The trend of producing vintage-inspired classic watches is still going strong. There is a reason for it: The combination of timeless classic design, together with modern engineering and technology, makes it a killer combination for many.
Longines is one of the companies that had produced multiple vintage-inspired watches over the years. Dubbed the Heritage collection, it features some of the beloved timepieces that Longines had taken from its illustrious archival books. Some of these vintage-inspired remakes are popular amongst collectors, which include the Legend/Skin Diver, Flagship Heritage 60th Anniversary, and the Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch.
Longines Heritage Classic “Sector Dial”
The Heritage Classic “Sector Dial” is one of the latest novelties from Longines. Heralded from a 1934 timepiece from Longines, the watch is perhaps easily identified by its conspicuous sector dial that gave the timepiece its nomenclature.
The Case, Dial, and Hands
The first thing that attracts our attention is the alluring sector dial. The watch follows the original model faithfully – in terms of the colour scheme, design, and fonts used. This adds a nice touch, and it is certainly respectful to the designer’s original idealogies and intention for the watch.
The dial is split into two distinctive sectors. The outer ring has a brushed metallic finish, contrasted with black painted fonts and indices. This provides great legibility, and making it a breeze for the user to tell time. The internal sector features a smooth white finish, and completed with a crosshair that is another signature touch of the timepiece.
One subtle nice touch that Longines had done for this watch is the blued steel hands, which again adds some contrast to the watch. The combination of the different elements work well on the Heritage Classic, and we have got to say that this is a handsome piece that attracted lots of attention from collectors and non-collectors alike.
Another key factor that sets the Heritage Classic apart from the other novelties is its case. Sized at a palatable 38.5mm, the Heritage Classic is elegant and appropriate for a classic-inspired timepiece.
The case is brush-finished, and it is fitted with a thin bezel that makes the watch look larger than its 38.5mm case size. This is a good compromise especially for collectors who are not used to watches that are generally smaller in size (below 40mm). We are glad that Longines had retained a smaller case size for this model; a larger case would have rendered the timepiece less elegant and proportional.
The Movement: Calibre L893.5
The Heritage Classic is fitted with the Calibre L893.5 – an exclusive movement produced by ETA for Longines. This is a self-winding movement that boasts a power reserve of around 64 hours, and it features a silicon spring balance as well.
One qualm that we have is the fact that this is not a manual-winding movement. While this is not a major deal-breaker, but the romantic part of us would have preferred having the more traditional touch to the watch. It would have fitted the “heritage” theme really nicely as well, although we reckon that Longines might have done this in view of consumer preference.
The Competitive Landscape
The Longines Heritage Classic is a winner in our opinion. A simple but classic design, the sector dial is timeless and looks appropriate even in today’s time and age.
But that’s not just it. The pièce de résistance lies in the value of the watch. This Longines is priced at S$3,180, and it is touted as one of the most modestly-priced sector dial watches that is available in the market today.
One of the more well-known watches with a sector dial is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Date. Prior to this, there are not many watch manufacturers that feature this particular dial option for their watches. Notably, the JLC is more than twice the retail price of the Longines, at US$5,700 (approximately S$7,679). While it is still well-priced for a high-end luxury watch, but it might be out of reach for some entry-level watch collectors.
If we expand the realm into vintage-inspired watches, then the Rado Tradition Golden Horse is a strong contender in this category. We like the watch for its stunning dégradé red dial, as well as the appropriately sized case (at 37mm). It is also rather modestly priced at S$2,410.
Finally, we close the loop with another timepiece from the Longines Heritage collection: The 1945. Based on another vintage timepiece from Longines’ archive, the 40mm watch features a clean design with a stylish convex copper dial. This is also another automatic timepiece, and it is priced at S$2,700.
There is nothing much to dislike about the Longines Heritage Classic. If there is just one thing to make it perfect, then it would certainly be the use of a manual-winding movement instead of an automatic one. That would have beautifully captured the essence of this watch, although we are not too sure if that is more appealing for the newer generation of watch collectors (in terms of functionality and ease of use).
The watch is available in two different strap options, and each of them also comes with an additional contrasting NATO strap. To be real honest, at S$3,180, there are seriously not many watches out there that offers as much value as this Longines.