The success of Longines is inextricably tied to the proliferation of aviation during what’s referred to as “the golden age of flight” during the interwar period. The famed aviator Charles Lindbergh was on Longines’ payroll, along with U.S. Navy officer P. V. H. Weems. The U.S. Army Air Corps and Royal Air Force issued Longines wristwatches to aerial navigators as well as soldiers. When it comes to providing the armed forces with trustworthy equipment, Longines has earned a well-deserved sterling reputation. With volumes of history to draw from, Longines has brought us something that captures the spirit of the wristwatches worn by these airmen and soldiers with the brand new Longines Heritage Military. It’s a modern watch that looks like it’s straight from the 1940s. While it’s based on a mid-century model produced for the Royal Air Force, it’s been updated to a modern case size, and of course it surpasses all the standards one would expect of a modern watch from a manufacturer like Longines.*
With the Heritage Military, Longines has created perhaps the most appealing vintage aesthetic in the market. Each dial features a unique coat of pitting and light spotting that vintage collectors lust after, but without any of the jarring imperfections that typically occur during the 70-plus years of wear on a WWII watch. If an English airman locked his brand new watch in a safe at the conclusion of the war, this is what it might look like in 2019. You’re not just getting legitimate history with Longines, you’re getting a truly beautiful exercise in what a properly executed aged aesthetic looks like.*
Blued hands, a railroad chapter ring, and a font straight from the '40s make this a very attractive watch. At 38.5mm, it wears comfortably, with a case that feels slim on the wrist. The pilot’s crown rounds out the authenticity of the updated design. Though this sort of design can sometimes be associated with dress watches today, it has demonstrated utmost legibility and pure function on thousands of missions carried out by the Allied forces. In other words, the watch is still tough as nails. It’s water resistant to 30m and features a sapphire crystal. You’re not going to get that sort of heavy-duty performance out of a watch made in the '40s, but with the Longines Heritage Military, you certainly still get the performance and the look.*
The Longines Heritage Military’s spirit was born straight from the Greatest Generation, but it’s got the chops to stand up to the current generation’s demands. You get the best of both worlds, a gorgeous vintage aesthetic and modern performance. You can learn more and purchase yours here.