The Longines Heritage 1945 (And A Broke Watch Snob’s Personal Opinion)

By: Michael Penate

The Longines Heritage 1945 (And A Broke Watch Snob’s Personal Opinion)

By: Michael Penate

With Baselworld well behind us and an exhausting set of releases to fuel our #dailywatch feeds for another year, it’s nice to sit back and reflect on some of the pieces that didn’t get as much attention as they should have. For 2017, Longines celebrated their 185th anniversary with an impressive line-up of new releases ranging from the COSC-certified Record collection to the ultra-accurate quartz Conquest V.H.P. series. However, a simple calatrava-style 40mm “dress” watch may very well be their most important release of the year and one that has this snob questioning his anti-dress watch philosophy. So much so that it has me looking a little closer as I try to find what caused this watch to shoot to the top of my Baselworld 2017 favorites list.

Based on svelte “Calatrava” designs of the 1940s, the Longines Heritage 1945 serves up a fair bit of early 20th century appeal with a few modern refinements. Without going into too much detail, let’s take a look at some quick specs―which might lead me to add this watch to the mental “short list” sooner than I expected.

Vertical brushing on the salmon colored dial is one the nicest features on the Longines Heritage 1945.

The 40mm case of the Longines Heritage 1945 is all steel, provides 30 meters of water resistance, and features a flat, minimal bezel that serves to accent the dial. While I can’t put my finger on it just yet, I think the dial, with its slightly rustic color tones and old-world appeal, is what really won me over. Six Arabic numerals and six cabochons pair with the blued leaf hands for one of the most enjoyable time-only layouts you could ask for. To top it off, the included beige leather strap seems to feature a slightly distressed look, which is neither too dressy or casual thanks to the exposed stitching.

Inside is the Longines caliber L609, an ETA 2895/2 (living under the Swatch umbrella has its perks) that offers reliable and serviceable operation. I mean, with a 42-hour power reserve and that kind of robust movement architecture, what more can you ask for? It’s also worth noting that the inclusion of an automatic movement is one of the biggest departures from the original 1940s models, which featured manually wound movements.

The distressed leather really dresses the watch down and pairs well with the dial.

If I’d have to pick one negative point, it would be the placement of the running seconds sub-dial. At first it just seemed a little off but I’d be able to live with it if it meant getting this watch on wrist.

So what is it about the Longines Heritage 1945 that has it taking up a fair chunk of my watch lust time? To be honest, I’m not sure I’ve figured that out yet. In earlier episodes of our podcast, I’ve admitted that it would be difficult for me to allocate a big chunk of funds to tie up in a dedicated “dressy” watch. That’s why I love brands like Collinsville, which offer a no-nonsense affordable game plan to help you fill the void with a high-quality timepiece.

Still, the combination of rough and graceful design elements just feels so right. However, at $1700, that’s #Doxamoney, and it definitely falls in a price range I never imagined considering for a dress piece. I’d really have to think about it. Whatever your preferences are, it’s still a great deal if you ask me and I can’t wait to see one in person when they hit authorized dealers later this year. To learn more about the Longines Heritage 1945, visit longines.com. Also, tell us what you think! Is the Longines Heritage 1945 worth the price tag and does it speak to you as more than just a typical dress watch?

Get more Longines info and a history of the brand!

Photos: Longines

17 thoughts on “The Longines Heritage 1945 (And A Broke Watch Snob’s Personal Opinion)”

  1. It’s a cool watch, but for some reason feels a little too self conscious in its faux vintageness to me? Like they went out of their way to make it look like the dial had been aged by exposure to the Moroccan sun, as the wearer sat on the balcony of a dusty riad, hammering out a novel on his trusty Smith Corona. Maybe that’s a harsh assessment. The cabochons (I had always called them “metal dot things” but I’m aware that’s a fairly technical term) are legit.

    Reply
    • All fair points. I think whether we like it or not, the reproduction of true vintage aesthetic is a trend that’s going to hang around the watchmaking industry for a while. Execution is everything and this dial can definitely be overdone in some ways. That said, it’s quite difficult to tell from press images alone and I’d love to see it in person. Vertical brushing is one thing but if it goes beyond that, it might turn me off completely.

      Reply
      • Totally. I’m not against brands “going vintage” as a thing. I just think that, like any other stylistic vernacular, it has its pitfalls. Deliberate aging, for example, just seems wrong – and while I can’t quite tell, it KINDA looks like they’re trying to give this a faux-patina. You’re right though, you’d have to see it in person. It’s a subtle distinction and maybe IRL* it doesn’t seem like that at all.

        *Side point: I think Ben Clymer should command his staff to say “IRL” with the same sense of philosophical seriousness that they all say “in the metal” in Hodinkee videos.

        Reply
        • Haha, hey, anything that helps support more of a casual and approachable tone in “watch journalism” is fine by me. Hopefully we both get to see it in person soon. As nice as it is, the Nomos Club 36 still presents some pretty steep competition as far as I can tell.

          Reply
          • Yes! I love the Club 36 (or the 38). This is an imperfect analogy, but to me the Club is the watch the Longines was in 1945. A simple elegant dress piece that feels of the moment but will last long into the future.

  2. I enjoyed the review and concurred with most of your points- I too am not a dress watch person but I like the look of this watch – but then I got to the price tag and was flabbergasted – but I’m a watch newb and 500 dollars is still an expensive watch to me. Still, I can’t imagine considering 1700 on this watch, but I may lack understanding of its intricacies.

    Reply
    • Hey Ben. Glad you liked the write-up. You’re right, $500 is a lot for a watch and I think most people that don’t obsess over the hobby will never even consider spending that much. Same can be said about $1700, $5000, $10000+, etc. I guess it really comes down to how much anyone would feel comfortable spending. That said, it’s all about value in the eyes of the individual buyer. When I was first getting into watches, I couldn’t believe the prices and it feels even weirder to think how a brand can push a $1700 piece as one of their “affordable” models. I guess, in the context of Baselworld where we saw watches pushing into the six figure mark, this thing is priced like a Walmart Casio.

      Reply
  3. Longines makes great heritage watches, like the Legend Diver and mono-pusher chrono-with-no-name, and I love the look of this. It’s definitely more consciously ‘vintage’ looking than their other heritage offerings, but with this style of watch – especially with the salmon dial that matches the original – I think that’s unavoidable. It’s also very welcome, and what makes this watch feel particularly special in my opinion.

    If you look at the original watch (check the Hodinkee article) this is an extremely faithful reproduction. I wish they had kept it a manual movement, especially as the addition of “Automatic” on the dial has, for some reason, made them fuck up the position of the sub seconds. The original position is perfect.

    It doesn’t come out until September, which seems like a waste of all the buzz its getting now.

    Reply
    • Very true. Hard to get away from those design elements when you set out to make a vintage-inspired watch. A manual movement would’ve been so cool but I understand that Longines made the move to appeal to everyday non-WIS buyers…even though it doesn’t have a date feature.

      Reply
  4. I have to say I’m a sucker for vintage blue hands.

    I do really like this watch and I think it’s a great thing for a company like Longines to do and offer at the low end of their pricing scale. Something like this would be what I would get for a milestone watch, maybe in a few years at 40. I really think nicer, classier watches like this are a better milestone stone watch, something to be cherished and passed down.

    Thanks for the great writeup!

    Reply
    • Thanks Nick! Blue hands are a lot of fun, especially in bright sunlight. I’ll say it again, I’m dying to check this watch out in person. Worst part about Basel is that everything takes so long to make it to ADs and boutiques.

      Reply
      • When it comes to a dress watch that also can be worn every day and looks like it can take a beating… Halios Seaforth immediate come to mind. I’ve heard nothing but good about Halios. The Seaforth makes my balls wet. 40mm 12mm thick 47 lug to lug domed sapphire 20mm lugs 6 color and bezel combination solid Miyota 90S5 movement vintage feel. $675. Order it now because they will be sold out fast.

        Reply
  5. The “Heritage” theme is here to stay. Just take a look at Tudor. They are making all their money on the Black Bay line and doing nothing with their sports/style watches. Other than the issue of the LHD Pelagos.
    As an alternative to the $1700 price point the Longines come in at, I’ve been looking at a few Certina pieces that fall well under the 1k and more into the high $400- mid $500s. I know Certina doesn’t have the name recognition that Longines has but if you do some reading they have been around for a bit. Being a Swatch group company they too use ETA movements.
    Hamilton also has a few watches that cut both ways (dress/sport). Another Swatch group. Within the Jazzmaster line you can find sub $500 grey market.
    Nothing in Richemont or LVMH falls into this price point.
    That leaves independents and Asia.
    Seiko has so many SKUs you’ll find something for what every price you’re looking at. I’m thinking Cocktail time or something in the Persage line.
    I know nothing about Citizen.
    Independent/ Micro brands.
    When it comes to a dress watch that also can be worn every day and looks like it can take a beating… Halios Seaforth immediate come to mind. I’ve heard nothing but good about Halios. The Seaforth makes my balls wet. 40mm 12mm thick 47 lug to lug domed sapphire 20mm lugs 6 color and bezel combination solid Miyota 90S5 movement vintage feel. $675. Order it now because they will be sold out fast.

    Reply
  6. The “Heritage” theme is here to stay. Just take a look at Tudor. They are making all their money on the Black Bay line and doing nothing with their sports/style watches. Other than the issue of the LHD Pelagos.

    As an alternative to the $1700 price point the Longines come in at, I’ve been looking at a few Certina pieces that fall well under the 1k and more into the high $400- mid $500s. I know Certina doesn’t have the name recognition that Longines has but if you do some reading they have been around for a bit. Being a Swatch group company they too use ETA movements.

    Hamilton also has a few watches that cut both ways (dress/sport). Another Swatch group. Within the Jazzmaster line you can find sub $500 grey market.

    Reply
    • Certina is actually pretty cool. I’d have to do some reading before diving into auctions or the sales pages but they seem to have made some pretty crazy looking chronos in the past as well. I’ll have to take a look at their dressier stuff too.

      Reply
  7. Nothing in Richemont or LVMH falls into this price point.
    That leaves independents and Asia.
    Seiko has so many SKUs you’ll find something for what every price you’re looking at. I’m thinking Cocktail time or something in the Persage line.
    I know nothing about Citizen.
    Independent/ Micro brands.
    When it comes to a dress watch that also can be worn every day and looks like it can take a beating… Halios Seaforth immediate come to mind. I’ve heard nothing but good about Halios. The Seaforth makes my balls wet. 40mm 12mm thick 47 lug to lug domed sapphire 20mm lugs 6 color and bezel combination solid Miyota 90S5 movement vintage feel. $675. Order it now because they will be sold out fast

    Reply

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