Longines will soon release these two vintage inspired watches that are lovely and affordable examples of classic sport timing timepieces. The watches are the Telemeter Chronograph and Tachymeter Chronograph. What makes them different? The dials, that’s pretty much it. Each of these designs are faces we have seen before in the past, rendered here nicely in what is in my opinion an affordable package.
Other than the dials, do these pieces look familiar? They should. The Tachymeter and Telemeter Chronograph pieces are slightly altered versions of the Longines Column Wheel Chronograph. Up from 40mm wide, these new pieces will be 41mm wide in steel, and will contain the same Longines caliber L688 automatic column wheel based chronograph movements. These are exclusive to Longines movements made by ETA (caliber A08 L01) with a 54 hour power reserve. The case shape is virtually identical to that in the Column Wheel Chronograph.
Higher-end brands such as Breguet, Montblanc Villeret, Glashutte Original, and others have offered enamel dial versions of this dial style. Those watches are extremely expensive. Longines uses lacquer dials which offer a very similar look, with bright colors and high contrast. The hands are pomme style and lumed, and the antique instrument style dials still look cool. While the time, date, and chronograph functions are all useful, the tachymeter and telemeter functions are vestigial scales at best. They simply aren’t very useful these days. Call these watches nostalgic treats.
I have heard watch brands discuss the function of a telemeter in one way, “use it to measure how far lightning is from you.” It uses sound and a visual reference to measure how far that thing is from you using the chronograph. You’ll never use it, I promise. The tachymeter is similar and actually more popular (thanks Speedmaster). It is used to measure the speed of an object assuming you can measure a specified distance traveled. Again… it is of very limited utility. But hey, if you find these functions useful then please keep tachymeter and telemeters scales close to you at all times. Attached to Longines Telmeter & Tachymeter Chronograph watches is a handsome black alligator strap. Overall, these are pretty attractive vintage homage pieces and will be priced at $3,250.