Looking forward to the annual Longines vintage-inspired releases at Baselworld is almost second nature to many, and amongst this year’s new-old releases is a new Pulsometer (single-button) chronograph.
You only need to have had a cursory exposure to vintage watches to immediately see how heavily this new watch is inspired by its past; in this instance, inspired by medical pieces from the 1920s that allowed for the measurement of heartbeats.
When this complication became popularised on a wristwatch, the activated chronograph, combined with the pulsometric scale, was able to indicate the patient’s heart rate after thirty pulses, as opposed to the previous method (at the time) of taking pulse measurements over a period of sixty seconds.
You start the chronograph timer and count the beats until you get to the number for which the scale is calibrated, in this instance, 30. Stop the chronograph and read the heart rate in beats per minute off the scale. A related scale, often found on the same watch, is the asthmometer, used to determine a patient’s respiratory rate. The scale is read the same way and is typically calibrated to five respirations.
The dial is lacquered white with the pulsometric scale in red. Arabic numerals are painted and the Breguet-style hands are blued. All very traditional in design. For those unfamiliar with chronographs, the centre hand is the 60-seconds one, there is a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, and a seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock.
This new model is 40mm, in stainless steel, and through its open case back can be seen the automatic Calibre L788.2 column wheel chronograph movement with fifty-four hour power reserve.
This is not Longines’ first modern Pulsometer, they released one in 2013 called the Asthmometer-Pulsometer Chronograph that was based on a 1963 piece.
Another recent vintage-inspired monopusher from Longines using the same movement was the 180th anniversary red twelve model about which you can read here.
It may be argued that these annual ‘re-interpretations’, as it were, are a safe way of introducing new models every year, but it has been a winning formula for Longines, and if the results look good, as they (again) do in this instance, then why wouldn’t you?