1967 Longines Ultra-Chron 31 x 32.5mm. case.
in 67 Longines launches a self-winding 11″ line caliber aiming to offer an alternative to the electronics and quartz used by the competition. The regulating organ of the L430 movement is a guarantee of accuracy, with the characteristics of a competition piece as it vibrates at a frequency of 36,000 vibrations per hour.
In the 1960s, most movements ran at 2.5 or 3 Hz; the Hi-Beat movement pushed this up to 5Hz. The greater speed meant better stability and more accuracy, most Hi-Beat watches were within chronometer standards by default.
This accuracy came at a price. The movements consumed more power meaning that power reserve was lower, mainsprings had to be stronger and more wear and stress was put on the movement. Even the oiling was a problem as the speed of rotation could throw the oil off the parts.
The first Hi-Beat watch was produced by Girard-Perregaux in 1965 but the power reserve was too low to be practical and so the Longines Ultra-Chron was the first successful movement of this type. They solved the oiling issue by using a dry coating of molybdenum bi-sulfide to lubricate the escapement.
At the time, Longines marketed the Ultra-Chron as the most accurate watch in the world guaranteeing a precision within 2 seconds per day.
Longines was founded in 1832, its winged hourglass logo is the oldest registered trademark for a watchmaker.
Longines provided timers used at the first modern Olympics in 1896.
In 1899, a Longines watch went to the North Pole with the Arctic explorer Luigi Amedeo of Savoy.
Charles Lindbergh, after his transatlantic flight, designed a pilot watch to help with air navigation. Built to his specifications, the Longines hour angle was introduced in 1931 and it is still produced today.
The company began to produce military issue watches for the second World War, most for the European forces.
Today Longines is owned by the Swatch Group.