190 years is an incredibly long time for a business to be operating, a milestone the Longines is celebrating this year. To put that into context, Longines has overseen the entire reigns of both of Britain’s longest serving monarchs, having been founded in 1932, a few years before Victoria took to the throne. To commemorate this occasion, they have launched a trio of Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary special editions.
Each of the three watches in the Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary offers a slightly different interpretation of the same design. All three have 40mm round cases but one is in steel, the second in rose gold and the final in yellow gold. The two gold models are each a limited edition of 190 pieces (both of which have already sold out).
It’s a similar story with their dials. They each have an elegant time-only display with engraved Arabic numerals, but the finishes are all unique. The steel model, Ref. L2.7220.127.116.11, has a sandblasted dial in silver accompanied by blued steel hands. Then, the yellow gold Ref. L2.718.104.22.168 has a brushed grey dial with gilt hands and the rose gold Ref. L2.722.214.171.124 has a grained anthracite dial and pink hands. The aesthetic is very classic and while they’re undoubtedly elegant, a little embellishment would make them much more interesting. Perhaps something Art Deco like the Longines DolceVita.
Housed inside each is the calibre L888.5, an automatic movement based on the ETA A31.L11. It has a 72-hour power reserve and runs with a frequency of 25,500 vph. It’s the sort of movement that exemplifies Longines, it’s a solid mechanical movement with good specs that doesn’t cost the world. That’s why Longines have a devoted collector fanbase, their watches are good enough to be prestigious and sought after, like the Ultra-Chron, and you don’t have to be a millionaire to buy one.
In that regard, the £2,050 Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary Ref. L2.7126.96.36.199 is the perfect watch to celebrate the identity of Longines. The limited edition gold models are substantially pricier at £10,190 so the fact they’ve sold out is further proof, if it was needed, that Longines has some very dedicated collectors. Personally, I would have preferred a commemorative Spirit Zulu but the Master Collection makes more thematic sense for the occasion.
Price & Specs:
- Model: Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary
- Ref: L2.7188.8.131.52 (stainless steel case with silver dial)
L2.7184.108.40.206 (18k yellow gold case with brushed grey dial)
L2.7220.127.116.11 (18k rose gold case with grained anthracite dial)
- Case/dial: 40mm diameter x 9.35mm thickness, stainless steel, 18k yellow gold or 18k rose gold case, sandblasted silver, vertical brushed grey or grained anthracite dial
- Water resistance: 30m (3 bar)
- Movement: Calibre L888.5, automatic, 21 jewels
- Frequency: 25,200 vph (3.5 Hz)
- Power reserve: 72h
- Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
- Strap: Anthracite alligator leather with triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism (stainless steel) or 18k gold buckle (yellow/rose gold)
- Price/availability: £2,050 (stainless steel) and £10,190 (yellow/rose gold), limited to 190 pieces