Longines Introduces the Record Heritage, a Stylish Vintage Inspired Chronograph

For their final release in the brand’s 190th anniversary year, Longines has unveiled a vintage inspired chronograph with a black dial they’ve dubbed the Record Heritage. The word “Heritage” factors into many Longines releases, of course. They are one of the best at digging through their archives and curating just the right pieces to reintroduce to contemporary enthusiasts. This is the first time a watch with a design that reaches back into the past has been added to the Record collection, however, which makes this latest release slightly more noteworthy than it otherwise might be. 

The Longines Record collection debuted in 2017, and the big news at the time was that this collection was the first to exclusively feature watches that had been COSC certified. The designs were, and are, largely contemporary in nature and not too remarkable – the sort of watches that have a fairly obvious mass market appeal but don’t necessarily do much for the enthusiast or collector. Thus, we haven’t seen too much in the way of Record releases across these pages as of late. 

The Record collection always felt like it had a certain amount of potential to me that had gone unrealized. The name comes from the old Record Watch Company, a Swiss brand that traces its history to the early 20th century. They might be most famous today to collectors of military issued watches, being one of the twelve “Dirty Dozen” brands contracted by the British Ministry of Defense to produce field watches in the WWII years. Record was acquired by Longines in the 1960s and continued to manufacture watches independently, though you’ll find double signed dials from this era as well if you look for them (and they’re worth looking for). Record fizzled through much of the 80s, and ultimately didn’t survive their parent company’s acquisition by the Swatch Group. The Record collection was a surprising acknowledgement of the connection to the heritage brand, partly because the watches in the collection didn’t really resemble anything related to those old vintage pieces. 

While the Record Heritage doesn’t say “Record” on the dial, it would appear that this is Longines working to connect the dots a bit. The aesthetic is taken right from the early glory days of the mechanical chronograph, with a matte black dial, gilt accents, and tachymeter scale that recall classic chronos from the 40s and 50s. Thin leaf hands and rectangular pushers add a lot of vintage inspired charm as well. 

Like other Longines releases in this vein, the case has been given an upsize to modern proportions. The Record Heritage measures 40mm in diameter and 13.8mm thick. The stainless steel case is uncomplicated and features a mix of polished and brushed elements. Powering the watch is the L895.4 caliber, made exclusively for Longines. It features a silicon balance spring and will run for 59 hours when fully wound. As with other watches in the Record collection, this one also has a movement certified as a chronometer by the COSC. 

As great as Longines is at digging into their back catalog, they don’t trumpet the history of the Record name much at all. To this point, there really wasn’t much of a connection between the historic Record brand and the new Longines produced watches, so one wonders if this new watch is a signal of things to come for the collection, with gaps potentially to be filled in later. The Record story remains largely untold and unknown by many, so even a small acknowledgement by Longines is exciting. 

The Record Heritage has a retail price of $3,000. More information via Longines here.

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.