A piece of VERY cool watch innovation... Introducing the Longines V.H.P GMT Flash Setting
Longines is a brand that, whilst not keeping quiet, does not remain at the forefront of the watch community as much as other brands. I feel like for whatever reason, despite being a stupidly good brand with a fantastic offering, people dismiss them. What people may not appreciate, is that Longines are actually a brand with a phenominal history, and one that are pushing the boundaries of innovation in watchmaking.
Longines was founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz. The brands first factory opened in 1867 in Saint-Imier. In this same year, they produced their first in-house movement, the 20A. In 1889, the brand was registered with the Federal Office of Intellectual Property, with the famous winged logo being registered four years later, in 1893. This makes Longines the oldest registered watch brand in the world.
As you may, or may not know, watches before the 20th century where not commonly worn on the wrist. Pocket watches were the norm. To try and develop the trend of watches mounted on the wrist, Longines developed its first wristwatch caliber, the 13.33Z in 1913. This was a single push-piece caliber with a 30 second counter, which was accurate to within one-fifth of a second.
They then, in 1954, developed their first quartz clock. It made up a component of a timekeeping instrument called the Chronocinegines, which also comprised a 16mm camera as part of the device. It provided sports officials with a filmed tape showing a series of still images taken every hundredth of a second, allowing them to follow the athletes as the pass the finishing line. Which I think from a technology point of view is pretty bonkers, considering this was SIXTY-FOUR years ago!!
Over the years, the brand have released some stunning watches, focusing their designs on their heritage of Avaition and Diving. Some of which can be seen below, just so you geeks have some watch porn to keep you interested!!
The very famous Longines Heritage Diver
A vintage inspired piece, the Longines Heritage 1935
One of my favourite watches from the brand, the Longines Aviation Big-Eye Chronograph
Now, onto the focus of this article. Lognies this week introduced another watch which utilises their V.H.P, or Very High Precision technology. These calibers were developed last year, and came in two ultra precise quartz calibers, both of which were produced by ETA. one of which is the L288.2, which is a 3 hander and a calender. The other one is the L289.2, which is a quartz chronograph. Both of these watches are accurate to +/-5 seconds per year, which for an analogue watch, even quartz, its pretty mental. One of the features of the movements which helps to ensure this accuracy is the inclusion of GPD technology. GPD stands for Gear Position Detection. This basically means that as soon as the watch detects impact or exposure to a magnetic field, the hands will reset to preserve the accuracy. The watch is also fitted with an intelligent crown for easy manipulation (something I will go into more detail about later on). It also features a Perpetual Calendar that will carry on until the year 2399.
The Flash Setting of this new V.H.P GMT is what really excites me. This technology is just amazing... and whilst I will endeavour to explain it as best I can, I have also provided a video below which gives a demonstration, because this really is the sort of technology that you have to see to believe.
Skip to 1:27 to see the technology in action...
This technology relies on the users smartphone and a dedicated app to set it, as you will have seen in the above video. It means that users can either change the 'home' and 'away' timezones using the crown, or you can use the accompanying app through the Flash Setting technology. I know which one I would use!! This technology is described as a Light-Driven Management System. It allows the times zones to be changed pretty much instantly, certainly much quicker than through the traditional crown. The information recorded in the application is transmitted via light sequences from the phones flash to a tiny opening on the watches dial, which is concealed in the 12 numeral.
The other bit of innovation within this watch is the 'Smart Crown'. This goes hand-in-hand with the Flash Setting, in order to make changing and switching between time zones completely effortless. The smart crown allows the user to interchange home time and travel time on the display simply by pressing on the top of the crown, again, very, very cool...
This new model from Longines comes in Steel and Black PVD. Unfortunately for some (myself included) they come in 41mm and 43mm. I say this is a shame because a 38/39mm version would be fantastic for the slightly smaller wrist. As well as offering a GMT hand, the also display hours, minutes. seconds and the date. They come in four dial colours; Blue, Carbon Fibre, Silvered and Black. Either a Steel or Black PVD bracelet, or a blue and black rubber strap completes this fantastic watch.
This watch, and Longines as a brand, really are at the forefont of technological developement within watchmaking. This watch really is going to become the new must have travel watch, and is really going to help propel Longines into the spotlight within the watch industry.
Editor and Co-Founder