Vintage Longines 'Water Ski' Chronograph Ref. 8226-4 Valjoux 72 c.1969

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The Watch
There were countless tool watches developed for specialized purposes in the 1960s and '70s. This Longines chronograph, with a unique scale intended for water skiing, is one of the more cooler fellas released during that golden period.

Located in red between three and five o'clock, this scale calculates the specific speed crucial for the driver of a boat in a water ski slalom, in order help the skier complete a slalom course in the allotted time. 


Slalom water skiing involves a multi-buoy course that a skier must go around. The slalom track measures 259 meters in total, and the rules of the sport stipulate that the speed of the boat must remain between 42km/hr to 57km/hr, which are noted on the scale, between the start and finish line.


When the total distance and speed are calculated accordingly, the time lapse measures between 16.4 seconds and 22.2 seconds to cover the entire 259 meters of the course (which is why the scale is set between those two markers), with a deviation of 4/10ths of a second for the 16.4 seconds mark and one second for the 22.2 seconds mark. The running chronograph seconds hand will indicate to the driver the current speed, and it allows them to adjust how fast the boat should be moving in order for the skier to make it to the finish line in time.


The watch itself is in nice, honest condition. We decided to keep the original crystal with scratches, as it gives the watch a nice character. The scratches in the center of the crystal may distort the "Longines" signature underneath, but it is fully there and is in great shape. The exotic-style sub-dial is remarkably similar to the one found on the dial of the Rolex "Paul Newman" Daytona, with its lollipop-style hash marks in the registers. This Longines is great for those who love water skiing, or someone that simply enjoys a quirky vintage chronograph. 


View this Water Skier in a video: here



The Specs

Age: c.1969.
Reference: 8226-4.
Movement: Manual wind with 30 min/12 hour Chronograph, sub seconds.
Calibre: 330 (Valjoux 72).
Timekeeping: Very Good.
Service History: Fully Professionally Serviced January 2023.
Dial: Original Longines Factory Dial.
Case: Stainless Steel.
Measurements:  without/with Crown: 43mm/45.5mm End to End: 44.6mm
Bezel: Solid.
Water Resistant?: No.
Hands: Original.
Crystal: Original.
Crown: Replacement Crown.
Strap/Bracelet: NOS Condor Stainless Steel Bracelet. Full Size.
Lug Width: 22mm

Getting Acquainted

Bits that stand out:
- Unusual cool Water Ski Chronograph.
- Fantastic quality Movement.
- Lollipop "Paul Newman" Sub Dials.
- Large Steel Cushion Case.

Nitty Gritty:
-Scratches to the Original Crystal.
-Some minor Scratches to the Case.
-Replacement Crown.
-Small repair to the inner "Ski ring".
Overall this Longines is in very nice condition.
The Dial is in very nice condition.
The Steel Case is in nice condition.
There is a small repair to the fixed inner ski ring.
Caseback markings are there but very very faint.
Replacement Crown.
Crystal is Original and is scratched throughout.
Hands are in good nick.