Hands on review of the Longines Heritage Classic
Longines reserves a very nice surprise at the end of the year with the Heritage Classic model. This is certainly not the most spectacular or the most original watch. But it demonstrates once again the ability from Longines to reinterpret certain models of the past effectively. The Heritage Classic is inspired by a watch from the 30s which it takes the silvered sector dial characteristic of the time. Its design is very clean and refined but the dial has enough details not to generate boredom. Its finish is irreproachable and it even creates very beautiful reflections. The principle of "six-eater" is preserved and if some may regret the presence of a truncated numeral, I appreciate this respect of the original model. I also really like the simplicity of blued steel stick hands that offer a subtle contrast with the dial and optimal readability.
The diameter of the case is 38.5mm which is sufficient considering the style of the watch. In addition, the perceived size is greater given the opening of the dial. To be frank, considering the movement which powers the watch and which is based on the ETA 2895, a larger case would have led to an unbalanded design. I really think that the proposed size is the right one. The caseback is solid which again is excellent news because it is consistent with the spirit of the watch. In addition the engraving "Ernest Francillon and Company" is rather pretty and reinforces the neo-retro atmosphere.
The Heritage Classic is animated by the L893 caliber with a frequency of 3.5hz and a power reserve of 64 hours. This movement is in fact a caliber ETA 2895 whose frequency has been lowered to increase the power reserve. Please note that it features its a silicon hairspring. Given its aesthetic without particular charm, the solid caseback is fully justified. Actually, when I consider the design of the watch and its origins, a handwind movement would have been perfect. But well... this automatic movement will work fine in this context. From a pure technical point of view, I'm not very seduced by this kind of change applied on the movement. The basic movement was developped with a 4hz frequency, the frequency reduction is for me a downside even with the intention to increase the power reserve. Maybe I'm too purist on this field because, let's be honest, nobody will notice the change in frequency. Is the increase of power reserve relevant for an automatic watch with no complication? I don't know.
The charm of the watch acts immediately when put on the wrist. It is both elegant and casual (I was about to write "cool") and I appreciated its balance and homogeneous proportions. It is also more attractive with the blue leather strap which is one of the straps available (the other being a black bracelet with beige stitching and each case a nato strap is also provided in the set). The price of Heritage Classic is reasonable (2.020 euros in France) and consistent with the quality of execution. In any case, this watch will certainly be a bestseller given the quality of the reception it has got. And I want to emphasize once again that Longines has resisted to the temptation to add "commercial" ingredients (which may have the opposite effect) as a date window, the "automatic" word on the dial or a see-through caseback. The watch is just more successful this way.