As Longines celebrates its 190th year of existence, it has launched three new watches that set new boundaries in the reasonably priced timepiece categories for the year. We look at all three new marvels.
Master Collection 190th Anniversary
The latest release from the brand, the 190th Anniversary Master collection timepiece offers a new look to the classic dress watch category. While it seems a simple, uncomplicated design, but with its fine design touches and choice of materials and finishes, the Master Collection is undoubtedly one of the best-looking dress watches launched this year. Particularly interesting is the use of Breguet numerals which are etched onto the dial, giving it a legible, yet sophisticated look. The polished case further enhances its formal look, while the 40mm dial and the 9.35mm thickness mean it’ll be comfortable on most wrists’, with the shallow depth meaning it’ll be easy to wear beneath the cuff of a formal shirt. Offered in three variants – Steel, 18K Yellow Gold and 18K Rose Gold – the Master Collection also features different dial finishings, with my favourite among the trio being the frosted black dial on the rose gold version which contrasts the bright case beautifully and looks absolutely gorgeous. And while the steel version of the Master Collection will see regular production, the two gold variants will be offered in a limited production run of 190 units each.
Few outside the watchmaking world are aware of what a rich history the Longines brand holds in its near two centuries of existence, and this is particularly true when it comes to the brand’s chronograph portfolio, or even the portfolio of high-beat wristwatches. A few decades ago, Longines was one of the few brands to experiment extensively with high-beat dive watches, and with its new diver, the brand is once again harking back to its roots. The design of the new Ultra-Chron Diver is clearly based on their diver watches from the 60s, the updates to the design, such as the reprofiled cushion-style case or the frosted finish on the dial make it stand out. Sure, at 43mm, the watch is not a small one, but with the cushion case, it should be easy to adjust on the wrist. Powering the Ultra-Chron is a movement that runs at 5Hz – or at 36,000vph – and is test to a stringent testing method that the brand is slowly incorporating into its other movements for greater accuracy. Most of all, with the price of the timepiece ranging around the ₹3 lakh mark, it offers a serious divers' watch at a value price point.
Spirit Zulu Time
Again, few people would know that Longines has been involved with aviation and GMT watches much before much of its competition in the watchmaking world, and some of the pioneering early aviators – Howard Hughes, Amelia Earhart, to name a few – all wore Longines. That history along with the continued revival of Longines’ history over the past few years means that the introduction of a GMT watch is hardly a surprise. Based on their Spirit range of watches, the Zulu Time GMT offers a true GMT function and with the help of its GMT hand and ceramic rotating bezel, it is possible to view the time in three time zones at the same time. Its 42mm size might be on the slightly larger size but doesn’t look too bulky and should be comfortable for most people, and while there are three dial finishes offered, the sunburst blue is definitely my pick of the lot. If I were to nitpick, I would think the five stars on the dial look a bit too much, but with the balance of the overall design, I have to admit this is a really handsome watch. And with the pricing around ₹2.5 lakh, it is definitely a value proposition very few GMTs in the market can match.