Longines just announced a new heritage release that honors a watch the brand manufactured for British paratroopers in the 1940s. It’s a welcome and refreshing, if not somewhat sober, addition to the heritage lineup, which is dominated by aviation- and diving-inspired timepieces. Longines has a winning formula they execute on when it comes to heritage releases: pick a watch from the museum collection, recraft it with modern materials and then, usually, put an unsightly date window on it.

Longines Heritage Military COSD

While Longines does stick to the script here, there’s some refreshing execution to appreciate. First, yes, there’s a date on the dial that wasn’t present in the original model, but it works here in terms of size and placement. The dial is otherwise clean and features the broad arrow at 12 o’clock that signified, at the time, that the watch was British government property. Behind the dial is Longines caliber L619.2 (ETA 2892), a simple but fitting movement for the watch.

Longines Military COSD (Original)

The case seems like a winner from the press photos. It’s 40mm, but I don’t think it will wear small on the wrist due to its long lugs. I don’t have lug-to-lug measurements to verify, but the pictures suggest serious lug-to-lug distance. In some ways, I suspect the COSD will wear like a NOMOS Club, enabling the buyer to get away with a small case size on a 7-inch or bigger wrist. The flat bezel is interesting, adding tremendous depth to a watch that seems like it will have a relatively low profile. The crown, still a tad oversized, has been downsized from the original and I can’t help but ask: what if they kept it larger and truer to the original? Could be interesting.

Longines Heritage Military COSD

The watch comes in either an opaline dial with blued hands or matte black dial with rhodium plated hands. OEM straps are either a black alligator or a synthetic khaki NATO. Opaline with NATO seems like the choice to go with. The NATO is more military appropriate and, given the length of the lugs, I suspect that a leather strap will result in a large, awkward gap between the end of the strap and the case (like the NOMOS Club).

Price is $1,700 on NATO and $1,900 on leather.

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