A masterful trio to celebrate nearly two centuries of brilliance

At 190 years old, Longines has still got the goods

By Sony Thomas
A masterful trio to celebrate nearly two centuries of brilliance

When it comes to longevity, Longines’ splendid heritage and its contributions to the world of watches cannot be matched. Established in 1832, the Saint-Imier-based company is the oldest registered watchmaker in the world. In fact, its winged hourglass logo is the oldest valid trademark in the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s international registry, having been registered back in 1889. It has also been the official watch supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation and has been the timepiece of choice for aviation pioneers such as Charles A. Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart. To celebrate this storied past, and specifically its 190th anniversary, the Swiss watchmaker has introduced a trio of three-handed dress watches within its Master Collection.

True to the Master Collection’s general theme, these timepieces are elegant in design and execution, and feature beautifully engraved Breguet-style numerals on the matte finish, no-date dial. All three watches are available in 40mm round cases in stainless steel and gold versions. While traditionalists would say these watches would have looked better at 38mm case sizes, they look just right for their designs.

The 18-carat yellow gold and rose gold versions will be available as a limited edition of 190 pieces each. The stainless-steel version, however, will be available as a regular serial production watch. 

Contrasting with the grained anthracite, brushed grey, or sandblasted silver dials are rose, golden yellow, or blue steel hands for hours, minutes and seconds. These combinations succeed in highlighting the sophistication and formal elegance of these watches. All three versions come paired with a dark grey leather strap.

Beating underneath this dial is the heart of The Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary, the Calibre L888.5 movement. Operating at 25 200 vibrations per hour and equipped with a silicon balance spring, the self-winding movement promises high precision with a power reserve of 72 hours. Thanks to the transparent case back, the movement’s superior finishing and decorations are easy to appreciate, as is the commemorative engraving around the case back edge.

The Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary Edition is priced at R43,400 for the stainless-steel version, while the two gold limited edition versions carry a price tag of R217,900. 

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