Newly available in the U.S., the Longines Heritage 1969 is not a travel watch, per se, but its cushion case and retro good looks can’t help but evoke the golden age of air travel. I feel classier just looking at it.

The cushion case is 36 x 36 mm and stands just 9 mm tall, with a signed crown in the usual place. The pink-gold-colored stick hands and matching applied indices provide a simple contract to the bold personality of the polished stainless case. A snap-on case back hides the automatic caliber L888.2 movement, an enhanced ETA 2892 with a power reserve beefed up from 45 to 64 hours.

You will likely love or hate the date window askew at 4:30. The angle should make it nicely legible with arm outstretched, whether you’re holding your in-flight martini or typing on your laptop. I’m usually a fan of any date window that isn’t at 3:00, but this one looks a little forlorn, by itself down there in the corner. Longines seems aware of that issue, as they moved the date window inboard a bit from the original; that is the sort of subtle change that makes a Longines re-issue so satisfying.

Longines has a knack for reissuing old watches in a way that feels authentic and fresh. They have gotten so good at it that it doesn’t feel like a gimmick. The style stays the same but manufacturing process and tolerances are improved, and minor adjustments are made. So these reissues are even better than new-old-stock in some ways.

Retail price is $2,050 on a black alligator strap with pin buckle.

ByJim Manley

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