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Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale
The Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale is the latest model from Saint-Imier. It’s inspired by a former military watch, reference 5774, previously issued to French Naval personnel. It combines period charm with present-day know-how.
Founded in 1832, Longines has a rich history populated with a plethora of characterful models. Over the last few months, the Swiss brand has repeatedly released new recreations of former references. Indeed, based on Longines prolific output recently, I cannot help but feel sorry for those poor souls at the brand’s headquarters in Saint-Imier who’ve been burning the midnight oil of late. However, they should pat themselves on the back as the firm’s recent Heritage pieces have all been superb.
Longines has recognised that many potential owners favour the look of vintage watches but don’t like patination or anything less than showroom-fresh perfection. Likewise, some prospective purchasers find it difficult to procure a reliable vintage watch with good provenance at a price they can afford. The Heritage collection sates the desires of this group of potential owners with exquisitely styled watches, often harnessing modern-day technology, available at very keen prices.
Yesterday, the Swiss brand unveiled the Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale, based on the reference 5774 once issued to crews of the French Navy. This latest model taps into a market segment which remains buoyant, namely that of vintage military watches. These modern-day recreations don’t have faded dials, scratched Plexiglas or tired movements; they are pristine.
The original 5774 measured 33.5mm in diameter, however, Longines has shrewdly acknowledged present-day tastes, housing the Heritage Military Marine Nationale in a 38.5mm stainless steel case. The dial is presented in a sandblasted golden beige and features Arabic numerals paired with blued steel hands. The judicious application of Super-LumiNova augments nocturnal legibility and the model is fitted with a tough sapphire crystal box. At the heart of the watch is an automatic movement, the Calibre L888 featuring high-tech silicium technology.
The brand’s press release (August 2020)
With its cognac leather strap and its golden opaline dial, The Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale stays true to the military watch from which it draws its inspiration, while meeting today’s aesthetic and technical requirements. The shape of the counterweight seconds hands, a detail rare in Longines watches, adds to the aesthetics of this timepiece.
This 38.50mm diameter timepiece is a reimagining of a timekeeper created at the time exclusively for the French Navy. In 1947, this military formation asked Longines to provide its crews with watches that were both tough and precise.
The result was an original 33.50mm diameter model featuring a robust case and bezel typical of military models and housing Longines’s historical 12.68N movement.
These timepieces were identified using the letters “M.N” for Marine Nationale, engraved on the back of the case. As for the dial, it bore the words “Longines FAB.SUISSE”, for Swiss made (Fabrique Suisse). These two distinctive features are repeated on the current timepiece, which in order to preserve the face of the original watch, does not offer a date window.
Also in the spirit of the original timepiece, the back of the current version is screwed, and a domed sapphire crystal “box” sits atop the lightly grained dial with hour circle and hands coated with brown Super-LumiNova®. The Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale houses an automatic movement, the L888.5 calibre with a silicon balance spring, developed exclusively for Longines.
This new Longines release will charm fans of Heritage watches – timepieces defined by the stories they tell.