The Longines Présence Heritage Is An Excellent Run For The Money, And More
This vintage-looking mid-size watch looks double the price you pay.
The Heritage collection is, without a doubt, one of my favourites in the Longines range, and for many years I have enjoyed sharing my admiration whenever the topic came up. The history of this truly great brand dates back to 1832, with vast archives to dive into. Thus, for the Heritage Collection, there are plenty of delightful models to replicate or serve as inspiration to please today’s customers. The Longines Présence Heritage, a slightly overlooked model (to say the least), honours the brand’s past and present with this lovely reference in rose gold. And there are many things to talk about regarding the design, but it’s also one of the best value proposition models the brand has to offer…
One of the particularities that contribute to my appreciation for Longines is the meetings I had over the years with Walter von Kanel, who worked at the company for over 30 years before retiring from the post of president at the age of 79. I could say he was responsible for teaching me to appreciate mass-produced, accessible models. Different timepieces created media hype at that time, like the de Grisogono Meccanico DG or the Haldimann H9 Reduction. The Coronel – this was von Kanel’s nickname, and he was a military coronel for real – liked to repeat that “good quality timepieces should be accessible to anyone with an honest job“, immediately launching into citing the value of Longines’ collections. And so, the history or the historical models of the Saint-Imier manufacture (Longines celebrated its 190th-anniversary last year), the quality and accessibility are the key talking points to describe the Longines Présence Heritage watch, which we had for our hands-on session.
With balanced proportions – 38.5mm diameter and 9mm thick – and an elegant and very readable dial, this watch is an attractive vintage-style timepiece that is not a reissue of a historic model but combines several elements drawn from Longines’ early and mid-20th century watches. I believe that the polished round case is perfect for the Présence Heritage’s classic aesthetics and the design of its dial. It would be nice to have a larger crown; the existing one is hard to grab, a challenge, but a more considerable detail is likely to destroy the appearance harmony.
The case with a transparent caseback offers 30m water-resistance, but with this timepiece, you will never seek water activities. I was about to mention the ballroom and boardroom as the most likely venues to take the Présence Heritage out, but the leisurely relaxing outdoors is a good choice, too, especially if you opt for a fun NATO strap.
While the case, with its delicate features, does not present any surprises, the restrained dial is worthy of attention. Silvery-white depending on the light, with stylised painted Arabic numerals (with an early 19th-century vibe), the dial is exemplary, with a three-dimensional depth thanks to the recessed sub-dial for the small seconds over the “6”. One could argue that the position of the small seconds isn’t ideal, but at least it doesn’t cut into the track or a numeral.
Longines reduced the watch information to the bare minimum with the indication of hours, minutes, and seconds with elegant blued Breguet-style hands and, fortunately, did not implement the date function, which would have shattered the charm of the dial. The only written information is the old Longines logo below noon and the “Swiss Made” inscription below 6 o’clock. The railroad minute track completes the appearance dial-side. I cannot imagine any other element to complement the appeal of this rose gold classic.
The see-through window on the back reveals the automatic L609.3 calibre – good quality, non-exclusive to Longines, ETA 2895-2 based movement. The firm regularly uses L609 – it was chosen for one of my favourites, the Heritage 1945, to name one. It has an adequate – up to 50 hours – power reserve and beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The movement is decorated with Côtes de Genève and perlage on the base plate; the rotor is engraved with the Longines logo. Frankly, I would prefer a solid caseback to consolidate the gold presence and feel of this watch, but I understand the choice of transparency; no issue here.
One of the talking points of this Longines Présence Heritage I mentioned earlier was its accessibility. The watch is listed on the Longines website and sells for EUR 4,010. Indeed, EUR 3,990 would look better, but still, there are not many watches with the same characteristics and appealing design on offer from the longest-living brands of this magnitude – in rose gold cases, that is. The price, however, is just part of the attractiveness, and this Longines piece can make someone happy for a long time. Vintage quality is always en vogue.
For more information, please visit www.longines.com.
I quite like this. Longines keeping the hits coming.
lovely watch… what do you think about the 34mm version…..? do you think that it is as proportional eventhoug it cuts into the track… thanks for your point of view
@Guillermo – it is lovely indeed, especially for the price. Unfortunately, we’ve only seen this 38mm model.
I have it in 34mm, apparently they cut out the 34mm out of the collection and replaced it with a smaller model for womens.