A brand's 185th anniversary is no small achievement—let's just make that clear. At Baselworld 2017, Longines marked this occasion by announcing a new collection of simple, Calatrava-styled timepieces known as the Longines Record watches. Aside from offering buyers a choice from four sizes and an assortment of dial options, these watches incorporate a few technical touches to assist with accurate timekeeping. Of considerable note here is the fact that this is the first collection of watches from Longines that have been entirely COSC chronometer-certified.
Before we discuss the movement, however, I think it's important to appreciate the variety offered in the lineup. To appeal to a broad market segment, Longines is offering the Longines Record watches in case sizes of 26mm, 30mm, 38.5mm, and 40mm. Other options include diamond-set cases on two of the women's sizes, leather strap or steel bracelet options, and a variety of dial choices like mother-of-pearl, blue sunray, matte white, black lacquer, and more. All of the watches provide 30m of water-resistance and feature blued steel or rhodium-plated hands depending on the dial option along with an AR-coated sapphire crystal as well as an exhibition case back.
As a Swatch Group brand, the Longines Record watches feature exclusively produced ETA-based movements that have been tuned for COSC-certification. Their simple, time-only displays are driven by the caliber L592.4 in the women's models and the caliber L888.4 in the men's models. Though simple in their nature, Longines has also incorporated the use of a crystal-silicon balance spring—a feature that moves these beyond your typical ETA movements. While this isn't a new development, it's worth noting that the use of silicon in this capacity helps in the areas of resistance to temperature, shock, and magnetic fields.
Here's a brief rundown of COSC-certification guidelines if you're not immediately familiar. After considerable testing, watches must adhere to timekeeping parameters of -4 to +6 seconds of variation per day in a range of positions. While the Longines Record watches prove to be a fine choice for this endeavor, I think it will also be exciting to see where and how Longines will utilize these new COSC-certified movements in future releases. Furthermore, the L592.4 and L888.4 movements deliver 40 and 64 hours of power reserve, respectively, and support a simple date indicator at 3 o'clock for convenience in daily wear.
The Longines Record watches are a clear sign of the brand's commitment, not just to movement quality, but growth. The fact that there are so many available options is also a big plus and will only help to support more of a universal appeal for a wide range of prospective buyers. As I mentioned previously, I'm hopeful that Longines will continue to expand upon this and incorporate the movements into future models and maybe even some of my existing favorites like the Longines Heritage Military COSD watch (a COSC COSD?).
All current variants of the Longines Record watches come in stainless steel cases. With such a wide range of size and dial options, I think anyone looking to get in on the first COSC-certified offering from the brand can find something they like with relative ease. Prices are expected to start in the low $2,000s range. longines.com