Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

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f1colin
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Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by f1colin »

Does anyone have any technical insight on the above? At first I thought this must be Longines speak for an automatic movement but some references on the web suggest that it is a hybrid drive akin to a Seiko kinetic. The only article I have with any detail says:

"Longines is the second division of SMH to create a line of watches utilizing its Autoquartz movement, On Feb. 1 [1997], Longines will begin distribution of its Armpower High Precision (AHP) watches, according to new Longines U.S. President Michael Benavente. It will be added to the sporty Conquest line and will be priced at retail between $1,000 and $1,500. The SMH movement used in both watches uses automatic watch technology to charge a permanent battery powering a quartz timekeeper. The Conquest AHP is SMH’s second volley in the battery-free quartz watch arena which Seiko created with its Kinetic watches several years ago."

I've got a really elegant midsize 38mm one of these (long story) - a Conquest s/s on bracelet - and it "ticks" like a quartz but has a wonderfully decorated movement and rotor visible through an exhibition case back. Just doesn't seem to hold its power reserve for more than 5 hours so fine when wearing it but needs re setting if left.

I may put it on sales corner but am curious about the mechanism as it is a beautifully engineered piece
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by AliBar »

After a bit of Google wandering try this link Colin http://forums.watchuseek.com/f9/eta-aut ... 81534.html

Seems to basically distil down to these two paragraphs... the article does refer to Longines and also to early issues with power reserve "life".

"The ETA Autoquartz was based on the HPM quartz controlled mechanical movement developed by Asulab, Swatch's research group. It was a proof of concept movement and never went into production. Seiko later aped the design in their Spring Drive which is being produced currently.

One of the features of the HPM was replacement of a battery with a oscillating weight which drove a micro generator which charged an energy storage unit. This eliminates the need to routinely open the watch to replace batteries and has the byproduct of being environmentally friendly since most batteries are toxic waste. Seiko has adopted a similar system in their Kinetic line as did Oakley in their O-Engine Time Bombs and Festina in their Meccaquartz."
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by f1colin »

AliBar wrote:After a bit of Google wandering try this link Colin http://forums.watchuseek.com/f9/eta-aut ... 81534.html

Seems to basically distil down to these two paragraphs... the article does refer to Longines and also to early issues with power reserve "life".

"The ETA Autoquartz was based on the HPM quartz controlled mechanical movement developed by Asulab, Swatch's research group. It was a proof of concept movement and never went into production. Seiko later aped the design in their Spring Drive which is being produced currently.

One of the features of the HPM was replacement of a battery with a oscillating weight which drove a micro generator which charged an energy storage unit. This eliminates the need to routinely open the watch to replace batteries and has the byproduct of being environmentally friendly since most batteries are toxic waste. Seiko has adopted a similar system in their Kinetic line as did Oakley in their O-Engine Time Bombs and Festina in their Meccaquartz."
Many thanks indeed - sounds like the eco freindly bit might not be storing as well as it did!
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by f1colin »

Really grateful as have managed to track down a supplier of the Panasonic MT920 energy storage unit and will speak Monday to an engineer who specialises Kinetic Seikos with a very similar auto quartz hybrid movement.... it is such an interesting piece as the mechanical part is a work of art with incredible decoration through the caseback.
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by AliBar »

You've got me intrigued now Colin. Glad it's led you to hopefully a revitalised watch. The usual mantra therefore must apply... pictures, pictures, pictures.
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by Russ-Shettle »

Yep, very familiar with the spring drive.
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by f1colin »

AliBar wrote:You've got me intrigued now Colin. Glad it's led you to hopefully a revitalised watch. The usual mantra therefore must apply... pictures, pictures, pictures.
Apologies as these are long overdue but suffice to say this very rare piece has been back to Longines for an overhaul / service and new energy cell and is now back as a daily wearer like an old friend. Arguably the most comfortable bracelet watch i have - slim case and just right at 36mm (38mm with crown). Pics taken pre- Longines sevice / overhaul via Fraser Hart in London (Ronald Nott - most helpful and they also sorted the loose lume spot seen in pic 1):

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by Aifo »

Very impressive and thank you for sharing!
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by Loddonite »

It's a very pleasant looking watch, but I particularly like the clasp - very elegant.
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by Kip »

This is a very nice piece.

The hybrid movements never caught on, but they are fascinating. I have a Bulova hybrid myself......not as good looking as yours I might add. :(
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by Paul Drawmer »

After Colin's comments in the misconceptions thread, I googled Longines ARM and came back to this.

Definitely a desirable watch Colin, what's the power reserve like post service?
There's always time for one more.
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by Macca »

Thats a lovely watch colin, very nice indeed
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by Cirrus »

Armpowered is not a good name...
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by AliBar »

Paul Drawmer wrote:After Colin's comments in the misconceptions thread, I googled Longines ARM and came back to this.

Definitely a desirable watch Colin, what's the power reserve like post service?
This watch probably needs to join the Forum Bike thread :lol: .

Not long after Colin's post in this thread the watch came into my possession. Unfortunately, because the bracelet was a little too short for me, it never got worn enough to prove the power reserve/accuracy etc.

Earlier this year me and the watch therefore parted company... to another forum member. Even more unfortunately, it then misbehaved completely and had to go back to Longines as the power reserve was not "doing the doing's". Fortunately for both the new owner, and me as the seller, it was still under the warranty from Colin's repair and last I know it was back and working :thumbup: . How well it is behaving since is one for the current owner :wave: .
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Re: Longines Cal 596 - "Armpowered High Precision"

Post by Macca »

Forum bike for sure then..it's a contender


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