The past few years have seen watchmakers make like a gang of surfers, paddling out across the sea of time to catch the wave of reissued watches; it is all about satiating the boom in consumer appetite for vintage watches. Watchmakers ranging from plucky microbrands to the esteemed doyennes of watchmaking have been trying to outdo one another in pursuit of vintage verisimilitude. One watchmaker that has been especially successful with its reissue collection is Swiss firm Longines, with pieces such as the Legend Diver, the BigEye Chronograph and the Skin Diver covered in issue #54. With a history dating back to 1832, Longines is steeped in heritage and its archives are rich in design winners. This fall, it pulled another rabbit out of its alpine hat in the form of the Longines Heritage Classic.
This watch pays tribute to a 1934 classic that currently resides in the watchmaker’s museum in Saint-Imier, Switzerland – a sector dial watch. The thought of a sector dial watch is enough to send vintage collectors and new collectors alike into a frenzy, but Longines takes it a step further with a faithful reissue down to its typography and dial execution. The so-called sector dial earns its name from the divisions of the dial, which watch nerds call sectors.
Measuring 38.5mm across, the watch dial is wonderfully free of ‘superfluous’ dial text such as “automatic”, model names and date apertures; Longines even chose to omit its wings logo. What is left on the dial are essential elements, each working harmoniously with one another. Inky black inward facing 3, 6, and 9 hour numerals and five-minute intervals represented by bolder lines (thinner hashes mark the in-betweens) provide contrast against the sectors and blued steel hands. Eagle-eyed admirers will be quick to notice the thin crosshair splitting the dial as well as the subtle repositioning of the subsidiary seconds counter. In this case, it has been shifted closer toward the centre of dial than the 1934 piece, showcasing more of the cut-off 6 o’clock numeral.
Rounding off the watch is a sapphire crystal while beneath the dial sits Longines’ exclusive automatic calibre L893 (which ETA calls the A31.501; ETA provides exclusive calibres to a variety of Swatch Group brands). It features a silicon balance spring operating at the relatively high beat rate of 25,200 vibrations per hour, with a power reserve of 64 hours. Longines is offering the Heritage Classic in two models, differentiated by their strap combinations – either a blue leather strap and an anthracite denim-effect leather NATO strap or black leather strap and a blue denim-effect leather NATO strap.
Longines Heritage Classic Specs and Price
Movement Automatic Longines Calibre L893; 64-hour power reserve
Case 38.5mm in stainless steel; water-resistant to 30m
Strap Blue leather strap and an anthracite denim-effect leather NATO strap or black leather strap and a blue denim-effect leather NATO strap