With roots stretching back to 1832, Longines is a storied watch manufacturer that originally gained notoriety for producing aviation timepieces. Charles Lindbergh himself, after his daring non-stop solo flight over the North Atlantic, had a hand in modifying the iconic Weems model for celestial navigation. This led to the birth of the famous “hour angle” that became synonymous with Lindbergh. After it conquered the air, Longines went on to manufacture a veritable cornucopia of time-telling trinkets: mil-spec models for the British Ministry of Defence, dive watches for aquatic pursuits, chronographs for quick timing, and a multitude of dress watches suitable for the most elegant of outings.
As foliage turns crimson and the temperatures plummet, pumpkin spice is peddled and early shoppers have begun to plans for procurement. Serial procrastinators, on the other hand, have nary a care in the world until deep into December. Fortunately, regardless of readiness, Longines’ impressive array of wristwatches makes shopping for that special someone a cinch. Cliché though it may be, time is a finite resource. A tool to maintain an awareness of time, however, is a thoughtful and heartfelt token. Below are some of Longines’ timepieces that warrant consideration for the impending time of year.
For the Flannel Fan – Spirit L3.810.4.53.0
The Longines Spirit is a no-nonsense tool that is perfect for the intrepid soul. The applied Arabic numerals make for effortless time-telling, while the 40mm case accommodates wrists of all sizes. The color-matched 3 o’clock date wheel is a subtle (yet welcome) touch that adds an additional layer of utility. The red-tipped seconds hand and matte dial expand upon the vintage-inspired aesthetic and add a bit of old-school charm to this modern mechanical marvel. On the topic of mechanics, the Spirit is powered by the automatic L888.4 movement, which is COSC certified (as denoted by the chronometer dial text) and boasts a profound power reserve of 64 hours. The Spirit features a screw-in crown and water resistance rating of 100m. This burly beauty has the requisite durability to easily shift from stacking firewood to sipping nog. The Longines Spirit retails for $2,150. For more information on the Longines Spirit, check it out here.
For the Enterprising Explorer – HydroConquest L3.7126.96.36.199
Over the years, dive watches have become a staple of horology, and are now as much a fashion choice as they are a resilient and reliable companion. The HydroConquest represents peak performance in the Longines diver lineup. At 43mm in diameter, there is a solid wrist presence that is further emboldened by the scratch-resistant ceramic bezel and almost armor-like crown guards. High visibility is ensured by the generous application of Super-LumiNova while the water-resistance of 300m makes the watch well suited to any activity. From caroling to canoeing, the HydroConquest is up for any challenge. This is the perfect dive watch to top with a bow and tackle the elements with this Winter. This watch retails for $1,600. For more information on the HydroConquest, take a look here.
For the Lover of the Classics – Record Collection L2.8188.8.131.52
The Record collection is a contemporary take on the prototypical Longines three-hand watch. The painted Roman numerals and blued steel hands contrast with the white dial to form a piece that can easily transition from corporate life to casual wear. At 40mm in diameter, the sizing is modern, yet thoroughly refined. The case blends seamlessly with the stainless steel bracelet to form a silhouette that will look as sleek in fifty years as it does today. The Record Collection is powered by the L888.4 automatic movement, which is chronometer-certified. The alabaster dial perfectly captures the essence of freshly fallen snow and projects beauty that won’t melt away in front of the freshly stoked fire of the family hearth. Do you need ideas for a stocking stuffer? Watch straps are to timepieces as marshmallows are to cocoa; the perfect pairing for the yuletide season. This model retails for $2,025. For more information on the Longines Record Collection, check it out here.
For the Aspiring Astronomer –Master Collection Moonphase L2.909.4.78.3
No single watch in this list draws inspiration directly from Longines’ historical watchmaking prowess more than the Master Collection. Featuring classic details such as painted Arabic numerals and blued steel hands in a 40mm case, the textured silver “barleycorn” dial is a sight to behold. It harkens back to earlier days of horology when craftsmanship was conveyed through dimensionality and dial detail. Located at 6 o’clock is a moon phase display encircled by a date ring, a clever complication that ensures you are at the in-laws on the correct date. The moon phase indicator will make winter stargazing all the more festive, just make sure that you have plenty of blankets and warm cider on standby. Priced at $2,350, you can take a look at the Master Collection Moonphase here.
For the Fan of Complexity – Master Collection Moonphase Chronograph L2.6184.108.40.206
A close relative of the aforementioned model, the chronograph version comes complete with all of the same trimmings, as well as a few extra functions. Powered by the L687 column-wheel chronograph movement, the ornamental dial features a 24-hour indicator at 9 o’clock, a 12 hour subdial and moon phase at 6 o’clock, and a minute counter with the day/month at 12 o’clock. In addition, there is a central half-moon tipped hand that corresponds to the outer date ring. All of these utilitarian features are packed into an extremely accommodating 40mm package. Just add the bow and you are good to go. This model retails for $3,325. If the Master Collection Chronograph is on your list, take a look here for more information.
For the Old Soul – Heritage Classic Chronograph L2.8220.127.116.11
Pulling directly from its 1940’s catalog, this idyllic bi-compax chronograph combines the best qualities of vintage charm with modern artisanship. The black and white tuxedo dial is expertly paired with the blue outer tachymeter scale and blued steel center seconds and subdial hands. The 40mm diameter case clocks in at a relatively svelte 13.5mm thickness, considering the automatic L895 movement housed within. This timepiece possesses the chameleon-like quality of transitioning from classy to sporty based upon the environment, thus ensuring the versatility to be worn for many years to come. The overwhelming allure of the Heritage Chronograph is enough to overcome even the ugliest of holiday sweaters. Priced at an even $3,000, check it out here for more information.
No matter who is on your list this year, Longines has watches for all walks of life. The gift of a timepiece is not only a constant expression of the preciousness of time but also a tangible memento of the circumstance in which it was given. This holiday season, with the scent of fresh pine in the air and everyone swathed snugly in scarves, consider giving a gift as timeless as the traditions that are present all around. For more information on these models and more, check out the Longines website.
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