With recent releases well received, most notably the 190th Anniversary models and Small Seconds featuring engraved Breguet numerals, Longines’ Master Collection now gains a twin time zone offering with the Master Collection GMT, which is only available in 18k gold, for now. With the case in either yellow or rose gold, the GMT stands apart from its more affordable predecessors. It also diverges in terms of design, with applied Roman numerals instead of Breguet numerals.
The latest addition to the line continues the progressive facelifting of the Master Collection that gives existing models a sophisticated style. Though the range already included a GMT, it was in the older livery with a guilloche dial. The new GMT sticks to the classical aesthetic of the Master Collection, though it’s not quite as successful as the facelift applied to the rest of the line-up.
Although elaborately done with applied numerals – which are solid gold to match the case – the dial is a bit old fashioned and feels uninspired. This is particularly obvious when compared to its time-only counterparts with their engraved Breguet numerals. That said, applying Breguet numerals to the GMT is a simple matter, and I would not be surprised to see that in the future.
Because of the solid gold case, the Master Collection GMT costs US$14,750, which is well beyond the brand’s traditional price segment and where it does well. Even though this is a Longines with features usually found in fancier brands, it is still a Longines. The price puts it in category where alternatives are watches from higher-end brands like Blancpain or Breguet, or more complicated watches from name like Grand Seiko and Rolex. All the alternatives will be steel or titanium, but it’s still hard to rationalise a Longines at this price.
A more luxurious option
Clearly a more luxurious upgrade over to its steel equivalents, the Master Collection GMT is available two metals for now: 18k yellow or rose gold. Each is limited to 500 pieces, which seems like a substantial number for a watch of this price.
This departs from the design of the time-only models in terms of the dial. Finished in frosted silver, the dial has applied Roman numerals and leaf-shaped hands – both in solid gold. Around the dial is a bowl-shaped flange bearing the 24-hour second time zone scale.
The case, however, remains the same as other Master Collection models. It measures 40 mm in diameter and 10.4 mm high, making it just over 1 mm taller than the time-only models, which is needed to accommodate the second time zone.
The GMT is equipped with the L844.5 that’s developed by ETA for Longines. Based on the ETA 2892, the calibre is also found in the Hydroconquest GMT and Spirit Zulu Time. Like other current Longines calibres, the L844.5 is COSC-certified and has a substantial 72-hour power reserve.
Unlike GMT movements in more basic watches, the L844.5 is a “true” GMT with a local time hand that can be independently adjusted. Found only in movements that are developed from the ground up as GMT calibres, this makes setting the time when crossing time zones easier since it’s just a matter of adjusting the local time hand either backwards or forwards, with the date moving in sync.
Key facts and price
Longines Master Collection GMT
Ref. L2.8188.8.131.52 (18k yellow gold)
Ref. L2.8184.108.40.206 (18k rose gold)
Diameter: 40 mm
Height: 10.4 mm
Material: 18k yellow gold or rose gold
Water resistance: 30 m
Movement: Cal. L844.5
Features: Hours, minutes, seconds, date and second time zone
Frequency: 25,200 beats per hour (3.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 72 hours
Strap: Alligator strap with pin buckle
Limited edition: 1,000 pieces (500 pieces per model)
Availability: At Longines boutiques, retailers and Longines.com
For more information, visit Longines.com.
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