Longines keep churning out new members of their recent 180th Anniversary collection. Sporting the same basic design, which is clearly inspired by classic pre-WWII watches, the new Longines Heritage 1942 180th Anniversary Chronograph (Ref. L2.768.4.13/53) doesn’t really kick bottom parts neither in terms of exterior design nor technical features. Yet, the new timekeeper may still be a very nice choice for a man looking for a moderately classy, yet relatively affordable self-winding chronograph from a reputable Swiss-based watchmaking brand.
As you can see, the new watch features the same general styling as their recent Longines Heritage 1940 Small Seconds (Ref. L2.767.4.13/53.2) watch that we have briefly reviewed less than two weeks ago.
The similarities between the models include not only almost identical hands and numerals, as well as the railway-style minute tracks but also bring in the same massive bezel that somehow suffocates the dial of the piece.
The size differential (at 40 mm in diameter the chronograph is about 1.5 mm wider than the small seconds model) doesn’t help much since the extra space is taken by the inevitable tachymeter scale that looks absolutely superfluous in this particular case.
The good thing is that the watch is still very legible, although I don’t really understand why they left the 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock (it also shares its space with a standard date window) without any numerals.
Like many other Longines chronographs, this new Heritage 1942 model is animated by their well-known Longines L688.2 automatic movement.
Having being based on the relatively new ETA A08.231 ebauche that the Swatch Group-owned maker of mass-produced calibers developed to power their larger timekeepers, the column-wheel chronograph movement replaces the legendary ETA Valjoux 7750 caliber while giving you 54 hours of power reserve and a pretty hassle-free operation. In its higher-grade form, the base movement is fitted with co-axial escapement and is known as Caliber Omega 3330 and powers such expensive models as the gorgeous Omega Speedmaster Mark II 1969 Reissue that celebrates the 45th anniversary of the iconic Speedmaster family.
The price of this thing is yet to be revealed, but one can make an educated guess and say that it will probably cost around $3500 after arriving at official stores (that, of course, will depend on the part of the world you live in: in some countries that still employ very high custom duties in order to protect their (virtually nonexistent) industry it will probably be as high as $5000.)
Longines Heritage 1942 180th Anniversary Chronograph (Ref. L2.768.4.13/53) specification
Movement: Automatic, caliber Longines L688.2, base ETA A08.231, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 54 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Case: Stainless steel
Case size: 40.00 mm
Dial: Black (pictured) / White
Numerals: Arabic, applied
Hour markers: Printed railway-style minute track
Hands: Leaf-shaped; Blued or rhodium-treated (pictured) steel
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with contrast stitching and steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective