Very rare mint 42mm steel LONGINES “Quartz Chron”, Ref. 8444, Cal. 6412 (based on CEH Beta 21) wristwatch, made early 1970s.
In 1969 after seven years of research C.E.H. consortium (cooperation between 21 Swiss firms, including Rolex, IWC, Patek Philippe, Omega, Longines, etc) finally created Beta-21 movement, using a 8192 Hz quartz oscillator mounted in an in-house integrated circuit. It was a huge (30.9mm x 26.5mm x 7mm) and expensive movement (700.- Swiss francs each), however extremely accurate to 5 seconds per month, which was far superior to any automatic and manual-winding watch at the time. From 1970 to 1972 only 6,000 or so of these movements were ever made, Omega marketed the largest number of movements: 1’830 pieces.
Longines was a part of the Quartz project led by CEH, but in the same time apart from the Beta 21, they created their own in-house cybernetic quartz movement Cal. 6512, so they withdrew from the consortium and launched the Ultra Quartz which contained a movement of their own design. Making this “Quartz Chron” model one of the most rare of the Beta 21s as it was produced for such a short period.
Interesting fact, Longines didn’t want their watch to look like any other Beta 21, so they rotated the movement through 45° and installed it diagonally into the case, leaving the recessed winder at 4:30.
Hardly any of these survive today, this example in a great original untouched, almost NOS condition, comes on vintage blue leather strap with Longines steel buckle, in fully working order.
Dimensions 42 x 49 mm including lugs, bracelet will fit up to 21 cm wrist.
Watch is in overall great condition, running and ready to wear or gift!