Longines Looks to the 1940s With the New “Tuxedo” Heritage Classics

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If you’re the type of watch enthusiast that really enjoys vintage reissues, you’re likely already very familiar with the excellent Longines Heritage line. Even if you’re not particularly fond of this extremely popular and ever growing watch genre, chances are there’s a watch in the Heritage line that speaks to you. I speak from personal experience: when it comes to watches I’d personally consider owning, straight up vintage reinterpretations generally don’t do it for me. But the execution on many of the recent Longines releases is so good, well, I might not exactly be a convert, but I can see the appeal in a way I hadn’t before. Part of it, maybe the biggest part, is Longines’ uncanny ability to pick and choose just the right pieces to bring back. They are great curators of their own back-catalog, and that’s proven once again with the newest pair of releases, the Heritage Classic Tuxedo watches.


Longines Heritage Classic – Tuxedo 

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Black, silver opaline 
  • Dimensions: 38.5mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire        
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull                        
  • Movement: L893.5
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather
  • Price: $2,000
  • Reference Number: L2.330.4.93.0
  • Expected Release: Available now 

Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph – Tuxedo 

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Black, silver opaline, blue accents 
  • Dimensions: 40mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire        
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull                        
  • Movement: L895
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather
  • Price: $3,000
  • Reference Number: L2.830.4.93.0
  • Expected Release: Available now

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The Heritage Classic Tuxedo mini collection consists of both a three hand time only watch and a chronograph, each inspired by styles of the 1940s. More specifically, Longines wants us to associate these looks with what might have been worn by party goers at big city jazz clubs. I’m a few generations removed from this period in American nightlife, so can’t comment on the authenticity of watches like these being worn in that scenario, but this feels more like a romantic connection to a lifestyle of the past than a literal one, and I think that’s fine. These watches capture a mood, and for the modern consumer who might consider buying one, I think that’s priority number one.

The vintage watches that inspired the new Heritage Tuxedo models

That said, these watches are modeled after actual historic models from the Longines archive, and the brand’s fidelity to the originals is impressive. Let’s take a look at the three-hander first. This is essentially another take on the Heritage Sector released last year to quite a bit of acclaim and excitement (my own review of this watch is coming soon). But the white, gray, and blue tones of the earlier release have given way to a more conservative, formal, debonair black and silver. The “Tuxedo” nickname here is well earned based on the colorway alone, even as menswear enthusiasts will debate whether or not a watch is even appropriate with traditional formal dress.

With a 38.5mm case, the time only Tuxedo is larger than a typical watch from the 1940s, but not by an exorbitant amount. This is a great all purpose size that can be dressed up or down, and the case (which appears to be the same as the Heritage Sector) feels sleek and comfortable. Like other watches in the Heritage collection, the word “Automatic” has been kept off the dial, keeping it clean and with minimal text (just the Longines signature and some very small “Swiss Made” text, here), but inside beats the fully automatic and modern L893.5 movement with a silicon hairspring a 64 hour power reserve. 

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The Tuxedo chronograph has a similar sector dial inspired layout, with distinct matte black and opaline sections, complemented by blue accents on the chronograph hands and tachymeter scale. This is very much a classic two register design, extremely well balanced in spite of the busy dial. 

The L895 movement powering the Tuxedo chronograph is an ETA based, modular chrono with a silicon balance spring and 54 hour power reserve. Longines, of course, has a particularly impressive chronograph history, most notably with the production of the 13ZN movement, considered by many collectors to be among the finest chronograph calibers ever produced. While the modern, automatic movement found here doesn’t have a lot in common with the hand wound 13ZN, the overall design and concept of the Tuxedo chronograph feels like an earnest and thoughtful callback, at least in terms of style, to the glory days of Longines chronographs.

Longines continues to fire on all cylinders with these Heritage releases. At $2,000 for the time only Tuxedo and $3,000 for the chronograph, these watches aren’t inexpensive, but they represent a segment of the high end for this style of vintage reissue. Some might call it a tax associated with “brand heritage,” but in the case of Longines, I tend to think it’s worth it, considering their vast archives, and ability to pull incredibly interesting watches from it with an authenticity that many other brands would struggle to match. Longines

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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.
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