Most watchmakers have some kind of military history; just look at the Dirty Dozen if you need an illustration. But while that’s the most famous collection of military pieces, watchmakers were creating hard-wearing field watches before WWII – including Longines, as shown by the new Heritage Military 1938.
The new historical re-issue is a lot more elegant than you might expect from a field watch and, despite what seems like a more contemporary 43mm stainless steel case, is incredibly faithful to the original. It retains the same bevelled bezel and sea-urchin crown, not to mention the matte black dial and cream Arabic numerals that have come to define a field watch.
All of the elements, while lovely to look at, have practical purposes too. The crown makes for easy adjustment, while the pared-back dial makes reading the railway track small seconds easy at a glance. Granted it’s probably a bit less technical than modern military watches, but it won’t let you down if you’re a civilian.
More importantly, it’s yet another in Longines’ immensely long line of collectors’ pieces that have hit the nail on the proverbial head. Limited to 1,938 pieces – a reference to the original watch’s production year – we can’t imagine them sticking around for long.
Price & Specs:
Model Name: Longines Heritage Military 1938
Case/Dial: 43mm diameter, stainless steel, matte black dial
Water Resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Caliber L507, mechanical with manual winding
Frequency: 18,000 vph (2.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 40h
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock
Strap: Leather with buckle
Price: £2,020, limited to 1,938 pieces
More details at longines.co.uk