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Longines - The many sides of Longines' vintage style

Longines The many sides of Longines' vintage style

Longines is focusing its 2020 novelties on men's and vintage-styled timepieces, with a wide array of styles and eras of inspiration.

Describing Longines in one word is no hard task : balanced is what comes to mind. Between men and women, sporty and classic, vintage-inspired and contemporary, steel and leather straps. This is a characteristic barely five brands have in common among the 200 or so that are worthy of interest. Yet for the last months of 2020, Longines has gone men, vintage and leather straps all the way. It is a rare enough fact in today's watchmaking environment but the brands novelties are focused on these segments, which are popular but not as universal as the brand's general appeal. Yet, vintage watches for men are a strongsuit of Longines, which gathers them in their Heritage line. It's filled with best-sellers, fast-selling limited series and generally good designs.

The many sides of Longines' vintage style

Marine Nationale © Longines

This is the frame of mind that has led to the introduction of the Heritage Military Marine Nationale, Heritage Classic Tuxedo and the latest version of the Avigation Type A7 1935. First off, the Marine Nationale ticks the « we've actually equipped an armed force of some country » legitimacy box, which has an an increasingly strong following. As a matter of fact, Longines sold the almost exact same watch to the French Nacy in the late 1940's. It's diminutive, at 38.5 mm, rather high with a godrooned bezel and chimney crystal, and its strap and dial both look aged.

The many sides of Longines' vintage style

Spirit Grey © Longines

The Avigation is a new version of an existing model, but this time with a cleaner, black dial, which tones down the oddness this watch can make you feel. Its case and dial are tilted 60 degrees to the right. As a pilot's (plane or car, no matter) monopusher chronograph, it's supposed to be worn on a wrist that won't let go of it sterring wheel/stick and is therefore always tilted at the angle the case compensates. The Tuxedo is more on the dressy side, as it hails from an alegant 1940's watch, where the Black Tie part is being played by the hour tracker, in sharp contrast with the cream-white dial.

The many sides of Longines' vintage style

Tuxedo © Longines

The Spirit collection doesn't belong to the Heritage line, but shares a certain state of mind with it. It's been created in reference to the many and diverse adventurers and explorers the brand has equipped with timepieces throughout their history. It comes in a 40-mm three-hander or a 42-mm chronograph. Both have full steel backs and their dials sport these quirky five stars. The brand once used them to signal they were using their best-quality movements inside. Now, they're fitted with modern automatic calibres with rather long power reserves, all of which are certifed chronometers. Interestingly enough, everything that could feel cluttered about the Spirit just goes away once it's on the wrist. The dials, with their large luminescent applied digits, look awfully good, and so do the straps. Especially those supplied in the Prestige Edition, which are Nato-styled mahogany leathers with a great feel. Once again, one of watchmaking's only universal truths comes to mind : you need to try the Spirits on to really understand them.

 

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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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