Longines Swiss Watches Complete Review-Guide
Longines is a well known and established Swiss brand with almost 200 years of watchmaking history. Differently from most other high-end companies, Longines is an inclusive and cosmopolitan enterprise, having opened shops in 130 countries across the globe.
The openness towards other cultures and markets also determines the character of Longines watches: eclectic, outgoing, and undisguised.
In concrete terms, this extroverted streak converts into a display of unreserved confidence. The brand's watches appear to talk, to address everyone around them, sharing their expressivity and style. We all know people who are like that; Longines products, especially the Elegance models, are watches like that.
One of the most fundamental of Longines' qualities is their readiness to borrow design ideas and then transform them completely, adapting them in the process to unique brand and collection purposes.
This stylistic exchange may not be to everyone's liking but, we think that this is a natural development for watches of such open and communicative character: they “absorb” ideas from other watches, exactly as people do.
Some of the borrowed features you'll recognize appear to have their source in Movado (where the borrowing could have taken the reverse route), Breguet, as well as traces of Vacheron Constantin, A. Lange Sohne, Rolex and a few other names (we'll discuss where exactly in dedicated reviews).
Longines combine and juggle stylistic allusions to these brands, creating a synthesis many horology enthusiasts envisioned, but couldn't articulate in a convincing aesthetic whole.
The dials of complicated Longines watches are slightly sunk in, forming an arena of sorts. The walls of these arenas are used for showing additional indexes, saving space on the faces themselves – an effective implementation of a familiar idea, resulting in to two-tiered watches with some real physical depth to them.
Longines complicated watches usually encase mechanical automatic movements, while various Elegance models contain quartz calibers.
Longines official website stresses functionality and effortlessness of navigation. There are no memory consuming videos or presentations that would slow even the most advanced machine; only text and images. As a result, the site is very friendly and easy to browse.
Perhaps in a somewhat traditional turn, the “Brand” section allows to view all available watches without in-between clicks and pages. If videos is what you seek, check out the Roland Garros Longines official website for some Agassi clips, or the Youtube Longines Channel.
Longines offer eleven collections, dividing them into separate categories: Elegance, Watchmaking Tradition, and Sport. The watches incorporate a wide range of calibers and manifest aesthetic versatility that befits a brand that targets international markets.
Elegance department comprises jewelry and fashion watches powered by quartz movements and made of precious metals, often encrusted with diamonds.
Longines DolceVita offers rectangular quartz watches of Italian (as the name suggests) inspired design. An interesting architecture solution fuses the case with the lugs, creating an elongated elegant look that communicates leisure, luxury, and a touch of the decadent. There is something languorous about the DolceVita collection, obviously intentionally so. The reference to Fellini's classic film is hardly accidental.
Le Grande Classique de Longines collection consists of round and tonneau shaped watches that disclose their “French connection” by their delicacy of design. Where the Italian DolceVita chooses simplification, the French Le Grand Classique seeks sophistication – an unmistakable Gallic streak that dominates such brands as Cartier. These watches demonstrate exceptionally thin lines and clear, often minimalistic designs.
Watchmaking Tradition includes three collections of complicated watches. Complications include chronograph, power reserve, moon phase, calendar, GMT indicator, retrograde indicators, dual time, and various day, date, and months indicators.
Longines Master Collection echoes Patek Philippe Complications lines, encompassing the entire scope of complications Longines have to offer, all in classically designed round shaped cases. Coming in either stainless steel or gold, Longines Master Collection watches can be equipped with bracelets or straps, and are sometimes bedecked with diamonds. White is the most common dial color, though some watches feature black, brown, and even pink (mother-of-pearl) dials.
Longines Evidenza takes some of the main complications from the Master Collection, and puts them into tonneau shaped timepieces. Designed for men and women, Evidenza watches display gravity uncommon in Longines repertoire: thick bezels and lugs produce an effect of weight and seriousness, confidently stretching the brand's stylistic range.
Heritage Collection revisits familiar Longines designs, offering black strap only, classic watches. Gold is the metal of choice for Heritage watches; it appears even on the indexes and the hands. The black straps and the gold cases, especially the rose gold ones, create a stark, intense visual contrast. This collection manifests strong heirloom qualities.
As often is the case, Longines Sport watches are nothing like the Elegance or Watchmaking Tradition timepieces. The five collections in this department offer sport watches designed for diving, sailing, racing, and other, less extreme outdoor activities.
HydroConquest presents diving watches that feature 300 meters water resistance, uni-rotational bezels, automatic and quartz movements (an unusual turn for a Swiss watchmaker), Superluminova coated hands and indices, and a set of additional safety and quality ensuring specifications. Longines made a solid diving watch that emulates the more basic Blancpain designs.
Conquest watches put a suit on to conceal the muscle – this is a dressy collection that carefully balances elegance with sport features. Depending on the level of complication, a Conquest watch may appear as more sport or evening wear oriented.
GrandeVitesse is a collection of racing watches that carry a tachymeter on the bezel and a mechanical chronograph function inside the case. GrandVitesse watches surprise by their unexpected visual simplicity, a quality some connoisseurs will immediately appreciate. The colors and the dial compositions betray a seventies inspired aesthetic.
Admiral watches, described by Longines as “traveler's” or “adventurer's”, combine characteristics from Conquest, HydroConquest, and even Master collection. Unpretentious, obviously utility oriented designs display a solid equilibrium of elegance, function, and complication.
Sport Legends consists of classically elegant watches echoing those used by sports people in the distant past. This is a nostalgic collection that includes a radio signal synchronization and equation of time complications, as well as crowns resembling those appearing on pocket watches. Another line for the connoisseur, or those with a penchant for the antique.