Longines Heritage: A Trip Down Memory Lane
The Heritage collection from Longines features superb watches with historical relevance. These timepieces range from pilot's and diving watches, to chronographs and dress watches. The designs are largely inspired by watches from Longines' vaults.
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Modern Classics Reimagined
As the oldest registered watch brand in the world, Longines has an impressive repertoire of historical timepieces. Today, many of these watches are considered groundbreaking icons, like the Charles Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch and the 24-hour watch developed for Swissair pilots.
The Heritage collection pays tribute to many of these classic models. In terms of design, the new watches follow closely in their historical predecessors' footsteps. However, most of the timepieces house modern mechanical calibers, including some movements that were built exclusively for Longines by ETA. There are also women's models with quartz ETA calibers available.
The many retro watches in the Heritage collection range from alternatively shaped timepieces inspired by the 1960s and 70s, to diving watches based on models from the 1950s and military watches with ties to the 1930s. There are even pilot's watches that can trace their roots back to 1918. Of course, you'll also find remakes of industry legends like the Weems Second-Setting Watch and vintage Conquest models.
Longines usually includes a year in the name of these watches. This makes it easy to tell the production year of that particular timepiece's direct ancestor.
Reasons to Buy a Longines Heritage
- Retro watches based on historical designs
- Top models with automatic movements and column-wheel chronographs
- A wide range of pilot's, military, and diving watches
- Stainless steel or 18-karat gold cases
- Numerous special editions
Price Overview: Longines Heritage
|Model, reference number||Price (approx.)||Material, features|
|Heritage Weems Second-Setting Watch, L2.7188.8.131.52||13,000 USD||Rose gold, second synchronization system|
|Heritage Lindbergh Hour Angle, L2.6184.108.40.206||3,400 USD||Stainless steel, second synchronization system, navigational scales|
|Heritage Avigation Type A-7 1935, L2.8220.127.116.11||2,500 USD||Stainless steel, dial rotated by 40°, monopusher chronograph, date|
|Heritage Diver 1967, L2.808.4.52.6||2,100 USD||Stainless steel, diving chronograph, date, red rotatable bezel, water-resistant to 300 m (984 ft)|
|Heritage Avigation BigEye, L2.818.104.22.168||2,100 USD||Stainless steel, column-wheel chronograph, large minute counter|
|Heritage Skin Diver, L2.822.214.171.124||2,000 USD||Stainless steel, retro diving watch, water-resistant to 300 m (984 ft)|
|Heritage Legend Diver, L3.6126.96.36.199||1,700 USD||Stainless steel, internal rotatable bezel, date, water-resistant to 300 m (984 ft)|
|Heritage Classic Tuxedo, L2.3188.8.131.52||1,600 USD||Stainless steel, small seconds|
|Heritage Military 1938, L2.7184.108.40.206||1,300 USD||Stainless steel, GMT function, date|
|Conquest Heritage, L1.6220.127.116.11||930 USD||Stainless steel, date, black dial|
How much does a Longines Heritage cost?
The most affordable Longines Heritage is the 35-mm Conquest Heritage at around 910 USD. The 40-mm version is significantly more expensive at roughly 1,700 USD. Watches in the Heritage Classic line, such as the Sector Dial, Silver Arrow, and Tuxedo, will also set you back around 1,700 USD.
Other timeless Heritage models run between around 2,000 and 3,900 USD. These include the Heritage Diver, BigEye, Type A-7 1935, and the stainless steel version of the Lindbergh Hour Angle.
Gold Longines watches have much heftier price tags. The Heritage Chronograph in yellow or rose gold demands between 6,400 and 7,800 USD. The most exclusive model is the Weems Second-Setting Watch in rose gold, which you can buy for around the 13,000 USD mark.
Longines has been producing navigation and pilot's watches since the early 20th century. The Heritage 1918 bears a strong resemblance to the brand's earliest pilot's watches thanks to its pivoting looped lugs, cathedral hands, stylized Arabic numerals, and small seconds at 6 o'clock. The automatic ETA caliber 2895-2 provides this 41-mm stainless steel timepiece with a date display, which is also found at 6 o'clock. Longines ceased production of this model in 2020 and prices have risen slightly as a result. While you could have bought this timepiece in August 2020 for around 1,200 USD, prices at the time of writing a couple of years later were closer to 1,500 USD.
The Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 is a close relative of the Heritage 1918. Much of its design follows watchmaking conventions from the 1920s. However, what makes this timepiece truly striking is its dial, which Longines has rotated 40 degrees to the right. This allowed pilots to tell the time without having to take their hands off the controls. What's more, this watch also features a chronograph function. A single push-piece integrated into the crown at 2 o'clock controls this feature. It can measure times of up to 30 minutes using a counter at 12 o'clock. The small seconds and date display are positioned at 6 o'clock. The version with a white dial sells for about 2,500 USD, while the version with the black dial requires an investment of between 2,700 and 3,500 USD.
A cushion-shaped case and fluted bezel give the Heritage 1935 a much more modern feel. Simple Arabic numerals further add to this impression, especially since this numeral style is a popular choice for today's pilot's watches. These stark white numerals also contrast beautifully against the black dial. Furthermore, the pear-shaped hands and hour markers both glow in the dark. A small seconds and date display at 6 o'clock round off the timepiece. Longines removed this model from their catalog some time ago, but you can still find listings for this pilot's watch on Chrono24 for around 2,000 USD.
Lindbergh, Weems, and Swissair Navigation Watches
The Heritage collection contains one of Longines' flagship models, the Hour Angle Watch, which can trace its roots back to the pioneering aviator Charles Lindbergh, who flew nonstop from New York to Paris in 1927. In fact, Longines built the watch using Lindbergh's own designs. Originally released in 1931, current Hour Angle timepieces are nearly identical to their historic predecessors. The dial features numerous scales that enabled Lindbergh to keep track of his position on his record-setting journeys. Internationally, this 47.5-mm stainless steel timepiece is known as the Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch. The current version has the reference number L2.618.104.22.168 and is listed for roughly 4,000 USD on Chrono24. Longines also regularly releases limited editions in honor of Lindbergh's history-making transatlantic flight. Depending on the model, these collector's items sell for anywhere from 4,200 to 9,800 USD.
Lindbergh's Hour Angle Watch was actually based on another legendary Longines creation: the Weems Second-Setting Watch. The Swiss manufacturer developed this watch in the 1920s in cooperation with American pilot and navigational instructor Philip Van Horn Weems. This timepiece features a button-operated mechanism that allows the wearer to synchronize the time to a radio signal. The Weems Second-Setting Watch comes with a white dial and your choice of black Arabic numerals or Breguet-style Roman numerals. In terms of material, this watch is available in stainless steel or rose gold. Plan to spend around 3,400 USD on the stainless steel version. The rose gold edition changes hands for about 13,000 USD.
Another notable model in this collection is the Heritage Twenty-Four Hours. Its storied predecessor was developed for Swissair navigators in the 1950s. Instead of the usual dial with 12 hours, this watch displays 24 hours. The hands, numerals, and indices are coated with white luminous material and stand out clearly against the black dial. Plan to spend roughly 2,500 USD on this 47.5-mm stainless steel watch.
Retro Longines Chronographs
Longines has a long history of producing chronographs, which is why so many Heritage models have a stopwatch function. Some examples include the Heritage Classic Chronograph and Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946. Both of these stainless steel models measure 40 mm in diameter and are powered by the caliber L895. This movement features a subdial for the small seconds at 3 and a 30-minute counter at 9 o'clock.
The difference between the two chronographs is found in their dial designs. The Classic Chronograph follows in the footsteps of models from the 1930s: The white dial center is surrounded by a black minute track, which is itself encompassed by a white tachymeter scale. The subdials are also white. The Classic Chronograph 1946, is based on a watch released in that same year and has a completely white dial with black Arabic numerals.
If you are interested in owning one of these chronographs, you'll need to have between 2,300 and 2,500 USD on hand.
Avigation BigEye: A Pilot's Chronograph
The design language of the Heritage Avigation BigEye borrows heavily from pilot's watches from the 1940s. You'll notice the large subdial at 3 o'clock, which was the inspiration for the watch's name. This subdial is for the 30-minute counter and has indices at 3-minute intervals. The BigEye features an hour counter at 6 and the small seconds at 9 o'clock.
The caliber L688 is housed inside the 41-mm case. This movement is based on the A08.L01 from ETA and offers a power reserve of 66 hours.
Longines produces two versions of the BigEye. The stainless steel version has a black dial and costs around 2,000 USD on Chrono24. The edition released in 2021 is crafted from titanium and features a petrol blue dial with a beautiful color gradient. This more colorful version demands an investment of around 2,600 USD.
Although Longines have retired the Heritage Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece from their portfolio, it's still a fantastic watch to buy on the secondary market. As its name implies, this retro watch's chronograph function is operated via a single pusher. In this case, it is integrated into the crown. The automatic caliber L788, a modified version of the ETA A08.L11, powers the timepiece. This movement features a column wheel mechanism and can measure periods of time up to 30 minutes with the subdial at 3 o'clock. A date display at 6 and small seconds at 9 o'clock complete the dial. This 41-mm stainless steel watch comes with a black or white dial and demands anywhere from 1,900 to 2,200 USD, depending on the exact model.
If you're a fan of traditional chronographs with three subdials, you may enjoy the Heritage Column-Wheel Chronograph. This watch was a member of the Heritage family until 2018, and has three subdials at 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. The central set of dauphine hands are a clear nod to 1950's watch design. The caliber L688 (ETA A08.L01) ticks away inside the 39-mm case and provides this timepiece with its chronograph function and a date display between 4 and 5 o'clock. Longines pairs the 39-mm rose gold edition of this column-wheel chronograph with a crocodile leather strap. This model costs around 6,400 USD. At 1,800 USD, the stainless steel version is much more affordable.
The Conquest Heritage pays tribute to the first Conquest model from 1954. This simple three-hand watch features dauphine hands, wedge indices, and a date display at 12 o'clock. Longines offers the Conquest Heritage in two sizes, 35 and 40 mm, making it a great choice for all wrist sizes. What's more, you can also choose between a black or white silver-plated dial and a stainless steel or rose gold case.
Prices for 35-mm stainless steel watches begin at around 920 USD on Chrono24, while the 40-mm edition costs approximately 1,700 USD. The more luxurious gold editions require an investment of about 3,400 USD.
Retro Heritage Military Watches
Longines produced a steady stream of military watches throughout the 1930s and 40s. Tidy, easy-to-read dials characterize these timepieces. The designs survive to this day in the form of the Heritage Military, Heritage Military 1938, and Heritage 1945. In 2020, Longines unveiled the Heritage Marine Nationale, a timepiece that revives the military watch the manufacturer produced for the French Navy in 1947. All models are three-hand watches, though they vary as to whether there are three central hands or two central hands with a small seconds at 6 o'clock. In 2018, Longines released a version of the Military 1938 with a GMT function. You can also choose between a black or silver dial with contrasting white or black numerals, respectively.
Plan to spend between 1,300 and 2,000 USD on a military watch from the Heritage collection.
Longines Heritage Diving Watches
You can also find diving watches in the Heritage collection, including the Heritage Diver 1967. This watch offers water resistance to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) and a striking red, rotatable bezel. The Diver 1967 is powered by the chronograph caliber L688.2 and has a 42-mm stainless steel case. This model sells for around 2,200 USD new.
The design cues of the Heritage Diver Automatic and Heritage Diver Chronograph are taken directly from the 1970s. You'll recognize this by their barrel-shaped cases, twelve-sided fixed bezel, and internal diving ring. An extra crown is used to measure diving time, which is located at 2 o'clock on the Diver Automatic and 10 o'clock on the Diver Chronograph. Both watches offer a depth rating of 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft) and share a black dial with applied, luminous indices and a sunken minute track. The three-hand watch costs about 1,600 USD, while the chronograph will set you back around 2,100 USD.
Skin Diver and Legend Diver
Up until 2021, the Heritage collection was also home to the Skin Diver and Legend Diver. Longines has since dedicated an entire collection to each of these diving watches.
The Legend Diver is the more affordable of the two models. Similar to the Heritage Diver, this model features an internal rotating bezel for setting and monitoring dive times and is water-resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft). You can operate the internal bezel using the extra crown at 2 o'clock. The Legend Diver is available as a 36 or 42-mm watch and with a black or white dial. In 2021, Longines expanded the color palette to include variants with blue or brown dials with a dégradé effect. Another new addition came in the form of a bronze watch with a green dial.
You can pair these models with a matching rubber strap, leather strap, or stainless steel bracelet. Prices for stainless steel Legend Divers with a black dial come in at around 1,700 USD, while watches with a blue or brown dial cost just under 1,900 USD. If you're interested in the bronze version, you'll need to invest around 2,400 USD.
Longines released yet another retro diving watch in 2018: the Heritage Skin Diver. Its design was inspired by the company's very first diving watch, the Nautilus Skin Diver from 1959. Like its predecessor, the Heritage Skin Diver comes with a black diving bezel, a black dial with luminous beige indices, and an hour hand with a distinctive arrow-shaped tip. Its 42-mm stainless steel case features a steel case back and a screw-down crown. The watch is water-resistant to 300 m (30 bar, 984 ft). Longines mounts this timepiece on a rubber strap, Milanese stainless steel bracelet, or leather strap. Prices depend on the band and sit between 1,900 and 2,100 USD.
Dress Watches Inspired by the 1940s and 50s
Retro dress watches also make an appearance in the Heritage collection. The rose gold Présence Heritage is a particularly fine example. Playful Arabic numerals and tempered blue Breguet hands adorn its white silver-plated dial. The 34 and 38.5-mm editions also feature a small seconds at 6 o'clock, while the 26.5-mm version has a central second hand. Depending on which case size you choose, prices for the Présence Heritage can come in anywhere between 2,300 and 2,900 USD.
The Flagship Heritage is a stunning recreation of classic Longines dress watches from the 1950s. Its silver dial radiates restrained elegance with its narrow, gold-plated line indices and dauphine hands. The date and small seconds at 6 o'clock only enhance the effect. The high-quality brown leather strap is the perfect complement to this timepiece. Prices for the Flagship Heritage range from 1,100 to 1,400 USD, depending on the watch's condition.
The Heritage Classic Sector Dial and the Heritage Classic Tuxedo also have very interesting aesthetics. The former takes inspiration from watches from the 1930s, which often sported sector dials. This geometric design separates the dial into sub-sections using thin lines. The effect is enhanced by the fact that the sectors have different finishes. The center is matte, while the outer ring hosting the minute track is brushed in a concentric pattern. The small seconds at 6 o'clock features a fine, grooved pattern. The 38.5-mm stainless steel watch is available with a silver or black dial. Depending on the version you opt for, you can expect to see prices between 1,500 and 1,700 USD on Chrono24.
The only difference between the Heritage Classic Tuxedo and the Sector Dial is the dial design. The Tuxedo has a two-tone design: the center ring and the small seconds subdial at 6 o'clock are a light beige. The broad minute track, on the other hand, is black. The Arabic numerals are luminescent in a vintage, light yellow hue. Plan to spend just south of 1,600 USD on a Longines Tuxedo.