This is the new Longines Heritage 1945, a watch that I was particularly thrilled to see in the metal. I named it as one of my favorites of the show so far in our live report last night, and I have to say this watch really speaks to me. The 1940s is arguably my favorite decade for watch design, and this simple calatrava-style case design with a flat bezel and a curved convex dial is just stunning. And it’s now a production piece in the often-wonderful Longines Heritage line. But my connection to this watch goes a little deeper.
A little over one year ago, I received a note from a representative at Longines in St. Imier, Switzerland, telling me that they had seen a post on Instagram of a watch that I was wearing. The watch I was wearing? It looked like this:
This is a Longines watch that I’ve had in my personal collection for some years now. It dates to, you guessed it, 1945, and has what is truly one of the most stunning case profiles and dials I’ve seen on any time-only watch from this period. The dial is salmon colored, and the profile is curved. The sub-seconds register is small, and flows with the angle of the dial flawlessly. The hands are blued steel, long and thin. The watch is in extremely good condition for its age, and though it did not cost me a lot of money when I bought it, it has caught the eye of several top collectors with whom I occasionally chill.
I didn’t really know what Longines wanted with my watch – I was told the museum wanted to see it, and of course I obliged. Many months later, after my watch was returned to me, I was contacted again by a representative of Longines to say hey maybe there might be something coming out I might like. Today, I saw what it was. It’s my watch! Only new.
The Longines Heritage 1945 takes much of what is great about my own watch – the wide flat bezel, the curved dial, and the lovely period markers and fonts – and creates a modern watch out of it. Now it’s 40mm instead of 38mm, and it’s automatic instead of manually-wound, but the feeling is there. What’s more, Longines decided to pair it with the same style of strap on which I wear mine.
Longines has been completely transparent about the inspiration for this watch, and has told many journalists today about its origins from a certain Instagram post. It’s an honor for me, and I would never talk about this without the express consent of Longines (which they’ve graciously given me). But I am thrilled to tell my little side of the story here on what I think is one of the coolest simple watches of Baselworld 2017.
I’m spending more time with the new Longines Heritage 1945 later this week at Basel, and they do currently have my watch with them at the booth, so I’ll be sure to shoot some side-by-side photos to compare the two. Pricing will be around $2,000, but we’ll have official U.S. pricing soon.
For more, visit Longines online.