TRIBUTE TO HISTORY – Inspired by a 1940s model dedicated to Britain’s Royal Air Force, Longines expands its heritage collection with the new Heritage Military
Longines has always placed great importance on honoring its rich past and drawing inspiration from it. For the former it has always went to great lengths to preserve the brand’s archives and the know-how of its watchmakers, while for the latter it has constantly grown its historical collections.
It is in this spirit of tradition and preservation of heritage that the winged hourglass company is expanding its Heritage collection with a reimagined military model from the 1940s. The resulting piece—which was first gleaned at the Baselworld fair earlier this year—is the Longines Heritage Military.
In the Background
The Longines Heritage Military draws its inspiration from a vintage watch originally created for members of the British Royal Air Force (RAF). Stanley Turner—a highly decorated radiotelegraph operator aboard an RAF aircraft during the Second World War—famously wore this model around his wrist. Turner’s watch was recovered and offered to the Swiss brand by a young English collector, who then inspired the current reissue.
To reproduce the patina on the original timepiece, the dial on the Longines Heritage Military watch has been hand sprayed with tiny black droplets, which also ensured that each and every piece would be visually unique.
On a more technical note, the new Longines Heritage Military comes with a curved and fully polished bezel and a box-form sapphire crystal. Despite housing an automatic movement (the L888.2) inside, this piece stands out among Longines’ contemporary offerings as the only one not to carry the “automatic” label on its dial. This is, of course, meant to preserve the spirit of watchmaking as it was done in the 1940s.
A New Identity
Up front, the Longines Heritage Military displays a silver, opaline dial with the aforementioned fine droplets in black paint. This marked the first time that Longines used this approach. More importantly, it was done entirely by hand in order to mimic the random nature of oxidation found on the original watch. And again, a side effect of this treatment was that every watch became subtly unique.
With its minimalist design and 38.5mm case, the Longines Heritage Military flawlessly adheres to the refined aesthetic and spirit of the period timepiece that inspired it. The oversized winding crown further evokes the original watch’s ease of handling. A green, aged leather strap completes the watch. as a final touch, the watch is presented in a specially designed case that also contains a NATO strap in the same shade is also along with the required
Once again, Longines manages to breathe new life into a historic model. It was also a most timely move, as the Royal Air Force celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. If anything, this was a wonderful tribute to both the venerated service as well as Longines’ own heritage of classical watchmaking. The new Longines Heritage Military, therefore, becomes the perfect accompaniment on the wrist of fearless gentlemen who prefer timepieces with a courageous past.
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