One to watch: The Longines Heritage Military

Longines’ watch dedicated to the RAF is moving the brand’s heritage collection into even more stylish territory

The Heritage collection is, in my humble opinion, the best thing that Longines does. Chic, minimalistic watches with retro design touches, made with Swiss precision engineering – all for a sensible price. And now, there’s a new one.

The Heritage Military is coming this December, and is revisiting an important chapter in Longines’ history. In the 1940s, the brand was commissioned to make a run of small but tough timepieces for the RAF (primarily for use by ground staff, as opposed to pilots – who needed oversized watches to keep time in the cockpit), the resultant design was a nifty little 32.5mm three-hand watch in Longines’ signature bevelled steel case.

This new watch is true to the spirit of the original; in fact its design is based on one particular timepiece unearthed by Longines that belonged to RAF radiotelegraph operator Stanley Turner, who served during WWII. Although its size has been blown up to a more conventional 38.5mm case, the watch’s case shape, blued steel hands, simple Arabic numerals and opaline dial are all true to the 1940s design. Though the modern watch houses an automatic movement, Longines has made this the only piece in its current collection that doesn’t display ‘Automatic’, again to preserve the looks of the original in this reissue.

There are other snappy details too; the oversized crown adds a masculine edge to the watch, as does the rugged green calf strap, and the dial has been given a unique ‘vintage’ treatment. Specifically, every dial has been delicately misted by hand with fine droplets of black paint – mirroring the oxidisation seen on Mr Turner’s timepiece – ensuring that each individual watch is subtly unique.

The movement’s self winding, with a 64-hour power reserve, and the watch is also water resistant to 30 metres deep, so its rugged looks are matched by its practicality, too.

If you’re looking for a watch that’s understated, smartly-made and subtly different, this piece gets our vote.

Coming December 2o18,