HANDS-ON: The Longines Heritage ClassicJames Robinson
Few watches released in 2019 have had the ability to garner nothing but praise. There are, of course, certain timepieces that are highly revered — think the new Rolex GMT-Master II ref.126710BLNR, for example. But that watch brings with it a sizeable amount of polarity.
No, for the entire horological community to get behind a new timepiece it’s got to be special … and the new Longines Heritage Classic L2.8188.8.131.52 is exactly that: special.
Allow me to explain. Part of this raconteur’s role is to scour the interwebs and plethora of social media networks, and, to my dismay, sometimes read the comments.
I am yet to witness a single negative comment, on any platform, about this new Longines; there simply hasn’t been a peep — it’s been nothing but applause and even adoration.
And from the very first time you fasten it to your wrist, you understand why the response to this simple, time-only watch has been so profound – it’s a revelation.
Now, that’s a big claim, but I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a fair amount of time with the Longines Heritage Classic L2.8184.108.40.206, so let me walk you through how this conclusion has been reached.
It starts with the case. It’s hewn from stainless steel with a brushed finishing, and its proportions are nigh on faultless, measuring in at a crowd-pleasing 38.5mm across and 10mm thick. These dimensions give the watch an enviably wide bandwidth, ensuring that it can be worn by anyone with just about anything.
The shape of the case is also admirable, classically rounded and resolutely understated, which adds to its versatility. The same can be said about the well-judged knurled crown, which harmoniously nestles itself to the side of the case and doesn’t stand out.
The sector dial is nothing short of a triumph and it runs a clinic in how proportionality on a dial should work. It features a radially brushed silver outer edge with hand-painted Arabic numerals and indices, and a white inner section that features the black sectoring lines.
The small seconds display, which is located at the six o’clock position, is charming and complements the rest of the dial with aplomb, and the obvious lack of a date complication is refreshing, to say the least. And the thin, elongated blued steel handset … well, you can think of them as icing on a brilliant silvery cake.
Inside the svelte case you’ll find another boon of the Heritage Classic — Longines Calibre L893. Based on ETA’s rock-solid A31.501 calibre, the L893 features self-winding, silicon balance spring, 64 hours of power reserve, 27 jewels and an operating frequency of 25,200 vibrations per hour.
It’s a true workhorse of a movement, and in the time that I wore the watch, accuracy was impressive, never losing or gaining more than 5-7 seconds a day, and more than easily achieving its claimed power reserve figure. And while some may have posited that it perhaps could have been a manual-wind movement to be more in keeping with the rest of the watch, personally, I was grateful for the self-winding.
The Heritage Classic is finished off with a charismatic and ever-so-slightly quirky mid-blue leather strap with contrasting white stitching, which utilises a stainless steel pin buckle.
Many folks in the greater watch community have for too long opined the ever-increasing size, complexity and price of timepieces being produced. This watch is for them … and probably for me too, because I’m 100 per cent parting with my hard-earned to get one.