No doubt, Baselworld 2014 was a year of reissues for many brands but for Longines especially. I recently had the pleasure of spending some quality time with the Longines Heritage 1935 announced this year. As I wrote when I first saw the Longines Heritage 1935 in the metal, it’s a remake of a pilot watch referred to by collectors as the “CAF” because it was supplied to the Czechoslovakian Air Force 80 years ago.
Even at a glance, the 1935 possesses a lot of characteristics that draw you in. The case features a range of luxurious finishing, from its polish and beveling to its cushion shape and fluted bezel. In 1935, this was a 40mm watch, which was gigantic, although it made sense since the movement inside came from a pocket watch. Today, it’s 42mm.
This is a watch to appreciate up close and from extreme perspectives.
Dead-on, the watch shows off its cushion curves and circular dial, but from the side its geometry tells a different story. The sapphire crystal is tall and proud, giving the watch depth while the lugs point downward to hug the wrist and lend angularity to the design.
Mostly true to the vintage CAF, the dial is sharp and sophisticated in its execution bearing a deep black dial and bold white luminous Arabic numerals. The pear-shaped hands are rhodium plated and coated in SuperLumiNova. A subsidiary dial sits at 6 o’clock, which is also home to a date aperture that breaks free from its past–the only misstep in the entire product but understandably a necessary convenience for the modern consumer.
Each case is individually numbered. Behind the dial is Longines caliber L615 based on ETA’s caliber 2895, a 27-jewel movement with 48 hours of power reserve on a full wind.
A black alligator strap accompanies the watch. Its contrast stitching nicely complements the white elements of the dial. It’s a comfortable leather that I would keep on the watch, but a leather NATO would dial up the military vibe appropriately if you want a change of pace.
The Heritage 1935 has a bold wrist presence. It wears relatively large given its cushion case and 42mm diameter, but I wouldn’t say it’s too big on my 6.75″ wrist.
Available in the fall of this year, the Longines Heritage 1935 will retail for $2,300.