The Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946
It's not so bad to start the new year by discovering that a new vintage-inspired chronograph has been just introduced. Moreover, if this new chronograph carries the brand logo of a watchmaker whose history and prowess, is second to none, especially when it comes to making chronograph, well, that's even better. Some brands have used their website's homepage as a "guerrilla marketing" tool as the new year was about to begin, and this is what it seems Longines must have done, considering that the 2020 Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946 has popped up on the refreshed homepage since the first hours of 2020 were running.
In 1946, Longines introduced the forerunner of the timepiece you can see pictured below. This exact model is one of many ones that you can find at the brand's museum in Saint-Imier, and might virtually endlessly enlarge the Heritage collection. Some years ago, I had the chance to tour the museum, and I still have great memories regarding how remarkable and appealing were the watches on display. I tried hard to find my photo of the original piece among the many we took during that visit, back then, but no way. All in all, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.
The Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946 officially opens Longines' 2020 new products offering, and it is no coincidence that the brand chose to start the new year with a piece that belongs to the Heritage collection. That choice is in line, in my opinion, with Longines' strategy geared towards closer connecting the brand with its base of die-hard fans and collectors while keep strengthening and enlarging the Heritage offering. It is how the brand is aiming at fulfilling vintage watches' fans expectations too, and attract those who eagerly search for vintage Longines Chronos, I believe. The Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946's case is 40mm across, the domed dial has an opaline silver finish, and the slightly cambered glass on top is in sapphire. The two registers on the dial are slightly recessed, and the Arabic numerals have a font that was pretty popular in the 1950s. From the photos, it seems somehow the dial is enameled, at first glance, also because Longines designers, keep opting for a no-date layout on every new Heritage model, something that I heartily approve.
Blued hands are a nice touch, though, yet no first-page news any longer on any timepiece; what I instead enhance here are the thin and curved lugs mated to a matte black soft leather strap which, from what I can see from the photos released, comes equipped with a pin buckle. A three-quarter view allows us to appreciate better how curved are the case, dial, and glass, respectively, even though I think the first is a bit too thick, something that I expect to confirm once I can hopefully get my hands on a sample. Clean and refined is also the elegant Longines logo on the dial. We can't generally speak here of "historical logo," given the amount of different logos that Longines has released since its foundation: each of them celebrated a specific timeframe or innovation; however, they're all on display inside the museum.
Powered by the Longines L895.5 caliber, whose 54 hours maximum power reserve exceeds the base ETA caliber's 48 hours, the Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph 1946 reference L2.8188.8.131.52 is perhaps the most faithful re-issue ever made by Longines in recent times, and in line with what the brand did when it introduced the Avigation Big Eye. It retails for € 2,930.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Longines)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®