The Longines Record 2017 watches hands-on
The brand from St Imier is among those that have explored the archives of their history more than others and that, after finding out about the power that a historical collection could have in propelling a brand, continues to focus on the Heritage collection as an instrument of inspiration to take the brand closer to a new audience. It is a policy that makes sense, because every model that Longines has re-interpreted so far can boast its very own ancestor in the museum and the whole concept is based on solid ground, namely watches, calibers and paper archives. This is, however, not the only reason, as the Longines three-hands-watches have nothing or little to do with the calculations made by Lindbergh (here is our review of the Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle 90 Anniversary) and Weems and they represent instead a different chapter. They were extremely popular in the 50s and 60s, so much to still represent today, together with a few others brands (one is them is Zenith), the very base of the accessible vintage market.
The Longines Record 2017
Longines is linked to Lindbergh as much as the most classical architecture that could ever exist - the one that is usually linked to Middle Managers in the steel version. A Longines Record is exactly this category of watch with the exclusion of the gold version that still exists, but is not part of this collection within the Longines series (it is part of the Longines Master Collection).
There are two dial versions – one version with Roman numerals that is purposely classic and that can be bought exclusively with a steel bracelet and two smaller sizes for women - we will tackle this topic on our female channel - and one version that mixes together Arabic numerals and arrow-shaped indices that have been applied exactly like Longines used to do in the 50s with their Longines 6333-3 reference. There is therefore no need to be part of the Heritage collection to be able to boast a pedigree, because the father of the version with 6 Arabic numbers on the dial is clearly the watch that you can you see in this photo and that was borrowed from the American site called Hashtag Watch Company – a site specializing in the sale of vintage watch.
I came across this shop by chance, while I was looking for the historical roots of the Longines Record, as I often do when I am writing about brands like Longines, because I was sure I could find an ancestor in this collection. The reference to those years can also be found in the shape of the winding crown that is very Longines-style – it features a spherical head and an embossed historical logo. There are two versions of this timepiece - a more reassuring version with Roman numerals and a 7-row-bracelet, which makes a lot of sense when you use this watch every day and you need to take it off and back on quickly, and another version with a leather strap with a pin buckle (not to be worn during the summer time).
The Roman numerals are thin and elongated, the dial is flat and is almost at the same level as the sapphire crystal – this gives you that strange feeling that you are almost wearing an ultra-flat timepiece. Moreover, the bracelet integrated with the narrow lugs and the case-middle hidden by the bezel gives you exactly that feeling that is definitely a successful concept in a dress watch like this. To summarize - the two versions, which reach 38.5mm and 40mm in size for the man’s models are the synthesis of the vision of the Record - one version that looks at the past and the 6333-3 reference and another version that looks forward and uses Roman numerals as an element of classicism. These are two different ways to lure different customers, while focussing on the same basic concept.
The COSC certification
The certification is not a main element in itself, since, from my point of view, the focus is not solely on accuracy, but it is rather a brand message. Longines helped to build a good chunk of the history of sports timekeeping (do you still remember the Longines logo on the Ferrari F1 that Alboreto used to drive?) and wide spreading this vision across all their products is now a must.
It is also the same reason why the manufacturer introduced the VHP technology that we will talk about in one of our next articles, and which, in my opinion, is still something that the general audience needs to fully understand. The silicon balance spring is one of the elements that helped this timepiece to achieve the COSC requirements, but, as I said before, it is a common path that Longines embarked on to reaffirm their record. Regarding the 40-hour-power reserve, I think that the brand could definitely do better and that’s exactly where I am expecting to see some sort of a growth in the future, because the calibres used by other brands, within the same group, that are less ‘noble’ than Longines almost double this value and this is one of the most important elements for those Longines Record’s users.
Thoughts on the 2017 Longines Record
The two versions of the Longines Record that you see on here have both a retail price of 2040 Euro, which is therefore a flat price, whether you choose the 40mm or the 38.5mm wide-case version. It means that the price is not a selection criteria anymore, as it should always be (bracelet or leather strap, there is no difference). I would rather suggest Longines to help those who land on their official website in easily identifying their Longines Record among the many ones, since all the versions are sorted by reference and not by diameter.
From a product point of view, the Longines Record represents one of those rare cases where it is still possible to add a good price-to-quality ratio three-hands automatic wristwatch to your collection. It is, all in all, a jab to all those brands that began to design their movements in-house just to justify a huge price list increase, a move that resulted with inflating the market in most cases, a luxury that the Swiss watchmaking industry can no longer afford.
(Photo credit: Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®