While we don’t often think about Longines outside of news that pops up around their involvement in equestrian events, they do have a number of watches on offer. Some of them we may not give a second glance to, but others certainly do pop out. One we wrote about a in 2019, and another is the one that we’re covering today – the Longines Spirit Titanium.
If you?re up on the watch releases this year, you?ll realized that the Longines Heritage Classic actually came out a while ago. Well, I happened to be out on an extended holiday at the time, but when I saw the news about it, I knew it was a watch I wanted to cover. Better late than never, yeah?
Race horses, art museum parties, tiny bites of international food, gambling, shmoozing with socialites, luxury watches, and a 250lb whole tuna – what’s not to love about attending the 2018 Breeders Cup? Watchmaker Longines hosted me – and a number of other journalists and industry experts – at the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. We were treated to the race, parties, special events, and lots of Longines brand history and discussion. Let’s check it out.
The Longines HydroConquest USA Edition is a classic stainless diver with a distinct USA flair of patriotism. It’s heavy duty construction feels durable and solid, the Longines brand and reputation gives solid cred, and the USA edition flare makes it special. I wore the HydroConquest for a week, and at the end of my time, was comfortable with it in board meetings as well as on the weekend. If I had the opportunity, I’d easily be taking this piece along with my on an upcoming scuba diving trip.
The Longines Legend Diver is a new take on a classic diver design, fitting traditional diver performance in a package that’s sleek enough to wear with a suit, functional enough to dive with, and tough enough to wear daily. I spend a week with the Legend Diver, and felt proud sporting it around town.
Longines is a brand that, for some reason, seems to escape hitting some watch folks’ radar – myself included. That is, until I actually think about them, and I realize that, yeah, they do have some pretty nice looking pieces. And, in fact, their just-announced additions to the Longines Master Collection seem to be right in my wheelhouse.
I recently returned from a week photographing the annual conference of American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute (AWCI). I was there to teach photography and get images of the event that has been held annually since 1960. I felt like I was speed-dating at a club of modern-day watchmaking shamans, who openly talked about missing their watch bench and the trance-state in which they function as they solve our watch-wearing woes. I learned a lot about what to look for in a watchmaker.
The world of fine watches is a benighted place. Strange hang-ups masquerading as tradition are the norm and historically watch companies have looked at every new improvement to their business with trepidation. Consider the quartz movement, for example. Texas Instruments approached a number of Swiss companies when they first created the miniaturized quartz watch but no one wanted it – it was beneath them. China and Japan, however, bought the movements by the truckload and ate old horology’s lunch.
For years, watch companies have only allowed their wares to be sold through authorized dealers. This meant you had to go into a frou-frou shop, get talked down to by a snooty salesperson, and then pay over retail for a watch that was worth, in terms of parts and materials, about half of its sticker price. Pretty nice scam, huh?
The Internet came along and those authorized dealers hit on a nice scam. They’d “sell” their watches to real people – shills, usually – and those real people would resell them online. Swatch Group, for example, is currently fighting this grey market in the Supreme Court. However, another part of the Swatch Group, Longines, is taking to the Internet like a duck to duck sauce.