Longines Flagship: Chic Men's and Women's Watches
The Flagship collection has been part of the Longines catalog since the 1950s. It is comprised of elegant mechanical watches for men and women. There is also a large selection of vintage models to choose from.
Elegant Watches Since 1957
In 1957, Longines released the Flagship collection and filled it with some of the Swiss company's most exquisite models. The collection remains a staple of the Longines catalog to this day, having lost none of its elegance over the last 60+ years.
Most Flagship timepieces are classic dress watches with three hands and a date display. However, Longines also introduces versions with a small seconds or rectangular case from time to time. Chronographs have also made an appearance in the Flagship collection in the past. Regardless of their shape or functions, these watches are all united by their reserved designs. There are plenty of options for both men and women, with case sizes ranging from 26 to 39 mm. A majority of these watches house an automatic caliber from the ébauche movement manufacturer ETA.
Polished stainless steel dominates this collection. However, there are also versions in 18-karat gold and two-tone editions in gold and steel. Many of the smaller models feature diamonds on their dials and bezels. Either a multi-link metal bracelet or high-quality leather strap holds each timepiece securely on the wrist.
What Makes the Longines Flagship Special
- Timeless design
- Available in solid gold, stainless steel, or as a two-tone edition
- A wide range of vintage watches
- Precise Swiss automatic movements
- Men's and women's sizes
How much does the Longines Flagship cost?
|Model/Reference number||Price (approx.)||Feature(s)|
|Flagship Chronograph Heritage Moonphase, L4.7126.96.36.199||5,800 USD||Chronograph, moon phase, complete calendar|
|Flagship Heritage Chronograph, L4.7188.8.131.52||4,500 USD||Chronograph, date|
|Flagship, L4.7184.108.40.206||1,300 USD||Diamond indices, date|
|Flagship Day-Date, L4.7220.127.116.11||1,200 USD||Date, day|
|Flagship Chronograph Automatic, L4.718.4||1,200 USD||Chronograph, date|
|Flagship, L4.918.104.22.168||990 USD||Date|
Prices for the Flagship with Three Hands
While the Flagship has maintained a consistent design over the years, each model has its own unique details that help set it apart. For example, polished stainless steel cases in three sizes (26, 30, and 38.5 mm) and narrow sword hands define the watches that debuted in 2017. There are also two-tone editions with a rose or yellow gold PVD coating on their bezels and the middle links of their bracelets.
Longines offers these timepieces with a wide range of dial options. You can choose from versions with applied wedge indices, stamped Roman numerals, or diamond hour indices. In terms of color, the dials are available in black, white, blue, silver, or gold.
Longines outfits the two smaller editions with the automatic caliber L592. This movement is based on the ETA A20.L01 and provides these timepieces with a 40-hour power reserve and a date display at 3 o'clock. On the other hand, the Swiss manufacturer equips the 38.5-mm variants with either the L636 or the L888. It's fairly easy to tell the two versions apart: The L636 features a day-date display where the L888 has only a date. However, the L888 boasts a 64-hour power reserve compared to the L636's 38 hours.
Prices for a simple stainless steel watch begin around 990 USD. Two-tone models are slightly more expensive at 1,200 USD. Be sure to have an additional 110 USD on hand for a timepiece with diamond indices.
Vintage Flagship Models
There's no shortage of vintage Flagship models. Collectors are particularly fond of watches from the late 1950s and early 60s. That being said, timepieces from the 70s and 80s are also worth taking a closer look at.
The earliest Flagship models predominately feature 35-mm cases in yellow or rose gold. One example is the Flagship ref. 3308-3 from 1961. The in-house caliber 341 powers this timepiece. Applied line indices and narrow baton hands lend this watch a particularly elegant feel. Perhaps the most unique detail of this version is its date display, which sits at 12 o'clock. You can call this collector's item your own for about 1,600 USD in good condition.
The ref. 401 from 1957 is yet another interesting vintage Flagship watch. Its yellow gold case measures 34 mm in diameter and houses Longines' manual caliber 30L. This timepiece also stands out with its simple design. The silver-plated dial features golden line indices and golden dauphine hands. A small seconds dial at 6 o'clock adds a classic touch. Well-maintained examples change hands on Chrono24 for as little as 2,000 USD. Those looking for a modern alternative may enjoy the Flagship Heritage ref. L4.722.214.171.124. It is nearly identical to the ref. 401 but for its larger, 38.5-mm stainless steel case. A date display also complements the small seconds at 6 o'clock on this edition. Plan to spend roughly 1,200 USD on a never-worn model.
How much do Flagship chronographs cost?
The Flagship collection was also home to a number of chronographs in the 1990s and early 2000s. Of these watches, the top model is the Flagship Chronograph Heritage Moonphase ref. L4.7126.96.36.199 . As its name implies, this 40-mm rose gold watch can not only measure periods of time but also comes with a complete calendar, including a moon phase indicator. The moon phase is located within the hour counter at 6 o'clock, while the minute counter shares its position at 12 o'clock with the day-date display. Finally, the subdial at 9 o'clock serves as a dual small seconds and 24-hour display. A central hand with a crescent moon tip points to the current date on a scale around the dial's edge. The caliber L678.2, a modified Valjoux 7751, powers this timepiece. Never-worn editions sell for around 5,800 USD, while pre-owned pieces in good condition demand some 3,800 USD.
If you can do without a complete calendar and moon phase display, you may prefer the Flagship Heritage Chronograph ref. L4.7188.8.131.52. It has a much cleaner design with a small seconds at 3, a date at 6, and a 30-minute counter at 9 o'clock. The caliber L651 is the beating heart of this watch. This movement is based on the ETA 2894-2. You can purchase a well-maintained version of this 38-mm rose gold watch for approximately 4,500 USD.
For something even more affordable, there's the Flagship Chronograph Automatic L4.718.4 . Its 39-mm case is made of stainless steel with polished and brushed finishes. Like the Heritage model, this timepiece also features a movement based on the ETA 2894-2. However, this time it's the L650-2 with a minute counter at 3, a small seconds at 6, and an hour-counter at 9 o'clock. There's also a date display between 4 and 5 o'clock. Prices for this model range from 1,200 USD pre-owned to 1,600 USD in mint condition.