The latest entry from Longines in their long running and well curated Heritage line has been announced. The Heritage Military Marine Nationale is an updated take on a classic watch designed for the French Navy. Longines, of course, has been down this road before with the Heritage series, becoming more adept as the years roll on in picking interesting pieces from their archives and giving them just the right amount of modern spin. The Heritage “Sector” I reviewed back in July is a personal favorite, and a good expression of what makes this ongoing series worthwhile: vintage design cues, modern movements, contemporary but still conservative sizing, and a compelling story. It all adds up to vintage inspired watches that even someone like me, who loves modern design and tires easily of reissued watches, can easily appreciate and enjoy.
The Heritage Military Marine Nationale (we’ll call it the Marine Nationale from here on out) is inspired by the mid-century Longines reference known as the 5774. This was a simple 33.5mm time only watch powered by the historic 12.68N caliber, and custom made for the French Navy beginning in 1947. The Navy required a watch that was both reliably accurate and capable of standing up to the elements, namely exposure to water. The end result was a watch of unusually robust design for the time period, with a clean, hyper-legible dial bearing a simple “Longines FAB. SUISSE” signature, and nothing else.