Microscopy of fluorescent fusion proteins and genetic dependencies show that fission yeast assemble and constrict a cytokinetic contractile ring in a precisely timed, sequential order. More than 90 min prior to separation of the spindle pole bodies (SPB), the anillin-like protein (Mid1p) migrates from the nucleus and specifies a broad band of cortex around the equator as the division site. Between 10 min before and 2 min after SPB separation, conventional myosin-II (Myo2p), IQGAP (Rng2p), PCH protein (Cdc15p), and formin (Cdc12p) join the broad band independent of actin filaments. Over the subsequent 10 min prior to anaphase B, this broad band of proteins condenses into a contractile ring including actin, tropomyosin (Cdc8p), and alpha-actinin (Ain1p). During anaphase B, unconventional myosin-II (Myp2p) joins the ring followed by the septin (Spn1p). Ring contraction and disassembly begin 37 min after SPB separation. This spatial and temporal hierarchy provides the framework for analysis of molecular mechanisms.