Monochrome Watches
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The Longines Record Heritage Continues The Brand’s 190th-Anniversary Celebrations (Live Pics & Price)

Marking the momentous occasion is a new chronograph watch with devilishly handsome vintage aesthetics.

| By Robin Nooy | 3 min read |

Longines is celebrating 190 years of watchmaking with a selection of very nice watches. First and foremost, we had the return of the Longines UltraChron, an iconic high-frequency watch. Then shortly after the summer, the refined Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary was launched. To once more bring attention to the celebration of almost two centuries, Longines has just pulled the covers of a rather dashing retro chronograph. Known as the Longines Record Heritage, part of the new Record collection, it showcases a delectable retro design that seems to come straight out of the 1940s or 1950s. And once again, it reaffirms Longines’ excellent ability to look into its archives and select some very fine watches as inspiration for its present-day portfolio!

Auguste Agassiz founded Longines in 1832, which is no surprise for those who already did the maths based on the 190th anniversary mentioned in the intro. The winged hourglass manufacturer can look back on a long and storied history, with countless iconic watches and monumental achievements. The company has close ties to aviation, horse racing and other types of sports timing. Part of the Swatch Group since 1983, the brand is now known for producing excellent watches at a relatively attainable price and has a profound knack for vintage-inspired designs.

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The relatively simple stainless steel case measures 40mm in diameter and tops out at 13.80mm in height. Although slightly on the thicker side of things, the height is still quite acceptable given the domed sapphire crystal and relatively thick movement inside. The Longines Record Heritage has a polished rounded bezel, with polished sections on top of the lugs and pushers and brushed case sides. The pushers to start, stop and reset the chronograph have an oval shape, with a knurled crown in between to set and wind the movement. The see-through caseback is stamped with the watch’s details as usual.

Harking back to the glorious days of mechanical chronographs, the matte black dial has the typical design of the 1940s and 1950s. On the outer perimeter sits a gilt tachymeter scale combined with a minutes/seconds track. The applied hour indices are a mix of baton markers and Arabic numerals. The leaf-shaped central hour and minute hands are gilt, as are the rest of the hands (small seconds, central chronograph seconds, chronograph 60-minutes). The subdials have a concentric pattern with gilt bevels and scales. Just above the central axis for the hands sit the winged hourglass logo and the Longines name, with “Automatic Chronometer” just below.

Underneath the sapphire crystal caseback sits the Longines Calibre L895.4 chronograph movement. This was also used in the Heritage Classic Tuxedo Chronograph, a watch we included in our selection of the best chronograph watches of 2020, the year it was presented. Built by ETA and internally known as the ETA A31.L21, it comes as standard with an anti-magnetic silicon balance spring. The modular construction uses a purpose-built module on top of an ETA 2892 and is used by Longines only for its heritage chronographs, including this new one. A particular trait of this movement is the spacing of the subdials. It uses 37 jewels, runs at a frequency of 28,800vph, and delivers a very pleasant power reserve of 59 hours.

The new Longines Record Heritage chronograph is worn on a cognac-coloured brown leather strap with a steel pin buckle or a stainless steel multi-link bracelet with a folding clasp and brushed and polished finish. Retailing for EUR 3,160 in either configuration (which is unexpected, given the usual premium for bracelets), it’s now part of the permanent collection.

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4 responses

  1. A very handsome addition, no doubt. But, if you’re going to go retro ( which I have no problem with, and enjoy) why not go all the way. Introduce one that is 38 mm or even 36mm? As a man with smaller wrists, that is always my personal opinion.

  2. I get the whole vintage vibe marketing track. But Longines why can’t you offer a modern watch with some 100m water resistance and a 5Hz movement for a change, so buying a mechanical chronograph makes sense, as it can measure 1/10 of a second in theory. You occupy that sweet price range, which is so attractive nowadays to watch enthusiasts, but do not fully seize it.

  3. Great review. Beautiful looking watch which is surely well finished, accurate and reliable. Some silly comments in the comment section though. While I agree with some who say the choice of movement could have been better (L688 series, column wheel variant of the 7753), expecting a 5hz chronograph movement is not reasonable at this time. Apart from Zenith (5hz) and Breguet (10hz), which cost 3+ times this Longines, hardly anyone makes a 5hz chronograph and certainly not in Longines’ price segment. That’s not to say it isn’t conceptually a good idea (1/10th second timing) or that it’s impossible, as a few months ago Longines launched the new Ultra-Chron so who knows. But let’s be reasonable here.

  4. Nice but too small. 42mm would be more appropriate these days, rather than emulate the vintage pieces (Chronographe Suisse and the like) which can still be had if you want one, but wear too small for today’s wrists. Absence of a date is very welcome. Love my Longines Heritage Military Handwound 43mm, for such a modestly-priced piece it gets a surprising amount of wrist time.

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