Originally introduced in 2005, the Longines Master Collection consists of classically styled timepieces that are exclusively powered by traditional mechanical movements. Despite adhering to a fairly refined and dressy overall design language, the Longines Master Collection offers a surprisingly diverse assortment of models that range from simple three-handed pieces all the way up to triple calendar moonphase chronographs. To kick off the new year as its first release of 2024, Longines has announced a duo of GMT models with solid 18k gold cases, and both of the new Longines Master Collection GMT watches will be produced as limited editions of 500 pieces.

Measuring 40mm in diameter by 10.4mm thick, the polished cases of the new limited-edition Longines Master Collection GMT watches are both crafted from solid 18k gold, with the reference L2.844.6.71.2 featuring 2N yellow gold for its components, while reference L2.844.8.71.2 is the 5N rose gold version. Aside from the type of gold used in their construction, the overall design of the two watches are otherwise identical, and both models feature a classic round profile, thick curved lugs, and a signed winding crown at the 3 o’clock location.

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Similarly, both of these 18k gold Longines Master Collection GMT watches feature anti-reflective sapphire crystals above their dials, display-style casebacks, and 30 meter of water resistance to protect against daily incidental contact. From a case design perspective, these new GMT models are very similar to what you will find among the time-only watches from the Longines Master Collection, although they are slightly over a millimeter thicker than the standard three-handed models, with the additional height likely being needed to accommodate their additional GMT complication.

The various different models from the greater Longines Master Collection can be found with several different styles of hour markers, and the new limited-edition duo of solid gold Longines Master Collection GMT watches feature the same type of elongated Roman numeral indexes that can be found among other models from the current-production collection. Both the yellow gold ref. L2.844.6.71.2 and rose gold ref. L2.844.8.71.2 feature the same style of dial, with frosted silver surfaces, rectangular date windows at 6 o’clock, railroad-style minute tracks, and 24-hour scales printed along their angled chapter rings.

Where the two 18k gold Longines Master Collection GMT watches differ is when it comes to the type of gold that is used for their applied hour markers and polished leaf-shaped hands, and these elements are crafted from either 2N yellow gold or 5N rose gold to match their respective cases. Additionally, it’s worth noting that since the Longines Master Collection is positioned as one of the dressier models in the brand’s catalog, the dials and hands on the new 18k gold Longines Master Collection GMT watches are both entirely devoid of any luminous material, although their GMT hands are finished black for added contrast.

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Powering the new duo of limited-edition 18k gold Longines Master Collection GMT watches is the brand’s Caliber L844.5 automatic movement, which is exclusive to Longines, despite being based upon the core architecture of the ETA 2892. Running at a frequency of 25,200vph (3.5 Hz) with a power reserve of approximately 72 hours, the Cal. L844.5 features a silicon balance spring that allows it to be ten times more resistant to magnetism than the 4800 A/m of resistance that is required to meet ISO 764 standards, and it also includes an independently adjustable local hour hand, which means that is a “flier” style GMT movement, rather than the “caller” type that is normally found on the standard ETA 2892.

One detail that I find rather interesting about this pair of solid gold Longines Master Collection GMT watches is that while they are clearly intended to be premium models within the lineup, they do not appear to feature chronometer-certified movements like a number of the brand’s other watches, such as the Longines Spirit Zulu Time 39mm, which costs a fraction of the price of these solid 18k gold models. While the movements do feature rotors that are finished in either 2N yellow gold or 5N rose gold to create a cohesive appearance when viewed through their display casebacks, it would have been nice to see Longines really lean into the premium nature of these solid gold models and give them chronometer-certified GMT movements.

Despite their different case materials, the two 18k gold Longines Master Collection GMT watches are ultimately rather similar from an aesthetic standpoint, and in addition to featuring the same style of frosted silver dial, both models also receive the same type of strap. Fitted to the 21mm lugs of the two new limited-edition gold Longines Master Collection GMT watches are two-piece anthracite gray alligator leather straps, and they are completed by tang-style buckles in either 2N yellow gold or 5N rose gold to match the cases of their respective watches.

While Longines typically operates in the low to mid four-figure price range, these limited-edition models with 18k gold cases were always destined to be quite a bit more expensive than the brand’s typical offerings. Both the 2N yellow gold and 5N rose gold versions of the Longines Master Collection GMT are accompanied by an official retail price of $14,750 USD, which makes them the absolute most expensive models within the collection (by a significant margin). That said, since each one will be produced as a limited edition of 500 examples, these solid gold models aren’t going to be permanent offerings within the brand’s lineup, and I could easily see Longines releasing a stainless steel version with a different dial as a standard-production model at some point in the future. For more information on the Longines Master Collection GMT watches, please visit the brand’s website.

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