Longines GrandeVitesse Automatic/Chronograph Racing Swiss Watches Review
Longines GrandeVitesse collection consists of racing automatic watches displaying the same large 12 o'clock index as HydroConquest and Conquest watches. In a way, GrandeVitesse is a combination of the two: it takes the bezel from the former, transforming it into a tachymeter scale, and the clean dial organization from the former.
Additionally, this collection is instantly recognizable for the use of straight flat hands, an unusual turn for such an aesthetic conscious brand as Longines.
The most surprising trait of Longines GrandeVitesse watches is how leisurely and unloaded they appear. Where most watchmakers (such as Blancpain Speed Command) attempt to load the cases, the dials, and the bezels with as much complications and information as possible, Longines remove all unnecessary features, keeping strictly the essentials.
A side effect of this
approach is a more elegant look, that at least in spirit echoes the
finesse of Longines Conquest.
GrandeVitesse watches freely employ colors. The palette is limited, but still marks a significant shift from the usual coal black of most racing watches.
Dials display a scheme of white, black and brown, creating a soothing composition, one that refers much more to a vacation trip rather than professional, intense racing.
Materials include stainless steel for the main parts except the bezel, which comes in aluminum. Watches are available in either bracelet or leather strap models, neither type compromising the effectiveness of the overall design.
All GrandeVitesse watches are automatic chronographs. Two push buttons activate the complication; the buttons are designed in retro style, and, with the stainless steel case, lugs, and crown, produce an effect of a surgical instrument – not unlike some Oris Motor Sport watches.
Seconds hand of the main watch mechanism is located at six or nine o'clock, while a central, larger seconds hand measures chronograph time. The watches are water resistant up to 50 meters, and have a power reserve of almost two full days.