This new Longines Heritage 1968 Square doesn’t look like a re-issue of a certain model that was released by the Swiss brand back in the 1960s. However, it looks more than a curt nod to the period when the Western civilization was reaching its peak giving a pretty good idea of how Longines watches of the time could have looked like if watchmakers of that time have had technologies of the XXI century.
Compared to current timekeepers, the Longines Heritage 1968 Square is presented in a deliciously compact stainless steel body. Measuring only 33 x 33 millimeters wide and long, the timekeeper looks almost like a unisex model that could be worn not only by men but also by the sort of ladies that tend to wear men’s suits on special occasions.
For a timepiece that has a self-winding mechanism ticking inside it, the boxy case is also relatively thin. Sure, it is not as thin as some watches from major brands that are powered by Manufacture-grade paper-thin mechanisms (and also cost about 10 times more than this beautiful specimen), but it feels comfortable on a hand and won’t cause you any trouble with your shirt’s cuffs.
There is a price for this slimness, though. As you can see on the photo below, the Heritage 1968 Square is equipped with a setting crown, which is not only small in diameter but is also short. For those having short, stubby fingers this may be real trouble. Even if the mechanical movement (more on that later) that powers it shows adequate precision and doesn’t gain or lose too many seconds, you will still have to operate the crown at least five times a year to correct its simple calendar.
Like many timekeepers that were offered by Longines back in the late 1960s, the watch comes with a silver grey dial with a brushed-like texture that serves as a good background for the rhodium-plated hands.
No, the thin black strips on the hour and minute hands are not patches of black Superluminova, but rather a black varnish. The finish not only nicely corresponds the stylized Roman numerals that are slightly accented with the bolder font at 12, 3, 6 and 9 hours and are framed by a vintage-looking railway-style minute track, but also further increase the timekeeper’s legibility both in normal lighting conditions as well as in twilight.
Equipped by their usual Longines caliber L619.2 (based on the ETA 2892-A2, it also powers lots of their other models including this year’s Longines Conquest Classic watch), the Heritage 1968 Square Stainless Steel (Ref. L2.7188.8.131.52) also sports a basic calendar functionality with the small date aperture elegantly squeezed between the IIII (watchmakers prefer to use this version of the numeral as compared to the more classic Roman “IV”) and V numerals.
As usual, I am not sure about the setting crown that may not be large enough for a comfortable grip, but at least the part looks more in style with the rest of the gadget giving it a “complete” appearance. To my taste, this L2.7184.108.40.206 is one of the most stylish offerings from Longines in years. Although not a land-slide model, it is sure worth not only a second glance but a long close look at your closest AD.
And for a street price of approximately €1500 (that depends on your local taxes and region), I can’t recommend it enough.
Build quality: 4.5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Longines Heritage 1968 Square Stainless Steel (Ref. L2.7220.127.116.11) specification
Movement: Automatic, Longines caliber L619.2 (base ETA 2892-A2), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 21
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case: Stainless steel
Dimensions: 33.00 mm x 33.00 mm
Dial: Silvered grey
Hour markers: Black
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with stainless steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective