Since 1832, Longines have been renowned worldwide as purveyors of quality timepieces. After evolving from a comptoir to an etablisseur, the brand produces such timeless timepieces as the Hydroconquest, the Heritage and the varied Master Collection. But this year, they’ve become the brand of the moment and the watches to watch. Here’s why.
The 60th Anniversary of the Flagship Collection
This year saw six decades of the Flagship Heritage. The brand sold their first Flagship in 1957 and, since that sale, the collection has been met with praise and lasting success. Striking yet simple, the watch has a white dial, thin profile and fine fasteners – and inside exhibits the perfect bend of technical mastery and subdued elegance.
A fact we didn’t know before this year’s celebration was that the first Flagship got its name from the ship upon which the flag of the fleet’s commander in chief snaps in the wind – a symbol of which, the ‘caravel’ is stamped on the back of each watch in this collection. The anniversary editions took inspiration from a chic past model, and come with a brown leather watch strap and cases in either steel, yellow or rose gold.
The launch of the Conquest VHP
Earlier this year, Gentleman’s Journal took to Switzerland to attend the launch of the newest Longines watch. But, far from being the technical or smartwatch launch that we’re used to these days, we were pleasantly surprised that the focus was still firmly on the watchmaking – in particular, the precision.
The Conquest VHP contains an exclusive Very High Precision movement, and finds itself unaffected by magnetic fields. A long battery life adds to its reliability, and the 43mm diameter model displays hours, minutes and seconds on its black dial. It was an honour to join Longines at their launch, and even more pleasing to see a true passion for no-nonsense watchmaking still at work.
The reinvention of some classic designs
At Baselworld 2017, Gentleman’s Journal saw some of the novelties recreated from the archives of Longines. From the bold, brown-strapped Longines Avigation BigEye – a chronograph from the 193s that joined the ranks of many celebrated pilot’s watches – to the Longines Legend Diver Watch – an iconic piece from the Sixties on a Milanese mesh bracelet – these retro pieces were the talk of the annual watch expo.
But our particular favourite was the Heritage 45. With a super stylish vintage design, and an expressive retro feel, the new reissue of the historic model takes on board the straight-laced, frill-free design of the 1940s. Blu hands and a copper coloured dial almost blend into the nubuck finish of the wristband – and it’s a minimalistic look we absolutely love.
The 90th Anniversary of the Lindbergh
In New York, on the 20th of May 20, 1927, the “Spirit of St. Louis” left Roosevelt Airport. Its destination: Le Bourget airport near Paris. At the controls: a young American pilot named Charles A. Lindbergh. Thirty-three and a half hours later, Lindbergh landed at Le Bourget after completing the first ever non-stop solo transatlantic flight.
It was a historic feat and, as official timekeeper for the World Air Sports Federation, Longines contributed to the anniversary of this achievement with a watch. This year, the 90th Anniversary Lindbergh was released, crafted exceptionally from titanium and steel, featuring a 180 degree scale for calculating longitude and synchronising the second hand with a radio time signal. A true adventurer’s watch, and a celebration of a pioneer almost a century on.