Longines Olympian Supercompressor - Ultrachron - Reference 8221 - Ltd. Edition 1972
A very rare Longines Ultra-Chron, Super-Compressor special edition specifically for the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, West Germany. This has a much rarer dial configuration as it is marked "OLYMPIAN" instead of the usual "Ultra-Chron" marking.
Longines was the official timer for the Munich Olympics in 1972. They bid to be official timekeepers again, but despite offering to do the work for free, they still had to share the responsibility with local company Junghans as we have found out whilst conducting our research on this particular piece.
What's On Offer
Housed in a large brushed stainless steel cushion-shaped case with a 14-sided, fixed bezel ring and screw-in back. Topped off with Longines signed twin crowns which are a feature of most Super-Compressor cased watches. The top crown is used to turn the bezel housed under the glass for measuring diving times/decompression and the lower crown is for conventional winding, time, and date alteration. The case appears to retain its sharp edges and only shows signs of light polishing and wear as we suspect from the general condition of this watch it has not been used very much over the years since it was sold new in the 1970s.
“Super-Compressor” refers to a patented case-sealing method developed by watch case manufacturer Ervin Piquerez S.A. (EPSA). The design takes advantage of the water pressure the case is exposed to at depths which naturally presses the case back against an o-ring seal. More depth equals more water pressure equals greater seal. It's that simple yet so very effective.
The black Longines signed dial with brick-shaped hour markers with Tritium inserts is in excellent condition. The Tritium inserts, both on the markers and the ones in the hour and minute hands have gone a nice and even yellowish colour. An inner bi-directional bezel with a distinctive orange circle numbered in increments from 5 to 55 surrounds the dial and as already stated, is operated by the crown at the 2 o’clock position. The orange on both the bezel and the minute hand is still very bright, unlike some of these watches we have seen over the years, again suggesting little use/exposure to sunlight. Date setting between the 4 and 5 o’clock positions with the semi-quick change between 20:30 and 24:00hrs. Small steel hour hand with a luminous insert and a striking orange minute hand also with a luminous insert and white central seconds hand. The "Olympian" marking sits between the 6 o’clock position and the centre. There is also the all-important "T-SWISS-T" marking under the "6" baton marker.
The glass on this watch is mineral rather than sapphire and does have some light marks on it as can likely be seen in some of the photos. The glass can be replaced if you prefer!
Overall the dial, hands, and glass are all in excellent condition with no visible dings or serious blemishes.
The watch has the Longines 6652 mechanical automatic movement with 17 jewels and when produced had a 40-hour power reserve which this watch is still good for! This quality movement is the "High Beat", which runs at 28,800 A/h and is adjusted to 3 positions, and runs a micrometre regulator. It has a serial number in the 51 million range which is consistent with it being manufactured in 1972.
The watch is running strong and keeping good time as it was serviced by our master watchmaker so it will be sold to you with a 12-month warranty, so buy with confidence!
Case: Stainless Steel
Movement Type: Mechanical
Waterproof: When New
Power reserve: 40hrs
Model Reference: 8221 Supercompressor Ultrachron
Date of issue: 1972
Warranty: 12 Months VWS
Width (without crown): 43mm
Lug width: 22mm
Lug height: (lug to lug) 45mm
Wrist size: Adjustable