Longines Taps the Archives for 2017

Among the releases from Longines at this year’s Baselworld are a couple of watches that are cashing in on the heritage craze that continues to boom in the watch industry. Longines has been at the leading edge of this trend for some time, and they are among the brands that are doing it right.

Longines Heritage 1945

First up is the Longines Heritage 1945, a clean and simple dress watch that oozes ’40s-era style and my favorite of the two. The dial is a coppery color with a vertical brushed finish. There are simple Art Deco-style Arabic numerals on the even hours, and raised silver cabochon markers for the odd. There is a sunken sub-seconds dial above the six, and a set of gorgeous blued-steel leaf hands  round out the styling.

Longines-Baselworld-2017-7The watch comes housed in a classic calatrava-style steel case with a wide, smooth bezel and signed crown. The case measures 40mm wide, which is a nice size for this style of watch, though 38-39mm would have been perfect in my opinion. Longines-Baselworld-2017-15The 1945 is powered by an automatic Longines L609.3 caliber (ETA 2895), though the vintage piece this watch is patterned after featured a manual-wind 12.68Z movement. I really wish Longines had kept to a manual wind movement for this re-edition, especially when it would  capture the vintage 1940s vibe. That said, this really is a lovely watch, and it comes fitted with a vintage-style, honey suede strap.

The Longines Heritage 1945 will sell for $1,700.





Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch 90th Anniversary

The next heritage offering is a 180-degree swing in terms of styling–the very cool and complex Lindbergh Hour Angle 90th Anniversary timepiece. In 1927, Charles Lindbergh made his famous flight from New York to Paris in his plane, the “Spirit of St. Louis.” He would be the first to fly a solo non-stop transatlantic flight, and this amazing feat was timed by Longines. Soon after the flight, Lindbergh collaborated with Longines to create the Hour Angle watch, which allows the wearer to accurately determine their longitude during long distance flights.

Longines-Baselworld-2017-17This 90th anniversary edition will be limited to only 90 numbered pieces, and it comes housed in a 47.5mm titanium case with an oversized onion crown. The large case and crown make it easier to read and use the watch, even with gloved hands mid-flight. Longines-Baselworld-2017-21The watch comes equipped with an external rotating black PVD bezel that allows for correction of the equation of time (which is the discrepancy between mean solar time and apparent solar time), and it also has a rotating central dial that allows the wearer to synchronize the time to the second. The watch indicates the hour angle (one of the coordinates used in the equatorial coordinate system to give the direction of a point on a celestial sphere) in degrees and in minutes of arc.Longines-Baselworld-2017-20It also happens to show what time it is as well, which can come in handy. I’m not sure how many folks nowadays will be using these complex and arcane methods of navigation, but the idea and history behind the watch is undeniably fascinating. The watch will be powered by the Longines caliber L699 automatic movement.

American pricing is TBD, but it is expected to be just north of $5,000. For more information, visit Longines.

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Christoph (Instagram’s @vintagediver) is a long time collector and lover of all things vintage, starting with comic books when he was a kid (he still collects them). His passion for watches began in 1997 when he was gifted a family heirloom vintage Omega Genève by his step-father. That started him on the watch collecting path—buying and selling vintage watches of all sorts, with a special appreciation for vintage dive watches and Seiko.