The Longines Flagship Heritage Year of the Dragon proves you can wear a milestone watch all year roundBuffy Acacia
- Longines’ entrant for the Year of the Dragon is a new version of the Flagship Heritage.
- Its red and gold colours aren’t going to be irrelevant once the celebrations pass.
- At A$5,100, it’s limited to 888 pieces worldwide.
Lunar New Year always brings an array of great watch releases, and the Year of the Dragon has allowed for plenty of impressive, mystical designs. The thing which gets glossed over, however, is that the simple colour combination of red and gold stands so well on its own. This new Longines Flagship Heritage Year of the Dragon is a perfect example, remaining versatile enough to be worn all year round and for many more Chinese zodiac cycles.
Longines was one of the earliest Swiss brands to pick up on the vintage style revival, and as such they’ve had over three decades of practice. They could even reissue some of their earliest reissues at this point, but most of their historic-based releases exist in the Heritage collection now. The Flagship Heritage is based on a Longines watch from 1957, its design easily channelling the sophistication and sleekness that marked the changes from the ’50s to the ‘60s.
The case has been sized up a little to 38.5mm in diameter for modern audiences, but the 47mm lug-to-lug length ensures good wearability for the average wrist. Its thickness is a decent middle ground at 11.9mm, but the 30m of water resistance definitely leaves something to be desired. The polished surfaces of the lugs and bezel give the watch a strong sense of glamour though, tamed only by brushing on the case sides.
Moving on to the dial, the Longines Flagship Heritage Year of the Dragon makes sure that there’s no actual dragon to be seen anywhere on the dial. The model’s values are restraint and subtlety, which it’s already testing to the extremes with its ruby-red sunburst dial and yellow gold details. The gradient to black at the dial’s perimeters only makes those applied gold markers stand out even stronger, and the pointer date subdial also frames in a beautiful blue and gold moonphase display.
Considering the colour scheme and the limited nature of the watch’s production, there’s a decent chance that the Flagship Heritage Year of the Dragon may stand out to an enthusiast. To the average viewer though, it will just look like a powerfully attractive Longines with nothing in particular to celebrate.
If you’re buying this watch because you actually do want to commemorate 2024’s Year of the Dragon, then you’re going to want to look at the caseback. Engraved onto a central medallion is the head of a jubilant dragon designed by Zinan Lam, a Chinese artist with a stunning portfolio. The caseback covers up the Longines calibre L899.5, which boasts strong magnetic resistance thanks to a silicum balance spring, as well as a generously-sized 72-hour power reserve. It’s based on the ETA A31.L91, ticking with a smooth 4Hz beat rate and winding automatically. The 19mm lug width may be a little bit of an annoyance if you’re someone who likes to swap straps around, but the black alligator leather strap it comes on does suit the style pretty perfectly.
Longines Flagship Heritage Year of the Dragon pricing & availability
The Longines Flagship Heritage Year of the Dragon is limited to 888 pieces worldwide and should become available towards the end of February 2024. Price: A$5,100.
|Flagship Heritage Year of the Dragon
|38.5mm (D) x 11.9mm (T) x 47mm (LTL)
|Sapphire front and back
|Black alligator leather
|Hours, minutes, seconds, pointer date, moonphase
|Limited to 888 pieces, available near the end of February 2024