Longines has been on a roll with its new watches that are styled to look very similar to vintage models. 2019 seemed to be their year for making rather excellent looking vintage re-issues, but Longines is kicking off 2020 in the same fashion with a new re-issue watch based on a model from the 1940s.
Dubbed the Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946, the new Longines is strikingly simplistic in its design. Have you ever noticed how designs tend to be either overly complicated or minimalist to the max? It seems to be a balance that most can’t quite get right, but the new Longines could well be the answer to that. Despite sporting a relatively empty dial, the new Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946 watch still looks great and harkens back to an era where Longines was the watchmaker to beat.
The dial is a flat silver colour with deep black ‘dolphin’ styled Arabic numerals contrasting nicely. The blue steel leaf-shaped hands stand out well, too, and make for easy legibility. The watch features a 30-minute chronograph and a running seconds subdial. The dial is covered by a domed sapphire crystal which distorts the numerals depending on the viewing angle too, which makes for an appealing effect.
A part of this watch which is particularly nice when it comes to attention to detail is the date window, or the lack of it. The movement is a self-winding ETA calibre A31.L121 calibre with a 54-hour power reserve and a 4Hz beat rate, in this watch, Longines calls it the calibre L895.5. Usually, ETA movements feature a date complication which can sometimes ruin the symmetry of a dial, especially of that dial happens to be on a vintage re-issue watch. Luckily, there’s been no attempt to squeeze in a date here; there isn’t one at all as there wasn’t on the original piece.
The back of the watch features the Longines winged hourglass logo with the words ‘EFCo Longines’ engraved around the outside. This stands for Ernest Francillon & co, Ernest was the nephew of the brand’s founder, Auguste Agassiz, who took over in 1852 when Auguste fell ill.
Presented on a vintage-style leather strap with a smooth finish, the new Longines ref. L2.8126.96.36.199 will set you back $3050 when it goes on sale.