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Longines  - Record, a consistently high achiever

Longines Record, a consistently high achiever

Reliably flattering, highly wearable and eminently chic, the Longines Record range has everything going for it, including understated elegance.

Two years after its launch, the Record range by Longines continues to expand. In addition to a growing selection of watches to choose from, the basic reasons to buy into the range remain convincing. They can all be found on the spec sheet, which is where we’ll begin. COSC-certified movement with 65-hour power reserve and silicon balance spring; 40 mm steel case with sunray brushed dial, baton markers and polished hands; alligator strap or 7-link steel bracelet with folding buckle. Prices start at CHF 2,010 (strap or bracelet), climbing to €5,860 for a solid rose gold case. There’s also a 30 mm ladies’ version and various diamond-set options. So that’s it, as far as the technical details are concerned. All that remains is to put them into context, and talk a little bit about design.

The context is that the Swatch Group is turning its attention upmarket. Upmarket in terms of range, that is, but not price. Over the last five years, the watch industry world leader has made great strides forward in terms of perceived quality and finish, with clearly visible results. But the prices haven’t budged. To put it another way, a Longines of today looks very much like an Omega from five years ago. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, the Swatch Group is an industrial behemoth, and it has invested heavily in production infrastructure. And second, there is reduced demand being placed on this infrastructure by third parties, who are dealing with a downturn in sales. With less to do, these factories have been able to focus on improving quality, and Longines is one of the main beneficiaries.

Record, a consistently high achiever

Longines Record with baton markers, grey sunray dial, alligator strap, and black sunray dial, steel bracelet © Longines

The movements used by Longines come from the group’s big in-house manufacture, ETA. The calibre inside the Record, the L888.4 according to Longines’ naming conventions, is in fact an ETA A31.L11, part of a generation of movements that consistently gives more for less. Mido, Hamilton and Tissot also offer watches with ETA movements that have enhanced specifications, power reserve and escapement. Longines has decided to go a step further. All of the Records have chronometer certification, a feature none of the brand’s other watches can boast. 

So the Records are able to differentiate themselves subtly at the top end. Aesthetically, however, other ranges like the Elegant and Master are still close. The Record operates within a classical register, without veering too far into retro, using contemporary hands and markers, and eliminating all superfluous detail. What it offers instead is exemplary understatement, sunray dials that capture the light, and a comfortable case diameter for average-sized wrists. And, of course, a price tag that is no doubt forcing the competition into some uncomfortable conversations.

Record, a consistently high achiever

Longines Record with Arabic numerals and baton markers, sunray blue dial, alligator strap © WorldTempus / David Chokron

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Based in St. Imier since 1832, Longines has a long tradition in watchmaking, characterised by the elegance of its watches. Using expertise gained as the company has evolved, Longines has gradually forged ties with the world of sport, where it demonstrates its excellence in precision timekeeping. Today, Longines is the oldest brand still in business, unchanged, in the international registers held by the World Intellectual Property Organization...

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