During a lunch with Swatch Group executives today, we all shared a laugh over how it feels more like Baselworld 1957 rather than Baselworld 2017. If we had placed bets for each brand which has reached into its archives for muse this year, we would be buying watches rather than publicising or writing about them. That said, the practice of heritage re-issues is inherently fraught with danger – you’re either doing it right by collectors and alienating folks who have the original or taking a commercial stance and slapping an out of place date window or some other odd design element which somehow alters the character of the original. For Baselworld 2017, the Longines Flagship Heritage 60th Anniversary hits all the right notes. Longines sold its first Flagship in 1957, and at the time it was a big success and a true classic gent’s watch – birthed with the Draper-esque aesthetics, it was emblematic of the classic men’s dress watch of the Mad Men era and a period of great commercial achievement for the St. Imier brand. From the silvery opaline dial, thin almost non-existent bezel and fine lugs, driven with hand-wound caliber 30L, it was a blend of technical and artistic refinement. Thoroughly elegant, the Longines Flagship owes its name to the Fleet Admiral’s flag on the ship he commands – usually the most advanced and top of the line model in a naval armada; this tradition is identified by the caseback where a caravel relief is stamped. Celebrating its 60th birthday, the Longines Flagship Heritage 60th Anniversary is directly inspired by a Flagship model at the St. Imier headquarters and coincidentally, a favourite of present Longines Ambassador Kate Winslet.
Baselworld 2017 Longines Flagship Heritage 60th Anniversary: an exceptional anniversary timepiece celebrating 1957-2017
The St. Imier watchmaker celebrates 60 years of this iconic collection (from 1957 to 2017) at Baselworld 2017 with a heritage re-issue of the Longines Flagship in numbered and limited edition models available in steel, yellow gold and rose gold. Not plated, actual yellow gold and actual rose gold. Also returning is the Caravel motif on caseback, much like the original Flagship model. Of course, it’s no longer a manual calibre which drives the Longines Flagship, instead the numbered limited edition heritage re-issue is powered by a modified ETA 2892 made exclusively for Longines as a L609 mechanical calibre in a classic 38.5mm (believe me, the purists are thankful it’s not “contemporary 40mm”). The exclusive models in both yellow or rose gold are limited to 60 pieces each while the steel editions are limited to 1957 (the birth year). The brushed silvery dial is adorned with 8 indexes and 4 Arabic numerals, in yellow gold or rose gold colours. A brown leather watch strap completes this exceptional heritage re-issue.
The stainless steel Longines Flagship Heritage 60th Anniversary is priced SG$3040. Both gold versions are priced SG$11930.
This exudes understated class.