Longines has created a new family of watches with the simple name of 1832. Up till now, there was only a three-hands and date in the collection, but today we have a new model that I believe is going to be successful: the Longines 1832 Moon Phase. The number corresponds to the year of Longines’ foundation, and we have to be thankful for the brief name – we all know the Swiss tendency to give watches never-ending names (for instance). In spite of the name, the two models in this new collection are not recreations of historic models or even models from the first half of the last century; that is the job of the Heritage collection.
In this case, we are looking at models with a touch of 1950s and 1960s design inspiration. It is true that inside the Heritage family, there are watches with this inspiration, but I understand Longines’ idea is to avoid a hotchpotch of styles that in the end only creates confusion.
Traditional looks with a contemporary feeling
It is clear that the Longines 1832 Moon Phase has a vintage spirit but its dimensions are contemporary and will get it noticed. Its polished case is 40mm in diameter and the lugs are straight and long. Although they are faceted to make them more elegant, they are conspicuous and might not work on all wrists. Does that make it uncomfortable? Despite my reticence when I saw the piece, it surprised me how easily it wears (my wrist is 18.5 cm in size). So approach it without prejudice. By the way, I saw the watch at an informal presentation, so I could not measure the distance between lugs.
The faceted and applied indexes are just the right length to underline the purity of the dial, which seems nearly white when hit by the light. It is in fact silver, with a fine graining that makes it more elegant. The moon-phase sub-dial is in a classic position at 6 o’clock with a date disc at its border completing the functionality of the watch.
To add refinement, the Longines 1832 Moon Phase marks every minute with a polished cone, although each multiple of five is marked by a Super-LumiNova dot that matches the pigment on the dauphine hands. Because of the retro inspiration, Longines could have done without the lume, so we’re grateful that it was added.
As is very often the case, Longines has asked ETA to produce a calibre for its exclusive use. It is called L899.2, and it is a far cheaper way to have something on a par with an in-house movement. The company is adamant about being called a factory, not manufacture and as such, no one would have complained if the calibre had been sourced from an existing ETA model. In this way, the watch rises a step above other industrial brands of the Swatch Group (and the competitors too).
The only precise data we have so far about the calibre is that it has a power reserve of 64 hours, which leads me to think it is a variation of the L888 we have seen, for instance, in the new – and cool – HydroConquest, which you can see here live. In this instance, then we have a balance wheel that runs at 25,200 alt/hour. The L899.2 is well-decorated with a snailed finish on the mainplate, circular graining on the bridges and an oscillating weight with Côtes de Genève and the logo of the brand cut out in the centre.
Availability and price
Depending on the country, the Longines 1832 Moon Phase should already be in the shops – or just about to arrive. Following the announcement of a watch, it’s a good policy for a brand to follow through with a watch on the market. That’s a basic principle of sales planning, a lesson most company managers seem to have missed.
The Longines 1832 Moon Phase comes with a brown alligator strap and steel buckle, and a price in the neighbourhood of EUR 2,000. There will be a quartz version with a 34mm case and a price of EUR 1,260. I’m pretty sure the 1832 Collection will fare well in the market. For more information, please visit www.longines.com.
All photos by Santiago Tejedor – horasyminutos.com