By Meor Amri Meor Ayob
“Reissued Model” – There are many brands out there with long histories and lineages. I am actually surprised that not many of them have jumped on the bandwagon of re-introducing historical classics to watch enthusiasts. Nevertheless, I am glad that Longines have decided to follow this trend and the choice of model for the reissue was definitely spot on.
The 1940s timepiece which inspired the Heritage Miliatary COSD
Back in the 1940s when the whole world was still ravaged by a global war, Longines created a special watch for British paratroopers. This watch was intended for the sole use of the Combined Operations Command by the British War Office during the Second World War.
Seven decades later, Longines decided to re-introduce a modern version of this vintage model called the Longines Heritage Military COSD (initials for the Combined Operations Command). With an option of either beige or black dial, this simple 40 mm watch now sports a date window at 3 o’clock (there wasn’t a date complication in the original). Powered by an automatic mechanical Longines caliber L619.2 (I was made to understand that the original was a winding watch), it has a maximum of 42 hours of power reserve (the L619.2 is based on the ETA 2892-A2). The watch comes standard with a green canvas NATO strap (a black leather strap is an option). One major visual cue from the watch is the rather large utilitarian crown located at the 3 o’clock position.
The opaline dial version has large black Arabic numerals as well as a red 24-hour scale with blued hands. The chapter ring has a railway-track minute ring with marker pips on every hour. The black dial version is also similar apart from the white Arabic numeral and the rhodium-plated hands. The numerals and the hands are coated with Super-LumiNova.
Just above the center point of the dial is a symbol used in Britain at the time to indicate government property. The “King’s Broad Arrow” is the symbol used to indicate the British Government property. Also called the “Admiralty Arrow” or just “Broad Arrow” (informally, it is also known as “crow’s feet”), it was used to identify material belonging to the British Crown. The mark was used on all manner of government property, and later its use was extended throughout the British Commonwealth. Since 1661, it is an intrinsically Royal symbol.
There are a couple of things I wish Longines could have done for this model. Since Longines have added some form of modernity into the new design (addition of an automatic movement as well as a date complication), why not just add a screw-down crown and increase the water resistant level to more than 30 meters? If Seiko, for their Seiko5 models, can have a 100-meter water resistance even without a screw down crown, Longines could at least do the same for this watch. For a modern military-inspired watch priced at Euro 1,380 with NATO strap (Euro 1,560 with a leather strap), the 30-meter water resistance is pathetic to say the least.
Overall, I am glad that Longines decided to reissue a modernized version of the original COSD model. It is becoming rather fashionable to wear military inspired watches. The current hip trend appears to be pilot watches with infantry watches coming in a close second. Personally, my collection interest has shifted towards military inspired watches. This could have been a handsome specimen for the collection if not for the price. As I see it, I just cannot justify the asking price based on the watch specification. For more info, please visit longines.com
MEOR AMRI MEOR AYOB – CONTRIBUTING EDITOR
Meor Amri is a passionate watch collector from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Having bitten by the horology bug in 2010, he has written extensively about the watch scene and has assembled a large collection of watches (excessively!!!) on his own free time. His blogs on the same subject are: Eastern Watch & Western Watch Read his articles here