dial almost illegible (not that the fragments of the numerals in the lower-left segment are much better off).
Measuring only 41 millimeters in diameter, the body is compact by today’s standards, but the watch won’t feel uncomfortably small even on a large wrist thanks to its rather long horns that hold the black leather strap made from alligator skin.
What I am concerned with here is the water resistance rating. Although the watch definitely looks sporty, it is good for only 3 ATM of water pressure: a rating more suitable for a classic dress watch, not a sporty chronograph. Well, perhaps you should simply be more careful wearing this thing.
As for the timekeeper’s value, it is rather difficult to come to a conclusion. With a minimum recommended street price of $3300 USD, the watch is slightly more expensive than similarly styled pieces from ‘independent’ brands. However, if you limit your search only to ‘premium’ ones with similar ‘vintage’ styling, you will immediately see that it is actually affordable both in terms of the money you will have to pay upfront and the cost of ownership: keeping this watch in good working order will be significantly less expensive than a Breguet or some other similarly priced timekeeper.
Longines Tachymeter Chronograph (Ref. L2.718.104.22.168) specification
Price: $3300 (MSRP)
Movement: Automatic, Longines L688 (base caliber ETA A08.L01), column-wheel chronograph, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 54 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph, tachymeter, date
Case: Stainless steel
Size: 41.00 mm
Dial: White lacquer
Hands: Steel, blued
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with contrast stitching and stainless steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective