Longines watches with Moonphases have been a staple for the brand, and because of its connotations as a “classic complication” – it originally appeared within the Master collection with calendar complications, electing to only release the poetic astronomical complication in its simplest guise within the sportive Conquest collection. It was in May 2019 that the St. Imier watchmaker released the Longines 1832 collection – a series of watches including one with moonphases that was portent to a potential vintage inspired classical moonphase timepiece.
L296 Quartz calibre based Longines Conquest Moonphase for ladies
Since 1954, the Longines Conquest line is emblematic of the brand’s “tool watch” collection. The name itself is a hat-tip to the spirit of conquest but with a “St. Imier twist” – sportive without sacrificing elegance. It is with these brand values that an elegant moonphase gets a home within the robust Conquest series in a subtle fusion of performance and sophistication in an aesthetically pleasing and surprisingly non-jarring fashion, albeit in 30mm proportions, targeted at active modern women.
That said, it is our contention that a moonphase and the legacy it connotes within the watch industry, dating back to early 10th century of mechanical astronomical complications (executed in 3D as per Chinese polymath Su Sung’s Cosmic Engine) and later designed in two dimensions three centuries later in Gros Horloge clock in Rouen, Normandy, implies that the moonphase and the traditional renderings (silvery disc on a twilight background) of the complication would be better suited for a more classically dressed timepiece. Indeed, the Longines 1832 proves our assertion.
Named for St. Imier factory’s foundational year, the Longines 1832 collection perfectly reflects the aesthetic and watchmaking codes of the brand, combining tradition and classic elegance. Like the Conquest series, the 1832 collection houses ETA movements exclusive (Calibre L899 with 64 hours power reserve) to the brand and competently finished for display through transparent case-back. It is here that the model and its 1930s inspired neo-classic countenance – applied baton hour indexes with polished dot 5-minute markers – brings out the beauty of the 40mm 1832 Moonphase thanks to its Bauhaus “form follows function” philosophy.
Master Collection Moonphase
Though engine-turning was invented in the 16th century as a means of decorating a surface, sometimes with the objective of providing it some protection against oxidation – the most recognised example being perlée or perlage texture found on sheetmetal panels comprising the engine cowling (nose) of Charles Lindbergh’s aircraft (for whom Longines did make a watch – but that’s another story), it was only in the late 17th century when Breguet first popularised the first engine-turned dials and watches. Since then, it has been most often associated with high grade watches, thankfully the new Longines Master Collection Moonphase feels premium yet wallet-friendly.
Available in 40 and 42mm, Dials of the new Longines Master Collection Moonphase are available in black barleycorn with painted Roman numerals or silver barleycorn with painted Arabic numerals; or in a minimalist sunray blue with applied indices while hands are silvered sandy, silvered polished or blued steel.
Longines Master Collection Moonphase Price and Specs
Movement Automatic Calibre L899 with 64 hours power reserve
Case 40 or 42mm stainless steel with 30 metres water resistance
Price From S$3510