Longines, who welcomed 2017 with beautifully retro-styled models included in their popular Heritage Collection, was the guest of our Hands On corner with its Heritage 1945 model which was highly acclaimed with its minimalistic style and eye-catching color palette.
When it comes to the Re-Issue and Heritage concepts, one of the first brands to come to mind is undoubtedly Longines. The role of the brand, which is among the locomotive names of the Swiss watch industry, in bringing these two concepts to their current situation in modern watchmaking is unquestionable. The Re-Issue and Heritage concepts, which gained momentum with the Legend Diver model, continue to inspire many of the Longines’ best-seller products.
Heritage 1945, which was one of the brand's 2017 novelties, is one of the latest examples of this trend. Inspired by an old timepiece from the archives of the brand, Heritage 1945 offers stylish details that reveal the Longines' experience in those concepts.
Unlike the original version, the model’s case is designed to be 40mm in diameter. Despite being a larger size for a retro inspired timepiece, 40mm is an optimal size in today’s standards. The case is fully mirror polished and it is water resistant to 30 meters. One of the most important features of the case is its flat bezel which adds a kind of a Military look while being a nice detail that matches with the rest of the design. The slightly long lug design helps the watch to be worn comfortably even on smaller wrists. The winding crown’s design also fits the concept nicely. The case sports a scratch resistant sapphire crystal on the front side and a Longines signed stainless steel cover at the rear side.
I think the model’s most interesting part is its dial. Despite being designed in a very minimalistic style, the dial features many clever details without sacrificing its loyalty to the original model. The dial features a slight copper tone with a metallic effect which looks incredibly beautiful and matching with the retro character of the model. The stainless steel dot markers and Arabic numerals are accompanied by classic flame blued hands. The small second sub-dial is located at 6 o’clock position and finished in a brighter background tone. The dial sports a slightly curved Automatic text which boosts the vintage appeal. There is no date display at the dial which is a pretty clever choice for such a beautiful timepiece.
The new model is powered by the brand’s Caliber Ref. L609.3 which we know from other models in the brand’s product line. Based on the ETA 2895/2, the 27 jewels self-winding movement offers 42 hours of power reserve when fully wound. For a brand like Longines -who has the power of Swatch Group- it should not be that difficult to throw in a manual winding movement like the original timepiece’s Caliber Ref. 12.68Z. It obvious that self-winding movements are far more practical than hand-wound ones for the majority of users, but I think it would still be a nice thing to have a manual-winding caliber in a model like this.
Longines Heritage 1945 comes on a very soft, brown nubuck strap which offers a pretty matching appearance with the rest of the watch. The strap feels very comfortable on the wrist and comes with a Longines signed tang buckle made of polished stainless steel.
As one of the pioneering brands that boosted up the popularity of the Heritage and Re-Issues concepts in today’s watch market, Longines seems to have done a great job again with that timepiece. If you like retro designs but hesitate to add an old timepiece to your collection for obvious reasons; Longines Heritage 1945 might be a spot on for you with its refined looks and original design.