This new Longines Heritage 1968 Square model doesn’t look like a re-issue of a certain model that was released by the Swiss brand back in 1960s. However, it looks more than a curt node to the period when the Western civilization seemed to be 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 quite 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 setting crown, which is not only quite in diameter, but is also quite short. For those having short, stubby fingers this may be a 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 late 1960s, the watch comes with a silver grey dial with brushed-like texture that serves as a very 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 black varnish. The finish not only nicely corresponds the stylized Roman numerals that are slightly accented with bolder font at 12, 3, 6 and 9 hours and are framed by very 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 ebauche, it also powers lots of their other models including this year’s Longines Conquest Classic watch), the Heritage 1968 Square Stainless Steel (Ref. L2.718.104.22.168) also sports a very basic calendar functionality with the small date aperture very 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 really sure about the setting crown that seems to be not large enough for a comfortable grip, but at least the part looks more in style with the rest of the gadget giving it a very “complete” appearance. To my taste, this L2.722.214.171.124 is one of the most stylish offerings from Longines in years. Although clearly 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 recommended it enough.
WWR preliminary verdict
Build quality: 4.5/5
Value for money: 5/5
Longines Heritage 1968 Square Stainless Steel (Ref. L2.7126.96.36.199) Automatic watch 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
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Square
Bezel shape: Square
Case size: 33.00 mm x 33.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Dial: Silvered grey
Hour markers: Black
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with stainless steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective
Case back: Sapphire