The Longines novelty from the Equestrian collection serves as another tribute to the brand’s heritage. It marks the launch of the brand’s first chronograph back in 1878 and it replicates the looks of the Lepine pocket watch which is exhibited in the brand’s museum in Saint-Imier. The pocket watch is made in 55 mm wide rose gold housing and it features an appropriate engraving on its back. Longines Equestrian Pocket Watch Jockey 1878 runs on a manual winding movement with a column-wheel and mono-pussoir chronograph. The new pocket watch is made in the limited edition of 20 pieces.
As the representatives of the brand state, the new pocket timepiece is dedicated to one of Longines memorable breakthroughs. The watchmaker developed its first chronograph in 1878, nearly half a century after the foundation of the brand and exactly 62 years later from the release of the first chronograph which was made by Louis Moinet.
After the launch of its first piece with a stop watch feature, Longines began its long-lasting association with equestrian sports which has been lasting to this day. In the past few years, Longines has been honoring its connection with horse riding sports by recreating some of its historic pocket pieces with this origin. Two years ago, it was another Lepine pocket watch that was recreated, while the last year, it was a piece that featured silhouettes of three horses on its back. For this year, the brand with the winged hour-glass has opted to replicate the looks of its first chronograph.
Naturally, the newcomer is not a complete replica of the original piece. The first and the most obvious trait that is different is the material of the watch’s case which was changed from steel to 18 K rose gold in the new model. The golden housing retains the original diameter of 55 mm and it has the same kind of engraving on its back. Unfortunately, the brand does not provide the information about the thickness of the housing. However, this measurement is not as important in pocket watches when compared to wristwatches. The back cover which can be opened to show the workings of its caliber depicts an engraving that shows a scene with a jockey and a horse.
Beneath its sapphire crystal with multiple anti-reflective coating layers, Longines Equestrian Pocket Watch Jockey 1878 sports the same polished and white-lacquered dial like the archetype model. The dial features 11 painted large and slim Roman numerals. The numeral at the bottom is omitted and two neighboring ones are partially covered because the dial also includes a small seconds counter on the bottom. The small seconds scale includes Arabic numerals which can be seen once again on the outer periphery of the dial. In-between two types of numerals on the flange lay minute/seconds and fifths of the seconds tracks (of which the latter is used for the stop watch feature).
The lacquered dial likewise includes blued steel hour and minute Breguet-type hands, a central baton-type chronograph hand with a counterweight, while the small seconds counter is blued and made in the same way as the central chrono hand.
Unlike the original piece after which it was modeled, the new pocket watch does not have a proprietary movement. Instead, as it is common practice for the brand these days, it uses a specially made ETA movement which it renames.
In this instance, it is ETA A08.L31 which is called Calibre L790.2. It is a hand-wound mechanical movement which is 13 ¼ lignes wide and which integrates 20 jewels in its construction. The watch includes a column-wheel chronograph complication which is activated, stopped and reset with a single pusher. This pusher is placed inside the crown of the watch which sits at the top of the case, as it is traditional for pocket watches. The blued steel column wheel mechanism is visible on the back side of the case, once the protective cover is removed.
Finally, it should be said that the model with the reference number L7.031.8.11.1 is made in the restricted series of 20 pieces and that each one of them is specifically numbered to mark its position in the limited edition.