For a variety of reasons, the year 2020 has been a significant one for Longines. Through their Heritage line, they’ve gone down the purist route of historical reissues while also expanding their other enthusiast-favorite families like the Record and HydroConquest.
Longines’ most excellent news in 2020 was the unveiling of the Spirit line, which isn’t something that happens every year at the Saint-Imier-based company. Longines’ Spirit line brings past and future together for the first time in a comprehensive and meaningful way, combining their essential heritage as instrument providers to aviation’s pioneers with more contemporary design elements and modern watchmaking technology.
Longines‘ approach to a no-nonsense, robustly made, and cheap dive watch is the HydroConquest range. We’ve seen it in a variety of ways, from a steel band to an entire black ceramic case, but this year it came in khaki green, with the same approachable look and functionality.
This shade of subdued, almost militaristic green has grown in popularity in recent years, providing a refreshing counterpoint to the never-ending parade of black and blue dive watches.
It’s a comfy rubber strap in the same tone as the dial and ceramic bezel, and it’s 41mm in diameter, making it a good fit for most wrists. It is powered by the Longines in-house caliber L888, a 64-hour power reserve, and is a proven workhorse in the Longines stable.
Heritage Marine Nationale
Longines has long been a significant supplier of wristwatches to the world’s militaries, which should come as no surprise to frequent Time+Tide readers. The brand has continued investigating this very desirable section of their history, launching the Heritage Military COSD in 2015 and the Heritage Military in 2018. While both of those watches were intriguing reissues from the brand, it isn’t a stretch to say that the 2020 Longines Heritage Marine Nationale is the most fascinating of the bunch.
The company has succeeded in executing so many elements in this new military-inspired watch, from the era proper 38.5mm case size to the large crown and beyond. The case is gracefully stepped, with precision etched case back and drilled lugs, leading to the domed sapphire crystal and wonderfully visible dial—all in all, a perfect score.
When it comes to the best Longines arrivals this year, who could forget the fresh new Spirit collection? The Longines Spirit 40mm with blue dial and blue leather strap is a prominent family member, and it’s worth a closer look to appreciate the collection’s depth properly.
This reference illustrates the new range well, as it mixes the visual cues of classic pilot’s watches with a handful of modern embellishments, perfectly embodying the collection’s concept. The company has traditionally saved the five stars for their excellent watches, and the phrase CHRONOMETER tells the narrative of the COSC-certified mechanism within.
Record Australian Limited Edition
The Record collection was the most current to be released before the Spirit collection, and its contemporary style is immediately apparent. The company decided to launch an Australian limited edition of the Longines Record series this year, giving birth to the Longines Record Australian Limited Edition.
The dial is 38.5mm in diameter and is crafted from a single piece of stunning white mother-of-pearl, making it suitable for both men and women. If you — or a certain someone — are looking for a little more radiance in your life, this could be the solution. The dial is adorned with 13 diamond hour markers that perfectly match the 52 diamonds set around the bezel, confirming this as a subtle exercise in relaxed elegance.
Heritage Classic Chronograph “Tuxedo” Dial
The Heritage Classic Chronograph with a “tuxedo” display would cement the deal if you needed any more proof that the Longines Heritage series is worth your time.
With this appealing two-register timepiece, the Swiss watchmaker once again demonstrates how valuable the depth of their archives is. The 40mm steel case is a good size for current tastes, and the silvered dial has a black ring around the hour track, creating a striking contrast.
A blue chronograph tachymeter scale runs around the dial’s periphery, which has been meticulously printed and adds to the watch’s genuine care and attention to detail. The two chronograph hands and the running second’s hand have all been expertly blued to match the tachymeter scale, while the leaf-shaped hour and minute hands have been left in their natural steel tone.
Longines timepieces are known for their technological prowess, built on a foundation of tradition, elegance, and performance. Longines has served as a timekeeper for world championships in sport or as a partner of significant sports federations for many years. Their watches are noted for their grace and accuracy.