Longines has launched a matt green dial variant of its Spirit model. The 42mm case auto has raised numbers, which seem to float above the dial from some angles. It’s aslo COSC certified.
Retail is £2050 in the UK, our advice is save another 600 quid up and invest in a Tudor instead. The Longines will lose you a grand in one year of ownership, plus this is a very plain jane looker for two grand, which resembles an Orient three star from a distance.
Green dials are everywhere this year across the luxury watch market, from TAG to Rolex, Turdor to Longines.
The Spirit range now has a green dial version available, with prices starting at just under two grand for the leather strap version. That is a hefty price tag for a Longines, a brand which tends to lag behind Omega when it comes to PX/resale time.
Inside you get the L888.4 COSC level movement, which is based on the ETA A31 engine, which in turn can trace its roots back to the ETA 2892. There is a lot to be said for upgrading existing tech, especially when it comes to reliable, easy-to-service movements. But should a 2K watch have something new, built from the ground up?
You get big numbers on this watch which is great for those who want a traditional timekeeper. It also has a big winding crown and that suits some users with big hands. It only has 10ATM depth rating, even with a screw down crown which is pretty cautious of Longines.
There’s a sapphire crystal too, plus a screw on caseback, so it should actually be OK to swim while wearing this watch, but don’t take our advice.
At 42mm wide, this watch hits the sweet spot for many collectors. It’s just that for that price you could buy something really collectable, like say a pre-owned Tudor Black Bay. We think a Black Bay will hold its value long term – this green Longines? Hmm, maybe not.
There are two new colour options available for the Longines Legend model, in brown and blue. Here’s the details from Longines;
The Longines Legend Diver Watch, a timepiece that’s emblematic of the winged-hourglass brand’s Heritage segment, is now available in coloured versions. In blue or brown, these creations bring a new look to one of the first diving watches designed by Longines.
Longines has been a name long associated with sport, and so it is only fitting that it brings its expertise to diving. It all began in 1937, when
water-resistance became a quality criterion. Longines developed a watch case with water resistant push-pieces for its renowned 13ZN caliber, taking care to patent this creation.
An icon of the rich heritage of the winged hourglass brand, this line has gradually expanded over the years and today proposes new versions in steel with blue or brown shades. The latest versions of The Longines Legend Diver Watch conserve the spirit and the pure lines of the original timepiece, while benefitting from the brand’s watch-making expertise. They feature up-to-date technical characteristics, such as a box-shaped sapphire glass, two screw-in crowns and a screw-down case back; they are water resistant to 300 metres or they have an automatic movement with a silicon spring balance, made exclusively for Longines.
The blue or brown shaded dial features luminous hands, hour markers interspersed with luminescent squares and Arab numerals enhanced with Super-LumiNova® rectangles for optimum visibility. A reminder of the codes of the sport for which this watch was originally intended. And just like on the original model, the 42 mm case back is decorated with an embossed emblem of a diver. A structured blue or brown leather strap matches the colour of the dial. These new models of The Longines Legend Diver Watch come with a 5-year warranty.
Longines has launched another retro watch in the shape of the Military Marine Nationale edition. It has a kind of creamy, almost yellowing newspaper, patina built into the dial, plus a distinctive blue trio of hands.
Although it is a revival of a 1940s watch built for the French Navy, this modern version is bigger at 38mm case diameter. Hard to sell a 33m watch to men now, it is seen as a ladies or boys size, even though that was pretty much standard back then.
There is a Longines version of an ETA movement inside the cae, with a neat, functional tan leather strap fitted. On the rea of the case you get military spec deep lugs for undoing the caseback, plus some nice lettering too.
It has a nautical look, but you wouldn’t go anywhere near water with this watch – it’s certainly no diver, or casual swimmer.
The Fab Suisse logo on the dial is the finishing touch, but at over £1500 there are better 40s/50s styled vintage watch choices out there we think.
Let’s start with a Baltic blue dial Bicompax at £650, or a pre-owned Jaeger le Coultre bumper automatic at about £1200 perhaps, or maybe a mint 1960s Omega Seamaster, or how about a Universal Polerouter we saw on Watchfinder for £810?
Any of those are much better value, and when you buy preowned you have a decent chance of getting your money back when you decide to sell. This Longines will struggle to realise £400 at a pawnbrokers, unworn with a full set of paperwork. That’s the market talking, not us.
Recreating the past is rarely a great idea, and by that I mean an entirely faithful replica of the ancient technology that put together a Ford Anglia or Timex wristwatch back in the 60s. The tools and processes used weren’t that great when it came to mass production frankly. But bespoke Swiss watchmaking is – and was – a little bit different.
In the 60s factories like Longines, Tissot, Omega, Rolex and many more had a sort of Model T production line of highly trained people – often women – who painstaking assembled one or two components on the two main plates of a watch movement. Go back further to the 1930s whehn the US Army wanted a handy watch for their pilots and you really are in the hand-crafted, almost pre-machine tool era in Swiss watchmaking.
The US Army wanted a pilot watch that had big numbers, and sat at a jaunty angle over a glove as most cockpits were open then. Piaggio of Italy had invented the pressurised cockpit in 1919 for one of their long range bombers, but many fighter and reconnaisance aircraft were still open to the elements. Pretty hard to fly in rough weather too, which is why a quick glance at the wrist was all the time a pilot had to remove their eyes from the horizon, or the instruments of course.
So this recreation of a 30s classic is bound to be better made, as it uses the highly precise computerised tools of the 21st century to cut and finish the component parts. A column wheel chrono movement powers this 41mm watch, case is steel, strap is leather – naturally.
The fluted crown controls all the stopwatch functions too, which is a clever bit of tech.
A classic black dial, with super luminova hands and numbers adds a superb vintage face to this watch. They’ve faded the numerals a bit haven’t they, unless it’s my imagination? It looks the part and the quicky touch of off-setting the dial is a real talking point. It may well prompt a history debate too, which is always welcome in this neck of the woods.
Not for us at £2500 – too expensive for something that lacks practical everyday wearability on the ground.
OK, not sure about this Longines Tuxedo model. First, it has an uncanny resemblance to the Triumph/Ingersoll pocket watches of the 1950s/60s, with its bold black and white dial design, and striking chapter ring numerals.
That’s no bad thing, but the sub-second dial and plain jane looks of the three-hand model are going to be a problem for some buyers we reckon, mainly because it looks so much like a vintage watch from 60 years ago – in fact, let’s be blunt, at first glance this Tuxedo could look like a low cost vintage watch. It isn’t that impressive for the money. Just an opinion, please don’t cancel us on Twitter.
The chrono version of the Heritage Tuxedo is a sharper looking customer for sure, although we would still take a vintage Valjoux 7733 chronograph for £500-£1000 over this new Longines at £2200 any day.
The best price we saw for the Tuxedo 3-hand auto online was £1480 at Jura watches, which makes this an expensive alternative to owning a genuine, vintage Longines Conquest automatic for example, which might be around £1000-£1200 for a mint example.
Longines celebrates the carefree spirit of the late 1940s. After the harsh war came a time of prosperity and celebration. Elegance was back in fashion; men wore suits and women wore recently-introduced nylon stockings. People got dressed up to go out and dance to the rhythm of jazz bands. The new Longines Heritage Classic – Tuxedo creations – one with 3 hands and the other featuring a chronograph – are inspired by two historic pieces designed in the spirit of their time, modernised.
Longines offers two new models inspired by historical pieces with the typical aesthetics of the regained freedom of the late 1940s. You can easily imagine it on the wrist of partygoers at jazz clubs. They have been nicknamed “Tuxedo” by collectors, the contrast of black and white on their dial reminds us of the suits worn during the elegant and festive evenings of the time.
To respect the spirit of the original models, Longines has chosen here not to add the word “Automatic” on the dials. In keeping with the aim to create timepieces that are as faithful as possible to historical timepieces, there is also no date window on contemporary models, which are presented on semi-matt black leather straps, perfectly in keeping with the spirit of the era.
The Longines Heritage Classic – Tuxedo is available in two versions: a 3-hand model and a chronograph model.
The former stands out for the aesthetics of its dial, a typical and very popular design from the 1940s. An opaline silver disc surrounded by a sublime matt black circle of thin baton hands covered with Super-LumiNova®. The small seconds counter, located at 6 o’clock, is off-centre: this detail contributes to the charm of this 38.50 mm-diameter timepiece housing the exclusive L893.5 movement with its silicon balance spring, a guarantee of quality and precision.
The chronograph version displays matt black, opaline and midnight blue, colours as elegant as they are refined. Several zones feature on its dial, and a tachymetric scale – quite rare for a Longines watch – also enriches its circumference, just like on the original model. The Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph – Tuxedo houses in its 40.00 mm-diameter case a movement (calibre L895.5) developed exclusively for Longines Heritage timepieces. It is also equipped with a silicon balance spring.
With its two new models in contrasting black and white, The Longines Heritage Classic – Tuxedo brings us back to a colourful era that brought back parties!
Longines is a well established brand in the UK, with a long distinguished history. Owned by the Swatch Group it obviously shares some expertise with other Swatch companies, plus Longines watches generally use ETA sourced movements – ETA is also owned by Swatch Group. That was the case for many years, but things are changing on the calibre front.
Since the EU told the Swiss to end their reliance on ETA sourced base movements about five years ago, things are changing fast and many brands are now building their own calibres in Switzerland. Or at least heavily modifying something that they used in the past.
The situation is now getting more complex after the temporary closure of factories during Covid-19 and the actions of the Swiss anti-trust regulator, again seeking to restrict over-dependence on ETA movements. It is an ongoing problem within the industry and it means that Longines, and others, will really have to work hard to stand out as truly separate watchmaking brands at some point. They might need their own movement assembly facility to please the EU, it’s hard to say how the politics will play out.
Why does any of this political wrangling over where a movement is made, or who supplies different brands, actually matter? Well here are the rules on what counts as a Swiss movement; 50 percent of the parts must be made in Switzerland. That means you could outsource 50 percent to say China, and still stamp Swiss Movt on your calibre. That get-out clause could be the salvation for many sub £1800 Swiss watches, because costs are going to have to be cut after Covid19 and the rise of many indie watch brands.
You can buy a 300m dive watch on Kickstarter, ETA/Sellita movement, sapphire crystal from about £400 upwards. Watch manufacturing has been democratised and that is arguably the biggest challenge to the Swiss industry since the Seiko Astrolon quartz.
So What’s The Scoop on The Black Dial Longines 1832?
This 1832 Longines has a 64 hour reserve, automatic movement. Good selling point we say. It’s also an in-house L897 calibre movement, which is great from a collector point of view, although according to Watch Calibre.com that movement still has its roots in an existing ETA engine.
There’s a ladies version, with a champagne dial option, as well as black, and both using a smaller movement and 30mm case. The gents 40mm case models include a moonphase model, as well as a more traditional black dial, three hand format – either with date, or day-date windows at three o’clock. They look superb, but at £1700 or so, are undeniably expensive for what they are; beautiful dress watches that lose a stack of value the moment you walk out of the door, or the website Checkout Cart.
Selling a pre-owned Longines on is no easy task, as many Swiss watch enthusiasts know that in the past Longines shared ETA movements with many relatively cheap non-Swiss brands. That is a fact that sort of taints the 1832 unfairly, given this movement is kinda the AMG version of the ETA movement. Is it woth more than a standard Longines Heritage model at £875 or so? Heck yeah, but is it worth almost two grand? Hmmm, not really.
Those options show how big a mountain Longines must climb if it is to survive as a genuine prestige brand name long term, within the Swatch empire. People often ask where the bespoke, unique craft is within the watch build and design these days – you have to justify a price point near two grand with some impressive technology. Otherwise we would all buy a Hamilton or a Tissot, right?