Over the last few months, Longines has released quite a few new pieces for their Heritage line. These two, in particular, look back at the watches of the late 1940s but in two very distinct styles. The Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale mimics the military watches of the time while the Heritage Classic Tuxedo looks to the time after the war when some of the swankiest parties were thrown in tune with the rhythm of jazz bands. Between the two, you’ll have one casual option and a dressier one. Have we found the perfect two-watch collection?
Longines Heritage Marine Nationale
As the name of the watch suggests, this piece was inspired by a timepiece made in 1947 for the French Navy known simply as the Longines Ref. 5774. The French Navy requested Longines to make a watch that was both tough and precise and the resulting Ref. 5774 was issued to their personnel and can be identified by the letters M. N. engraved on the caseback. If this sounds familiar, its because we recently wrote about another piece that also used to have the M. N. on the back.
For this modern reissue, Longines decided to increase the case size from 33.5mm to 38.5mm. Although this is a fair bit larger than the original, it still offers wearers the vintage feel with a case size under 40mm. The dial of the watch also comes with a few cool elements that continue the storytelling including the words “FAB. SUISSE” meaning Fabrique Suisse or Swiss Made, under the Longines name.
As for its reliability, the watch is powered by a very modern calibre L888.5 with a silicon balance spring, made by ETA exclusively for Longines.
Longines Heritage Classic Tuxedo
After the harsh conditions of the Second World War came time for prosperity and celebration. And this carefree spirit of the late 1940s was what inspired Longines to make a watch that would match perfectly with the suits worn during elegant evening parties. Once again keeping the design as faithful to the original, the Heritage Classic Tuxedo offers an opaline silver disc surrounded by a matte black circle and a small seconds counter on the dial, and to complete the look, they used thin baton-style hands.
As with most Longines Heritage pieces, they mimic the design almost perfectly but increase the diameter of the case significantly. I think you could get away with a 36mm case for a dress watch but for this piece, it is made in a 38.5mm stainless steel case. The small seconds version is powered by the calibre L893.5 movement, but there is also a chronograph version of the Classic Tuxedo. The chronograph is slightly larger at 40mm in diameter to accommodate the addition of a tachymeter scale on the dial and is powered by the calibre L895.5 movement. Both versions come with silicon balance springs.