It’s sometimes easy to forget that Longines is one of five watch brands that sell more than $1 billion worth of watches annually. When you consider the relatively high price of the average watch sold by the other four companies, the average price of Longines is about $2,000, which means a lot of replica watches are sold. It is no exaggeration to conclude that Longines knows better than any other brand how to sell moderately priced luxury watches.
It’s been several years since the release of the Longines Flagship Heritage, though I never got to spend more than a minute or two with it until recently. Its design is inspired by the history of the brand itself, and at the same time it has a very fashionable sense of construction.
The popular replica Longines Flagship collection was introduced in 1957, and this contemporary Flagship Heritage carries a lot of visual cues and design choices from some vintage models while making the necessary adjustments for contemporary tastes and preferences. Case size is increased, but I think, at 38.5mm-wide and 10.25mm-thick with a 46mm lug-to-lug, it hits that Goldilocks “just right” size for a modern dress watch.
But however, Longines describes the dial as being “silver” but I think it’s closer to a very light cream color. It’s a mellow, subtle tone that nails the “vintage-inspired” aesthetic while staying far, far away from precarious fauxtina. The applied indices and Longines wings logo have some awesome details and chamfering, which goes a very long way in contributing to how this watch really looks and feels like something a notch or two above its price point. The lugs also have decorative chamfering and serve as another subtle but refined touch.
The dauphine hour and minutes hands have a thin strip of lume on each, which is really obvious at a passing glance but will make do when the functionality is required. I trust vintage Flagship watches either had no date window or a date window at 3 o’clock. Here, the date window is at 6 o’clock, which is a great concession that offers the obvious usefulness of a date-window with the aesthetic symmetry provided by its placement. Besides, vintage style but with contemporary functionality that’s done in a very tasteful and refined way when necessary. Noticing the pattern here?
The decision to have a steel caseback with the enamel Flagship emblem found on the vintage models was likely an easy one, but still crucial to the watch’s design success overall. Instead of having an exhibition caseback that would ultimately fall flat, there is the decorative blue- and gold-colored circle depicting a pretty impressively detailed and textured ship design. It’s a bit of attention-grabbing flair that adds a ton of character to an admittedly conservative dress watch.
It’s a wise move that shows off a true-to-the-original vintage design touch that’s particular to Longines. Inside the watch is the L615 movement, which is a modified ETA 2895 that operates at 28,800 vph and has a 42-hour power reserve. It does the job as a tried and true sport, but it won’t make a good exhibition case without some serious revision. However, closed cases address this issue.