Every watchmaker brings its own unique take on hours, minutes, and seconds to your wrist. Some names are older and more prestigious. Others are younger and scrappier. Longines, which has been making watches in St. Imier, Switzerland since 1832, combines the best qualities of a big, established brand with the agility and vivacity of a smaller one. As one of the oldest watchmakers in the business, Longines has a deep archive of historic designs which they regularly mine for inspiration, often making only slight aesthetic changes before re-releasing them. As a thoroughly modern brand, however, Longines also looks ahead with new designs that re-imagine their heritage with modern colours, materials, and movements.
Here are two prime examples of what Longines does best.
There are a lot of options when it comes to three-hand steel watches, but this one’s combination of heritage, modern details, and accuracy makes it a top contender. When Longines launched the Spirit collection last year, it was a bold proclamation of the brand’s core strengths: heritage, precision, and value. Inspired by the watches that Longines produced for pioneering aviators and explorers in the 1930s, the Spirit combines vintage design cues like diamond-shaped hour markers with a modern case and colour palette.
Available in 40 mm and 42 mm case sizes (both with a date window), the latest addition to the collection features a new dial in modern matte olive green. Its unique look will attract plenty of attention, but the Spirit makes a strong case for itself in its other details: Swiss SuperLuminova for ultimate low-light visibility, silvered sandblasted hands, and a COSC-certified movement with a silicon balance spring inside the case.
Longines Heritage Classic
With an archive stretching back more than a century, Longines has countless classic designs to look to for inspiration, and their Heritage line is devoted to relaunching these models in modern interpretations. The latest addition is the Heritage Classic Sector Dial, an art deco-inspired time-only watch with a 38.5mm steel case and a choice of a classic “beads of rice” bracelet or a cognac leather strap. Typical of many watches from the 1930s, the dial is divided into individual sectors, each of which is differentiated with a unique finish. The centre circle is matte, which accentuates the silvered hands. The anthracite hour ring, meanwhile, is circle-brushed for a contrasting effect, and the small seconds dial is subtly ridged for added texture. The watch is powered by a movement developed especially for the Heritage line, with a silicon balance spring for increased accuracy and a 5-year warranty. For anyone who likes the vintage look, but doesn’t want the fuss of buying and caring for a 90-year old timepiece, this one packs the best of both worlds.