Though today it’s mostly known for its entry-level luxury watches, Longines has something of a history in developing really accurate timepieces. In 1954, the brand produced a super-precise, quartz, portable sports timing device; in the mid-’60s it created the high-beat Ultra-Chron, which it claimed was “the most accurate watch in the world”; years later, Longines became a pioneer of quartz wristwatches with the debut of the Ultra-Quartz in 1969. Finally, in the ’80s, Longines made the VHP (“very high precision”) quartz watch, accurate within 10 seconds a year. Now, it’s back, and even better than before.
The new VHP joins the small club of super-accurate quartz watches currently on the market, sitting alongside contemporaries like Citizen’s Japanese-market Chronomaster and Grand Seiko’s 9F. Notably, the VHP is now claimed to be accurate within five seconds a year. That puts it on par with the Chronomaster, considered to be the most accurate analog watch in the world. Whereas the original VHP utilized a thermo-compensated quartz movement (the Achilles heel of quartz accuracy is fluctuations in temperature), the new watch utilizes a handful of technologies developed by ETA.
For example, Longines says the key technology here is the “gear position detection” system, which “checks the gear’s exact position and corrects the display if it is inconsistent with the quartz’s time base.” The watch also includes magnetic sensors; in the presence of a magnetic field, the display may freeze up, but the watch is still monitoring the correct time and will adjust the hands accordingly. Further, the watch is able to readjust itself after suffering sudden shocks. The best part? The VHP is reasonably priced. The three-hand models cost around $940, while the chronographs will go for approximately $1,530.