Another entry into Longines excellent Heritage Collection, another watch to put on my wishlist. This time the watchmaker is stepping away from the military-style pieces they’ve dabbled with most recently in favour of a more stylish approach in the new Heritage Classic Tuxedo models.
Rather than the military austerity of the early 1940s from which Longines previously drew inspiration, the new Tuxedo models leap forwards half a decade to the jazz-slanted freedom of the post-war years.
It’s pretty self-evident why collectors decided to dub the original models the Tuxedos; the high-contrast black and white is as handsome and elegant as its namesake dinner suit. In the new models, that signature look is shown off in two distinctly different ways.
The first is with a classic, restrained 1940s dial, complete with white numerals on a black ring around the edge. The rest of the dial is silvered, hammering home the classic dress watch look and making room for the small seconds, which is finished with a touch of guilloche for a nice textural aside from the main dial.
To keep things faithful to the original, Longines has dropped the usual ‘automatic’ lettering from the dial, as well as the date window. It’s a subtle change but one that illustrates why collectors go crazy for the Heritage collection.
Inside the vintage-sized 38.5mm case is the L893.5 automatic movement which, like many a Swatch Group timepiece, is equipped with a silicon balance spring for reliability and accuracy.
Slightly more interesting though is the second variation on the theme, the Tuxedo Chronograph. There’s a lot going on with the dial, with the outer ring dedicated to the tachymetre, taken wholesale from the archived piece, followed by the black with white numerals before reaching the chronograph counters. The subdials themselves cut considerably into the Arabic numerals for a quirkier, more visually interesting dial.
Slightly larger at 40mm and housing the L895.5 (again with a silicon balance spring), I’m going to stick my neck out and say this is the finest Longines Heritage watch to date. And that’s saying something.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Heritage Classic Tuxedo Small Seconds; Heritage Classic Tuxedo Chronograph
Ref: L2.318.104.22.168 (Small Seconds); L2.822.214.171.124 (Chronograph)
Case/Dial: 38.50mm (Small Seconds) and 40mm (Chronograph), stainless steel
Water Resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Calibre L893 (ETA A31.501), automatic, silicon hairspring, 27 jewels (Small Seconds)
Calibre L895 (ETA A31.L21), automatic, modular chronograph, 37 jewels (Chronograph)
Frequency: 25,200 vph (Small Seconds); 28,800 vph (Chronograph)
Power Reserve: 64h (Small Seconds); 54h (Chronograph)
Functions: Hours and minutes, small seconds (Small Seconds)
Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph with 30-minute counter (Chronograph)
Strap: Black calfskin with steel pin buckle
Price: €1,920 (Small Seconds) and €2,880 (Chronograph)
More details at Longines.