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.
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.
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?
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Michael Peñate is an American writer, photographer, and podcaster based in Seattle, Washington. His work typically focuses on the passage of time and the tools we use to connect with that very journey. From aviation to music and travel, his interests span a multitude of disciplines that often intersect with the world of watches – and the obsessive culture behind collecting them.