Longines Longines Record: The First Chronograph
Vintage heritage, high-performance movement, competitive price: an unbeatable combination ?
It’s amusing to watch the majority of watch brands leaping from one anniversary to the next every five years, celebrating with all manner of ceremonies and limited editions. This quinquennial ritual and all the accompanying marketing hype often lack the weight of true historic relevance.
One brand looks on with serene detachment: Longines. Founded in Saint-Imier in 1832, the venerable watch manufacture stopped celebrating these smaller anniversaries a long time ago. Anniversaries of the company’s foundation, watch models or collections – there would be no end to them.
Longines’ heritage is one of the richest in the contemporary watch industry, as well as being one of the best preserved, by some margin. In 2022, aside from a few experts, no one noticed that Longines was celebrating its 190th birthday. The event occurred without fanfare, as befits a brand that has nothing to prove, and can happily dispense with self-aggrandising ceremonies.
Movement in the spotlight!
The Record collection was launched in 2017 (we could have been celebrating its 5th anniversary this year!). With its four sizes (26, 30, 38.5 and 40 mm), it is equally suited to men and women. But the main point of the collection lies elsewhere. Every movement in the Record collection, without exception, is certified by the COSC, the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute. Each model is self-winding and equipped with a silicon sprung balance.
The collection bears the stamp of Matthias Breschan, Longines’ “new” CEO (since 2020), who has focused his strategy on movements and technical factors, not just on style. His goal is to offer the best of watchmaking, drawing on vintage design, but updated with contemporary technology.
Record Chronograph © Longines
The Record collection's first chrono
In this context, the new Record Heritage is the perfect fit. In terms of timekeeping and precision, it is the first in the collection to incorporate a chronograph. The watch remains within the original dimensions of the Record collection, opting for a 40 mm steel case, with the addition of two pushpieces to activate the chronograph.
But that’s not all. Despite the many variants in the Record catalogue, there was no reference that featured a black dial with gold markers. Until now, that is. The livery is attractive and legible. There are two scales – an inner one for seconds and an outer tachymetric scale, with base 1000 graduations. Which begs the question: in what circumstances would one wish, with the watch on one’s wrist and two appropriate markers within view, to time an object moving at 1000 km/h?
Record Chronograph © Longines
The rest of the aesthetic draws heavily on the Record’s vintage heritage: leaf-shaped hands, traditional typeface, slim indices, sloping pushpieces. The crown is the same as on other Record models.
The moderate diameter of 40 mm is judiciously chosen to preserve the vintage spirit of the Record. The same goes for the absence of a date window. Although it is often requested by clients, it would have been an anachronism on a watch inspired by the 1940s.
Our only reservation concerns the leather strap, which could be considered a little too modern. Three rows of topstitching (along the sides and at the top, as seen on the Spirit) and/or a more heavily patinated leather (like on the Heritage Military) would have been a better match for this Record, which also includes the word “Heritage” in its name.
The calibre L895 is a tried-and-tested movement, already seen in Longines’ bicompax chronographs such as the Heritage Classic Chronograph. It’s interesting to note that the L895 base movement has been optimised considerably. The new version is COSC-certified, with a silicon sprung balance, and the power reserve has been extended from 54 to 59 hours. At CHF 2,900 with either a leather strap or steel bracelet, this Record Chronographpromises to be one of this autumn’s most successful launches.
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...Find out more >
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