Longines Taps Their Archives For the New Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946

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For a number of years now, Longines have been making good use of their archives, putting out hit after hit inspired by watches that span the entirety of the brand’s storied life. Longines’ latest for 2020 takes us all the way back to 1946 with a chronograph inspired by a real gem from their back catalog — introducing the Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946.


Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Silver and blue-steel hands
  • Dimensions: 40mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire with multiple layers of AR coating
  • Water Resistance: 3 bar
  • Crown: Push/pull
  • Movement: Longines Cal. L895.5 (ETAA31.L21)
  • Strap/Bracelet: Black leather
  • Price: £2,490
  • Reference: L2.827.4.73.0

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The source of inspiration for the Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946 dates back to a time when Longines were producing some of the finest chronographs around. Ask any collector about the fabled Cal. 13ZN, and you’ll likely hear them described as being some of the best chronograph movements ever made. It was also a larger movement for the time, and the resulting watches were therefore bigger as well, which makes them all the more desirable to collectors today.

The 1946 doesn’t flaunt a groundbreaking design; aesthetically speaking, it’s a relatively faithful recreation of the historical model. But that’s not to say it isn’t stunning. It has a clean, almost sparse look that works well with the ornate numerals and blued steel hands. The biggest visual difference with the modern version is an updated leaf handset, which, to my eye, was the right call. Sure, it’s not a contemporary design, but the hands work nicely with the dial and I’d argue they’re more palatable than the original handset.

Old versus new.

The case measures 40mm across and is rendered in stainless steel; as you might imagine, it’s been upside from the original, but 40mm is still reasonable. A few years ago, this would have been a 42-43mm watch. The case is entirely polished and has faceted lugs. Around back, a solid case back covers the movement.

The silver dial, protected up top with a sapphire crystal, features black painted numerals done up in an ornate Breguet style. The dial has two registers — a running-seconds sub-dial at 3:00 and a 30-minute counter at 9:00. Some light branding below 12:00 keeps the dial clean, and there’s no unwelcome date function. Kudos, Longines.

Powering the watch is the Longines Cal. L895.5 (ETAA31.L21), which itself is based on the self-winding ETA 2892-A2. The mods here bring the power reserve to 58 hours. This is something that Longines, and Swatch Group in general, have done a good job with. Modifying pre-existing movements with brand-specific versions that feature upgraded specs is a good way to add value to these timepieces. At the same time, because so many of these movements are based on long-existing calibers, future serviceability shouldn’t be a challenge.

Available on the black leather strap, the Chronograph 1946 is priced at £2,490, with final USD pricing to be determined. Longines

Thoughts on the new Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946? Are you getting tired of heritage reissues, or keep them coming? Drop us a line below. 

Ilya is Worn & Wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
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