Column wheel chronographs have traditionally been preferred to cam switching chronograph movements due to their smooth operation and perceived exclusivity. However, the world's leading automatic chronograph movement, the Valjoux 7750 family from ETA has proven very popular, reliable, and affordable. In 2006, ETA created a new family of larger movements for OEM use. The family, called Valgranges, is based on the Valjoux 7750, though not all movements are chronographs. These saw modest adoption, but were not as popular as anticipated, especially in high-end watches.
Longines had been using ETA movements for a few decades, including a number designed exclusively for the brand. In 2009, Longines requested a column wheel chronograph movement for use in moderately-priced watches. The result, initially called A08.231 and later named A08.L01, was introduced in 2010 as the Longines L688. It was later also used as the Longines L788 and is the basis (with a Co-Axial escapement) for the Omega 3330.
The A08.L01 is highly unusual since it is very closely related to the cam-switched ETA/Valjoux 7753 but with the chronograph functions completely reworked with a column wheel mechanism, vertical clutch with oscillating pinion, and novel self-adjusting two-armed reset hammer. La Joux-Perret produced similar column wheel 7750 movements for Hublot, Graham, Chopard, Corum, and Eberhard. Alfred Rochat also produced a column wheel variant of the 7750 for Chronoswiss.
- Hours, minutes
- Date with quickset date feature
- Chronograph 60-seconds chrono hand from the center, 30-minutes counter at 12 h, 12-hours counter at 6 h
- Since 2010