New Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946 A refined classic reborn by Ben HodgesJanuary 13, 2020 MIN READNew Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946
Entering in a new decade always breeds predictions of what we’ll see and experience for the next ten years: New technologies, new entertainment, new world events. At least one thing that carries over from the last decade is the vintage re-edition trend from luxury watch brands.
Longines Heritage 1946
Fresh from Longines is the Heritage Chronograph 1946. The 1946 pays tribute to a watch from the Longines archive.
Although vintage fatigue set in for me towards the end of the last decade, I’ve always felt that the Longines Heritage collection has existed outside of the “fauxtina” fad. Possibly down to the everlasting designs of Longines that the timepieces seem contemporary yet classic in any era.
The Chronograph 1946 also avoids the pitfalls of faux lume and instead keeps the design authentic but with subtly refined lines. The original watch elected to use sharp shoulders on the minute hand known as “feather” hands. The blued central hands are leaf-shaped on the current model leading to a more stylish look yet maintains a functional shape.
Keeping Things to a Minimum
The other big plus for me is the restraint of text on the dial. Brands invest heavily in their logos, from graphics to the typeface. In this instance, the pared-back branding means that this watch appears crisp and clean from a distance. The wordmark is so tastefully restrained that at first glance, this could be taken for an unbranded product. But Longines are confident enough and respectful of their heritage to risk this for the goal of satisfying the purists out there who appreciate faithfulness.
A little contrast finishing of brushed and polished surfaces could have added a lot of interest to how this watch catches the light.
An aspect I’m not so keen on is that all facets of the watch are polished. While this is a luxury watch and needs a “wow” factor, I find when all surfaces are polished, it mirrors too much of the surroundings, losing the outline of the case to the environment. A little contrast finishing of brushed and polished surfaces could have added a lot of interest to how this watch catches the light.
Extra credit is due, however, for the position of the sunken sub-dials for the running seconds and 30-minute totalizer. The case of the modern 1946 is slightly larger than the inspiration, widening from 38mm to 40mm, but the sub-dials remain proportionally spaced on the dial.
Beautiful Breguet numerals run the circumference of the dial, even if the subdials slightly chomp away 3 and 9 o’clock indices. Cushion pushers activate the chronograph functions, in keeping with the museum piece. You could also draw an invisible curved line from the start/stop pusher, over the crown and down to the reset pusher (that’s the kind of conscious detailing I appreciate).
The solid steel case back features a Historic Longines logo to compensate for the lack of the winged logo on the dial. Additionally, the winged hourglass logo makes an appearance on the crown.
Powering the Longines Chronograph 1946 is the self-winding L895.5, developed exclusively by ETA under the Swatch Group umbrella. Although, it doesn’t have the flyback function made famous by Longines with the legendary 13ZN movement in the 1940s. With the case and boxy sapphire glass, the watch is fairly thick but still elegant thanks to the increased diameter which flattens the case against the wrist somewhat.
Brand Longines ModelHeritage Classic Chronograph 1946ReferenceL2.8184.108.40.206DialSilverCase MaterialStainless steelCase Dimensions40mmCrystalSapphireCase BackSolid with withe winged hourglass logo from 1889MovementL895.5Water Resistance30 MetresStrapSmooth leatherFunctionsChronographPrice2,850 Euros Watch of the Week
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About the author
Ben has been working in central London for 7 years. In that time, Ben has developed an interest in watches after being gifted his father’s Breitling at 25. He explores the weird and wonderful in horology at all price ranges,… read more
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