Introducing

Longines Heritage Military 1938

Revisiting the interwar period with a faithful reissue of a classic 1930s military watch.

calendar | ic_dehaze_black_24px By Erik Slaven | ic_query_builder_black_24px 2 min read |

Founded in 1832, Longines is among the oldest registered watch brands in the world. It’s no wonder that the company has a sizeable portfolio of faithful reissues in its Heritage collection. Look no further than the Avigation BigEye, Legend Diver or Type A-7 for recent examples. The Longines Heritage Military 1938 is the latest piece to join the collection with a design faithful to the 1938 original, albeit with a few modern touches. First produced at the cusp of World War II, it features all of the hallmarks of a wartime piece.

The stainless steel case has a contemporary diameter of 43mm: surprisingly, that was the exact size of the 1938 original as well! It was certainly ultra-oversized for the time. The case has a mix of polished and brushed elements, and the crown features the same “sea urchin” shape as the 1938 piece (and is just a hair thicker). Think of it as an onion crown that’s been stepped on. It doesn’t screw down and the watch is water-resistant to just 30 metres, but that’s fitting for the era. A modern sapphire crystal with multiple anti-reflective coatings is surrounded by a thin polished bezel that gives the dial an expansive presence. Two 20mm straps are offered with the watch – a patinated charcoal grey leather and cognac-coloured NATO-style leather. A replacement tool is also included. 

Longines Heritage Military 1938

The matte dial contrasts well against the bold Arabic numerals coated with cream Super-LumiNova, providing a faux patina. The numerals butt up against the outermost railroad track as seen on the original dial, not migrating inward for a more modern approach. A large seconds sub-dial sits at 6 o’clock and is a bit smaller in diameter than its original counterpart, but features the same vintage serif font. Longines, fortunately, didn’t add a date window as seen on a comparable piece released in 2013. The baton-style, polished rhodium-plated hands have Super-LumiNova inserts that closely match the original’s aesthetic. 

Longines Heritage Military 1938

Longines Heritage Military 1938

The large diameter allows for a vintage (although not period correct) hand-wound ETA 6498-2, which has been modified and relabeled the Longines Calibre L507.2. It has 17 jewels, beats at 21,600vph (3Hz) with a 53-hour power reserve. Functions include central hours, minutes and sub-dial seconds at 6 o’clock. The ETA 6498-2 is an upgrade from the 6498-1 that beat at a lower 18,800vph (2.5Hz). Both are essentially pocket watch movements with a large 36.6mm diameter. 

The Longines Heritage Military 1938 is a limited edition of 1,938 watches and priced at USD 2,450 or EUR 2,320. More details at www.longines.com.

9 responses

  1. I presume if I said this is a shame because it’s a wee bit too big I’d be preaching to the choir.

  2. I like it best of the Longines military re-editions. No faux patina like the previous ones, just simple, “cheap”, understated, functional watch, just how I like it.

  3. @ Jay

    Ah, I missed that info in my not fully awake speed-read. In that case, nice watch. I like it.

  4. They were so close, but they have fitted the now-standard “ludicrously long lugs”. So only for those with 8” wrists. And still too expensive.

  5. I tell you something though. I’d take this over a Panerai any day.

  6. Hermoso reloj simple funcional elegante adecuado para todo uso
    Pero ayer me enamoré viendo los relojes de John glenn que hermosas máquinas

  7. Looks nice in the photo but considering whats inside of it I suspect it would look like a pocket watch fastened to your arm. Two thirds of he size would be perfect.

  8. If your gonna nock it out of the park the sub-dial has to be the same size as the original.
    You say the ETA movement specs don’t quite match up to the original dial proportions and nobody buying this gives a… and you’d be correct.

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