Longines has a massive catalogue of watches, but there is one series in particular that I find very original. The Longines Master Collection Retrograde was presented in 2011, and its combination of classical finish and the relatively rare retrograde display give these watches a Breguet-like prestige far beyond their price tag. The numerous blued hands add interest, and the pushers for adjustment make it a practical timepiece.
Longines Master Collection Retrograde Moon Phases
This piece displays day/night, phases of the moon, and four retrograde functions: day of the week at 12 o’clock, date on the right-hand side, a 24-hour second time zone on the left, and small seconds at 6 o’clock. The seconds hand that flicks back to zero every minute is a constant reminder of this unusual display. The watch is in 41 or 44 mm versions, with stainless steel case, black dial and black leather strap, or silver dial with brown alligator strap. The automatic movement is the L707.2 calibre developed by ETA (ETA A07 L31) especially for Longines, running at 28,800 vph (4 Hertz), with a 48-hour power reserve. It can be viewed through the sapphire caseback. Water resistance is 30 metres. The reference numbers are L2.738.4.71/51.X for the 41-mm version and L2.739.4.71/51.X for the 44-mm version. In the photo below, L2.718.104.22.168, price about £2,410.
Longines Master Collection Retrograde
This is the piece that I like the most in the collection, for its absolute logical purity. In addition to the hours and minutes, it has four retrograde indicators, day of the week, date, a second time zone, and small seconds. In this case the movement is the L698.2 developed for Longines (ETA A07 L21), automatic, with 48 hours power reserve. The reference numbers are L2.715.4.71.X (41 mm model) and L2.717.4.71.X (44 mm). In the image below, L2.722.214.171.124, price about £2,070.
Longines Master Collection Retrograde Power Reserve
This model has a power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock, with a conventional centre-sweep second hand, and three retrograde functions, day of the week, date, and second time zone. The movement is the Longines L697.2 (ETA A07 L11), power reserve 48 hours. The watch has a stainless steel bracelet. Reference number L2.7126.96.36.199 (in the photo below), price about £2,070,€2,640.