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Longines Column-Wheel Single Push Piece Reference L2.800.4.53.0

Side of Longines Column-Wheel Single Push Piece

The Longines column-wheel, self-winding chronograph movement, caliber L788.2/ETA A08.L11, firstly debuted in 2012. That watch represented, from a design standpoint, the transitional period between pocket watches and wristwatches, with its wire lugs, elongated Roman numerals, and rounded case; it was an impressive debut, and at a price point at which finding a column-wheel monopusher chronograph is unusual to say the least.Front of Longines Column-Wheel Single Push Piece
This Longines particular model-reference, L2.800.4.53.0 as wonderful as we thought that one was it’s still going to have narrower appeal, and a narrower bandwidth for versatility, than something a little less specific.  This particular reference, L2.800.4.53.0 .Incidentally, there are several “Longines Column-Wheel Single Push Piece” chronographs in the catalogue that are distinguished from each other only by reference number.
Side of Longines Column-Wheel Single Push Piece 02By the numbers, here’s what we’ve got: a 41 mm case. The movement is a ligne, 27 jewel, self-winding movement with 54 hours of power reserve; the balance vibrates at 28,800 vph. If those numbers sound familiar to you, they should; those are the specs of the ETA/Valjoux 7750 and this caliber looks like the 7750, but modified – a lot, we might add – for a column-wheel coordination system; lest our readers get the wrong idea we feel we should point out that putting a column-wheel system into what was original a cam-controlled chronograph is not exactly a matter of a simple drop-in replacement. There are two registers, a (very) unobtrusive date guichet, and reference L2.800.4.53.0 is a steel party: steel case, hands, and pin buckle, but all very nicely done, especially the hands, which would not look out of place on a five-figure dress chronograph from a blue-chip brand. One of our pet peeves is cheap looking hands on very expensive watches, and here the opposite is true – the execution of the hands on this watch does a lot to elevate it and create the impression of something much more expensive.Longines Column-Wheel Single Push Piece casebackFourteen millimeters is not dress watch thickness, but although it doesn’t feel like a dress chronograph per se, it’s still overall a very elegant piece of kit, sitting just a tiny bit high on the wrist.  One of the very nicest things about this watch, and one that Longines deserves a lot of credit for, is the chronograph pusher feel. You might be surprised to hear, as we were to find, that this is quite simply one of the nicest feeling chronographs to operate that we’ve ever had in the office and we’ve had some nice chronographs in the office. Operation is smooth, not in the least bit notchy at the detent, with just a hint of resistance and then a very clean let-off as switching takes place, and it’s like that all the way through: stop, start, and reset.

Between the feeling of precision and genuinely luxurious smoothness in operation, and the quiet but definite sense of quality this watch has, we had a blast wearing it.