Longines continues to look back into its past and revive vintage models. Why? Because that’s what their market wants. The Heritage Railroad was a great success at Baselworld, meaning that they received an encouraging volume of advance orders from distributors. This piece has the same sort of vintage feel, in this case running back to a 1918 wristwatch which, as was often the case in those days, was based on the classic pocket watch design. See more early pilot’s watches here.
The Heritage 1918 is made in two versions, a 38.5 mm model with a narrower strap, and a 41 mm version. The 38 mm watch is more distinctively feminine, particularly in the piece with diamonds on the bezel. Both have blued steel hands coated in honey-coloured paint, and blued steel seconds hand in a subdial at 6 o’clock. The same honey colour is used for the large Art Deco-style numerals that help give the pieces their vintage look. The straps are honey-coloured alligator, mounted on wire lugs mirroring the early days of wristwatches, when lugs were simply welded onto a pocket-watch case.
Both watches are powered by a self-winding movement, the L615 calibre. This is the classic 2895/2 made by ETA, providing 42 hours power reserve and running at 28,800 vibrations per hour. All the watches have a solid caseback with the engraving of a period Longines logo.
There is a date window excavated from the bottom of the dial, obscuring part of both the small seconds subdial and the numeral 6. I have no doubt that at Longines, they would say, “that’s what the market wants.” The original 1918 watch is a chronograph that provides the basic design aesthetic, but without the date (shown in the image below).
References and prices
The Longines Heritage 1918, reference L2.309.0/4.23.2 (38.5 mm), costs €1,450 in the stainless steel version with smooth bezel.
The Longines Heritage 1918, reference L2.309.0.23.2 (38.5 mm, diamond-set bezel) costs €4,730. It has 60 Top Wesselton VVS diamonds on the bezel for a total of 1 carat.
The Longines Heritage 1918, reference L2.809.4.23.2/4 (41 mm), costs €1,540.