Review Longines Heritage 1935 [live pics, video, price]

Longines Heritage 1935, presented in 2014, is an almost ideal re-edition of a watch from over 8 decades ago, with only one difference – the original was made for the army, the modern version can be worn by anyone.


History

During the Interwar Period, many of the renowned companies manufactured and delivered watches for the army. Enough to mention players such as A.Lange&Sohne, Eterna, Glashutte Original and also Longines. At the end of the 1920s its engineers have designed a timepiece that become part of the Czechoslovakian Air Force in the mid-thirties. We are talking about the watch nicknamed “Majetek” – coming from the engraving on the caseback of most pieces – „Majetek vojenské správy”, meaning “property of the military”.

Longines z 1935 / foto: watchuseek.com
Longines z 1935 / foto: watchuseek.com

Old vs new

We already know the brief outline of the history. Now it’s time to compare the original with the re-edition. At first glance, the watches look almost identical – a big point to Longines for not wanting to “improve” the original. The differences lie in the details, and as you will find out in a moment, there are quite a number of them.

Longines Heritage 1935
Longines Heritage 1935

First – the size. The 1935 original had a 40 mm cushion-shape case. For the time, this was a significant size, mainly due to the fact that the movement inside came from a pocket watch – it was the hand-wound calibre 15-94 working with frequency of 2.5Hz (18,000 oscillations/h). The case of the modern version is 2 mm larger, but in this case the size is mainly due to the current trends rather than technical requirements. The movement is the ETA 2895.

Longines Heritage 1935
Longines Heritage 1935

The original from 80 years ago had a turning flutted bezel with a triangle index. The bezel on its contemporary version is fixed but visually almost identical to the historic piece. There are some visible modifications if we take a closer look at the small second sub-dial. In the original, the dial was larger and located in a slightly lower position, now it is closer to the central axis of the watch and combined with the date window. The other changes in the re-edition are purely cosmetic – a slightly narrower strap, thinner case and use of sapphire crystal.

Design and movement

Longines Heritage 1935
Longines Heritage 1935

„Majetek” mainly served people related to aviation and had all the features of a “pilot” watch. The same applies to the version described here. I mainly mean the black dial with large white numerals which play the role of indexes – they are first printed and then filled with a significant amount of Super-LumiNova, which can also be found on the cathedral-shaped hands. Unfortunately in this particular case quantity does not mean quality. Of course time reading in the dark was not a problem but the Super-LumiNova light was very delicate.

Longines Heritage 1935
Longines Heritage 1935

Back to the dial design – the numerals are surrounded with a railway-track minute scale. Adding the date window – one of the most commonly used function – was a perfect choice. While we are thinking about it, as opposed to the Heritage 1973 model (reviewed HERE), in this case, the extension of functionality with a date window was an excellent choice.

Longines Heritage 1935
Longines Heritage 1935

The logo – looking exactly as the original, drawn in italic font – adds a very nice touch. I have already mentioned that mechanically, the Longines Heritage 1935 is an L615 (ETA 2895) calibre, locked under a full caseback. The 27-jewels movement is working at 4 Hz and provides a power reserve around 42 hours. The case is water resistant to 30m and topped with a sapphire crystal. The glass is slightly domed and protrudes above the flutted bezel – theoretically this makes it more exposed to damage. On the other hand such a design and profile remind the original Plexiglass solution.

Longines Heritage 1935
Longines Heritage 1935

The steel surface of the case is mostly polished. It will most probably be more exposed to scratching but despite regular everyday usage during the test I have managed to return the watch in ideal condition.

Impressions

Longines Heritage 1935
Longines Heritage 1935

To date, my number 1 in the Longines portfolio was Legend Diver. After two weeks of wearing Heritage 1935 on the wrist I have a new leader of the pack. This is a decent everyday watch. It felt good with both a sweater or shirt plus jacket dress. The watch matches the wrist in a perfect way and attracts attention – in the positive meaning of the word. Even people, who are not interested in watches peeped at it discretely and tried to find out more about the Heritage 1935 model. To a major extent, this is thanks to the very faithful reproduction of the original. The Longines once again managed to pick an interesting model in its archives and then give it a new breath of life. Congratulations! It is not without a reason why the refreshed version of the “Majetek” has won Public Prize of “Watch of the Year 2014”.

In (+)
– Excellent reproduction of a historical model
– Good finish quality and shape of the watch

In (-)
– Weak Super-LumiNova
– Poor water resistance

Longines Heritage 1935

Ref: L2.794.4.53.2
Movement: L615 (ETA 2895), automatic, 42h power reserve, 4Hz.
Dial: black, with small seconds subdial and date, hands and indices filled with Super-LumiNova
Case: 42mm, cushion-shape, steel; sapphire crystal; full caseback
Water resistance: 30m
Strap: black aligator
Limitation: —
Price: 7.360PLN (~1750EUR)

Longines Heritage 1935
Longines Heritage 1935

Watch provided for testing by Longines.

Photos: Adam Gawenda