10 for 10 Episode 9: Another popular watch from Longines that looks backwards to go forwards...
Welcome back to episode 9 of 10 for 10. This is a series from WatchGecko that sets out to inform you, the reader of 10 watches branching over 10 different categories that combined offer an extremely versatile, enjoyable and rounded collection. All together coming in at a value less than £10,000. Some watches maybe more expensive, some may be extremely affordable but together they will all come in less than £10,000.
Stay tuned to the WG Online Mag for regular new episodes as well as our YouTube channel for extended looks at each watch featured.
The Dress Watch
So far in this series, we've mainly focused on watches which have a need for durability, reliability and toughness, featuring rotating bezels, water resistance, shock resistance and overall increased strength. However, the dress watch doesn't focus on these traits. The dress watch is designed to be slim and direct with it's delivery of telling the time. They must compliment an evening outfit as much as telling the time.
In fact, historically, watches shouldn't even be worn if in a formal area, once upon a time, this would have been regarded as being rude, as the wearer shouldn't have a care what the time is and just purely be in the moment. In a modern world, we understand that may be unrealistic which is why our suggestion looks to strike a balance between being accurate to the DNA of a dress watch as well as fulfilling modern expectations...
The Longines Flagship Heritage - what it does
As talked about here, Longines is one of a few companies who still have a huge historical archive of all watches to ever leave their factory with the Longines branding. This means they are masters at creating watches which accurately represent models from their past.
Over the years the Flagship collection from Longines has worn many hats, with plenty of variation, however, the Flagship Heritage embodies everything the range has offered over its existence.
"The Heritage models are a tribute to the pioneering spirit that has inspired Longines designers since the company's early days."
This stylish classic watch comes in with a 38.5mm width, a thickness just over 10mm and a lug to lug of 46mm. If you're aware of the original Flagship models then this case will be very familiar to you, as the design itself remains practically unchanged.
A 10mm thickness makes it ideal for sliding under shirt cuffs and thick jumpers alike. It's also massively complimented by the long heavy chamfered lugs which abruptly appear from the rounded case.
The main talking point of the watch is the dial, which is emphasised even more so with the very thin subtly chamfered bezel. This is almost invisible to the wearer on the wrist because of the dominant, warm dial. However it's purpose is clear, to draw as much attention to the dial as possible. The dial itself is a lovely silver/cream colour. Thin, sharp distinctive gold coloured indices feature on the Flagship which effectively conveys the watches dressy purpose.
The hands of the Flagship really contribute heavily to the watches classic design. Gold alpha hands play with the light because of yet again, attractive chamfered details. A very thin line of lume can be found on these hands ensuring you'll be able to enjoy the Flagship as the evening progresses. The Longines goes a step further with the gold colourings by also tying in their winged logo and short sub seconds hand.
Staying with the subdial for a moment, and its decision to avoid adding second markers. This approach really adds to the watches simplicity, once again bringing in the dress watch DNA.
We also get a date function at 6 o'clock on the Flagship which is framed nicely with the second's track, sitting on the end of those long indices rather than sitting at the edge of the dial. As this is a modern watch, we see sapphire crystal feature to really compliment how wearable this watch really is.
Flipping the watch over we see a great looking caseback and, if you're familiar with Flagship models over the years you'll feel right at home on this Heritage model. Unique enamel art depicting a large ship can be seen sitting on a gold coloured centralised ring. The movement in the Flagship Heritage is the L615 Automatic movement from Longines.
This movement comes with a very respectable 42 hours of power reserve vibrating at 28,800 vph. This Longines sounds like it's certainly making the right noises...
How it wears on the wrist...
Based on its slim proportions it may come as no surprise to hear that the Longines wears very slender on the wrist. One of my personal favourite features of the watch is how soft and subtle the dial colour is. The fact it isn't overly silver means the watch works with a wide range of smarter outfits. Shirt and chinos, a heavy tweed jacket or a quality three-piece suit, the Flagship can handle them all with ease.
The watch carries itself with an appealing level of class as well. This is a combination of a few things including its size, but the main contributing factor for me is the addition of gold details. This is nothing new for the Flagship, as gold has featured a lot on Flagship models from the past (especially with this dial configuration) so it's great to see this continue with the Heritage model.
The fact the watch has stuck with a stainless steel case and just gone for gold accents as well means the watch remains quite subdued in its aesthetic, Longines has struck a nice balance here.
And that's not the end of things when it comes to balance, the dial with its elongated indices and date at 6 means at a glance of the wrist, the symmetry of the watch remains intact. It's an overall quite subtle symmetry because of how understated and thin the indices are on the dial.
I have a good amount of experience with an original Flagship model from the '60s and the case of this Heritage model is almost identical. Excluding the appropriately acceptable size buff to 38.5mm and slightly chunkier lugs, the watch feels well proportioned on my 7 1/4 inch wrist. Longines once again proving their value in a complete archive from the brand.
Replacement Watch Straps
The Flagship Heritage is supplied on a dark brown alligator print leather strap as standard. This 19mm strap comes with contrasting stitching which effectively matches the cream dial of the Flagship. A lighter, tan coloured leather has been picked for the lining.
This classic watch strap naturally compliments the watches dressy DNA and is something I want to explore more with our strap suggestions. With a 19mm lug width, you may find replacement watch straps are hard to come by, however luckily for you, we offer an ever growing range of quality, dependable options...
Exotic Dress Strap - Polished Crocodile
Here the Polished Crocodile option looks to follow the same ethos as the standard alligator style leather we find on the Longines as standard. However, the Croc version drops the contrasting stitching on the strap and favours colour matching. This works to subtly draw the eye more to that classic dial. This watch strap has a very polished look to the leather as well which, once again adds to the dressy aesthetic.
Classic Style Milanese Mesh - Polished
Now, this is how you change up a watch. The Classic Mesh in the polished finish completely gives the watch a refreshing update. The polishing of the mesh matches plays with the light in equal amount to the indices and hands of the watch meaning the watch feels just that little bit more special on the wrist.
A different execution and approach, but much like the Exotic Dress this combo really enhances the classy features of the Longines making them shine through.
Painswick Quick Release - Dark Brown
As you may know by now, the Painswick has featured a lot this series, however, the smooth leather option is yet to show its face. This strap favours a smooth calf leather rather than a more distressed look. This means if you have a slimmer watch in your collection that would favour a more clean look (a Longines Flagship Heritage, for example) then this is a solid option.
This begins to move away from the Exotic Dress and standard Longines strap a little by sticking with a smooth finish. And it can actually make the Flagship a lot more versatile and almost, quite casual.
What we would improve
As with every review on the WG Online Mag, let's take a moment to go through a few things we'd change on the Flagship Heritage if we could...
Drop the date window - For as useful and handy a date window is, we can't help but feel that if there was a dateless option of the Flagship which keeps this dial configuration it would be an even more faithful dress watch option. more dial options such as sunburst - The dial on the Flagship is one of my favourite features on the watch because of the soft creamy glow, however taking a look at original Flagship models many examples jump out to my vintage heavily sunburst dial finishes, making for a watch which further catches the light extremely well.
Detailed indices - Once again I'm looking back to the original examples that can be found online and models that stick out to me are the ones that feature stronger, heavier indices. These add more unique design aspects to the Flagship and really show the history of Longines. Maybe we can expect more like this on a new Flagship edition?
Chunkier lugs - it wouldn't be unfair to say the lugs on the Flagship are quite small comparatively speaking to the 38.5mm case. Let's look at a model like this example here which has some solid looking lugs to really increase the watches on wrist presence.
I've touched on this briefly when covering the indices, but the Flagship I feel could do with some more distinctive features to really make the watch stand out even more and appeal to an even larger audience then it is already.
Longines clearly enjoy and embrace their history which is clear every year when new model are released, however, I think they could really push the Flagship range further and further by exploring what we can find on older Flagship models. Based on Longines opinion on their older models from the archive, I don't think we will have to wait long until this wish is a reality.
Why this watch?
This particular model with its gold coloured dial details, warm cream dial and sweet spot of a case size makes for a brilliant offering for customers in the marketing for a timepiece with vintage charm, modern day reliability and class in abundance. The watch avoids being a direct re-issue by acting as a whole summary of the Flagship's place in history.
The dimensions ensure it's a viable dress watch suggestion yet, useable additions such as a date and running seconds mean the watch retains its value proposition for modern wrists.
Yet again, the masters of capturing their historical importance in a watch have done it again...
The Longines Flagship Heritage is currently available for £1,100. We'd like to take this opportunity to thank Longines for sending this watch out to us for review and to be featured in the 10 for 10 series if you're interested in learning more about the watch click here.
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