If Longines had a golden age it would undoubtedly be the first half of the 20th century, when it nailed many entirely in-house creations with specific groundbreaking links to the dawning age of aviation. Charles Lindbergh wore a Longines when he first flew solo across the Atlantic in Spirit of Saint Louis in 1927. With nearly 200 years of history and strong links to pioneers of aviation, you would think that Longines might leverage all that a bit more heftily and charge a pile for its watches. Yet since it became part of the Swatch Group—it was bought by its earlier iteration, Ebauches S.A., in 1971—Longines has been positioned in the accessible portion of the high-end Swiss watch market.
The weight of all its history is there all the same, and it’s something that Longines has tastefully celebrated with characteristic lack of fanfare, releasing updates and replicas of earlier epic watches over the past few years. Unlike the big guns of the watch world however, whose branding noise and marketing clout put them front and center in watch nuts’ minds 24/7, Longines retains something elusive about it, despite ranking number four in world watch sales (after Rolex, Omega, and Cartier, in case you hadn’t guessed) in 2019. All of which—coupled with really great prices—means Longines is hard to beat for sheer bang-for-your-buck value and authenticity.
The perfect new examples are two Longines “Heritage Classic” watches launching today. They’re faithful recreations of two 1940s watches, both nicknamed “Tuxedo” by fans for their jazzy black and slightly off-white dials. The three-hand version with a seconds hand at six (a hallmark of Longines) comes in at a tasteful 38.5mm, while the panda chronograph (currently vying for the title of Watch of The Year In My Mind) is 40mm. Both respect the original designs and have no date window or dial markings other than the brand name. Soon as you can, go try one on or visit Longines’ site. These watches are not to be missed.
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