Longines Introduces the Heritage Classic “Tuxedo”

A simple and faithful remake.

Made up of modern reinterpretations of historical watches, the Longines Heritage collection has been steadily gaining traction with enthusiasts. Typically faithful to the originals and also great value propositions, the line up was just joined by two black-and-white “Tuxedo” watches, a two-counter chronograph as well as the time-only Heritage Classic “Tuxedo”.

Initial thoughts

Longines has made it a habit of reaching into their rich archive to churn out historically-inspired watches like the Avigation BigEye Chronograph. While the proliferation of remakes might dilute the desirability of the vintage originals, I appreciate it very much. Such remakes allow me to enjoy the vintage aesthetics, but in a watch with modern build quality and compelling pricing.

And like earlier Heritage models, the new “Tuxedo” has strong vintage cues and little that gives it away as a modern watch. Notably, Longines omitted the customary “Automatic” label, and more importantly, the date, avoiding a recurring  pitfall for vintage remakes.

The 1940s original (left) and the remake

Highly legible thanks to the strong contrast, the dial has prominent Arabic numerals that add a bit of Art Deco flair that I adore. Its symmetrical layout with a small seconds at six o’clock also adds to the visual charm. Overall, the watch is balanced and clean, with no unnecessary elements to distract from its simplicity.

While the aesthetics are vintage-inspired, the case has been slightly upscaled to a more modern 38.5 mm. Although it is a great size by today’s standards, the lugs appear long and may hamper the wearability of the watch, which was the case for the Heritage Skin Diver.

Long lugs have long been a bane of the Heritage models as they result in watches that wear larger than the diameter suggests. While the long lugs are in line with the style of the original – remember that the originals were much smaller – I would prefer slightly shorter lugs. Or, better yet, retain the original case size, which was probably around 36 mm.

But the lugs do have a helpful detail: drilled spring-bar holes like the original, which are always welcome as they make strap changes a breeze.

Nevertheless, with a price tag of only US$2,000, the new “Tuxedo” is unsurprisingly a lot of bang-for-buck. In fact, it’s good enough value that most of its competition comes from other Longines watches, such as the Heritage Military and the Heritage Classic “Sector” Dial.

The movement

The Heritage Classic “Tuxedo” is powered by the L893 – an ETA A31.501 that is in turn based on the ETA 2892. Featuring an extended power reserve of 64 hours, the movement has a silicon hairspring, which results in the unconventional frequency of 25,200 beats per hour.

Providing a degree of resistance to magnetism and temperature fluctuations, silicon balance springs were once the domain of higher-end watchmaking but are fairly common now. Still, the silicon balance spring increases its perceived value proposition.

As typical for a Heritage watch, the back is solid and stamped with the brand’s historical, winged-hourglass logo from 1889

Key facts and price

Longines Heritage Classic ‘Tuxedo’
Ref. L2.330.4.93.0

Case diameter: 38.5 mm
Height: 11.65 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: L893 (ETA A31.501)
Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds
Frequency: 25,200 beats per hour (3.5 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 64 hours

Strap: Calfskin with pin buckle

Availability: From Longines boutiques and retailers; delivery date to be determined
Price: US$2,000; or 3,020 Singapore dollars

For more, visit Longines.com

Update July 4, 2020: Case height added.

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