Vintage chronographs, episode II: the return

A promise is a promise! Frank sans C has released a second video dedicated to vintage chronographs. Watch out, this is the real deal...

By Nicolas Yvon

With their design inherited from the past, vintage chronographs are on a roll. This is not a new phenomenon and it seems that it is certainly not about to run out of steam. Indeed, the passion for these watches is still growing. And manufacturers still have many instruments to revive from their archives.

Read our article Have a look in the past with these vintage chronographs.

After the success of Frank sans C first video on vintage chronographs, a second one needed to be made! 

LONGINES Heritage Classic Tuxedo, a black and white dial in the land of vintage chronographs

By evoking the chic attire of men’s wardrobe, Longines is in fact taking us back to the watchmaking style of the late 1940s. A period of newfound freedom, when people dressed elegantly to go dancing in jazz clubs that were springing up everywhere.

Heritage Classic Tuxedo chronographes vintage
Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo, a vintage chronograph that dresses the wrist with elegance.

It is of course the black and white two-tone dial that reminds of the tuxedo. Black and silver opaline to be exact, and it gives all its vintage character to this 40mm steel instrument. This beautiful Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo automatic chronograph (€ 3,080) is a fine bicompax (two sub-dials) specimen among vintage chronographs.

Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo
With its railway timers and its tachymetric scale, the Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo chronograph does not lack vintage assets.

Equipped with blued steel hands and “railway” graduations, it also has a tachymeter scale around the dial. Which allows to measure the average speed of a vehicle over a distance of one thousand meters. That is, in practice, by timing the travel over the distance between two kilometres markers. On the caseback, a winged hourglass, the Longines emblem, is engraved.


MIDO Multifort Patrimony Chronograph, classic and chic

Mido proves its savoir-faire when it comes to beautiful vintage chronographs. Here, with this reference in pink gold PVD treated steel. Standing for “yo mido”, which means “I measure” in Spanish, Mido has a rich story of more than a hundred years. A heritage that allows it to draw inspiration from one of its oldest instruments, the Multifort Multichrono of 1937.   

MIDO Multifort Patrimony Chronographe
Multifort Patrimony Chronograph is also equipped with a tachymeter scale.

This 42mm reinterpretation features an attractive domed ivory dial with the historic Mido logo at 12 o’clock. Equipped with a “glass box” sapphire crystal, this Multifort Patrimony chrono (€ 1,950) also bears a transparent caseback. Through which we can see its beautifully crafted automatic movement decorated with “Côtes de Genève”.


ZENITH, Chronomaster Revival A384 Lupin The Third Final Edition, a last series of vintage chronographs for a Japanese anime series

End of the fruitful and very successful collab’ between Zenith and the It’s a wrap for the happy and very successful partnership between Zenith and the Japanese manga Lupin The Third. The anime is better known in France as Edgar de la Cambriole in the 1980s because the rights to Arsène Lupin made the name unusable. The originality of the manufacture is to have recreated the vintage chronographs that appear in this anime series broadcasted from 1971 in Japan. But this was not a product placement before its time. It is a tribute from the creator of the manga to the legendary Zenith El Primero chronograph released two years earlier. 

Zenith Chronomaster Revival A384 Lupin The Third Final Edition
Yin and yang spirit for the Chronomaster Revival A384 Lupin The Third Final Edition.

This Chronomaster Revival A384 Lupin The Third Final Edition in titanium will only be produced in 250 pieces (€ 9,700). It is the third and final model of the series. It looks like the very first El Primero chronographs with its 37mm tonneau-shaped case and its chain bracelet. The “yin and yang” dial is in fact a mix between the two previous editions. It has a black and grey part and a white and black part. And it displays a nice contrast with golden and luminescent features. At the heart of the watch, an automatic El Primero Calibre 400 is beating, like all El Primero, at 36,000 vibrations per hour. This movement is visible on the back through a sapphire crystal engraved with an effigy of Daisuke Jigen, the manga character who wears the Zenith watches.


FURLAN MARRI, the revelation of the Grand Prix de l’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG)

Besides being one of Frank sans C favourite Maisons, Furlan Marri had a successful first participation at the prestigious GPHG 2021 competition. Created a year earlier, the young Maison won the Horological Revelation Prize for an instrument identical to this Tasti Tondi model. This 38mm creation with a retro style is inspired by the watchmaking design of the 1940s. Its Italian name suits it very well, as it means “round push-buttons”, which are features that it indeed displays.

Furlan Marri Tasti Tondi, une pure crayon au pays des chronographes vintage
The Furlan Marri Tasti Tondi chronograph deserves attention with its remarkable finish and its mechaquartz calibre.

This piece in 316L steel on a leather strap has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, and that’s an understatement.  Indeed, it is difficult to find a competitor with such a high-quality finish and such an aesthetic face in this price range (€ 439). The watch is powered by a mechaquartz calibre from Seiko with a 60-minute counter and a 24-hour indicator. Thanks to this hybrid engine (electronic technology and mechanical module), the central second-hand also runs smoothly and not in an irregular way, as with a basic quartz movement.


MONTBLANC Heritage Monopusher Chronograph, the salmon-coloured dial is running back  

Vintage chronographs with a monopusher are not numerous in the watchmaking universe, but Montblanc offers a few in its catalogue. For example, you can find them in its Heritage collection, which is inspired by the wristwatches of the 40s and 50s created by the Minerva factory. Which has been serving Montblanc since 2007. Besides, the Heritage Monopusher Chronograph (€ 4,700) reinterprets the signature codes with an original salmon-coloured dial. Although it’s a very unusual shade, it brings elegance to the timepiece. 

Un des chronographes vintage les plus séduisant chez Montblanc, le modèle Heritage Monopusher Chronograph arbore un cadran saumon
Heritage Chronograph with monopusher by Montblanc: original style from the past, watchmaking technicality and innovative colour.

The single push-button is located in the winding crown. It controls the chrono function by successive presses (start, stop, reset). With a 42mm diameter in polished-satin steel, the watch is also delivered on a magnificent grey Sfumato alligator bracelet made by the Richemont Pelletteria in Florence, Italy. But you won’t see the beauty of the automatic movement on the back. Indeed, Montblanc preferred to engrave it with a representation of its manufacture, located in Villeret. What a shame… or not! You tell me!


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