It’s telling that for its a hundred and ninetieth anniversary, Longines has not chosen to go down the bombastic route with an overtly difficult timepiece, neither has it reissued an iconic watch from its archives. As an alternative, the Swiss watchmaker has pulled the rug out from below our ft with the launch of three time-only fashions from the Grasp assortment.
And we’re undoubtedly not complaining — in actual fact, we’d go so far as to name this transfer a masterstroke (dangerous pun supposed). The automated watches are an train in restrained class, an excellent showcase of Longines’ steadiness between previous, current and future. The Longines Grasp Assortment a hundred and ninetieth Anniversary assortment abounds with particulars that pay tribute to the model’s heritage of high quality watchmaking, whereas doubling down on its forward-looking imaginative and prescient. What does this imply? Nicely, for one, the watches are elegantly packaged in 40mm spherical circumstances, wrought in stainless-steel, yellow and rose gold. The latter two variations are restricted to 190 items, whereas the metal model is limitless.
Every model comes with a contemporary anthracite dial, every progressively darker than the opposite. The stainless-steel model has a sandblasted mild silver dial, whereas the yellow gold one encompasses a darker, sun-brushed model. The dial on the rose gold model is even darker, in granular anthracite, making for essentially the most modern-looking piece within the assortment.
Elegant Breguet numerals are engraved onto the dial, and additional reinforce the classical aesthetic of the piece with the leaf-shaped palms and classic Longines emblem. Your complete impact is barely nostalgic, whereas imbued with up to date touches. A silicon hairspring, as an example, ensures higher resistance to magnetism. By way of the sapphire caseback, the celebration continues — conventional ending methods reminiscent of cotes de Genève and perlage beautify the motion, whereas the specifically designed rotor options Longines’ engraved emblem and cut-out winged motif to commemorate the milestone.
Lesson in Historical past
The Grasp assortment was launched in 2005, and has since spawned a whole collection of classically designed, automated watches that embrace time-only variations, chronographs, calendars, moonphases and extra.
Over time, the Grasp assortment has represented the end result of Longines’ biggest hits, showcasing its historical past by means of an ever-versatile canvas that lends itself nicely to each simplicity and complexity — no straightforward feat. Whereas the packaging is distinctly oldschool classical, every iteration comes imbued with the revolutionary spirit that has lengthy knowledgeable Longines’s endeavours.
Up to now 190 years, Longines has continuously sought to transform the wheels of watchmaking to enhance timekeeping, whether or not by way of its merchandise or the way in which it produces watches. It began its life again in 1832 within the village of Saint Imier by a person referred to as August Agassiz, who was a watchmaker and a banker. He had two companions, a few attorneys, who would retire inside a number of years. August ultimately roped his nephew Ernest Francillon into the corporate in 1852 to handle the enterprise progress, and collectively, they repeatedly broke conference. As an alternative of following the system of etablissage the place the model assembled parts comprised of completely different ateliers, Longines determined to fabricate all parts in-house.
Ernest broke floor on a brand new web site in Saint Imier, ultimately altering the identify of the corporate from Raiguel Jeune & Cie to Longines, which implies lengthy meadows in French. The corporate would preserve enhancing the way in which they produce their watches, drawing inspiration from American mass manufacturing methods, thus cementing the model’s status for qualitative, creative and stylish timepieces.
With a purpose to counteract the problem of counterfeits, Longines filed its model identify and emblem with the United Worldwide Bureaux for the Safety of Mental Property in 1893, thus turning into the longest-surviving model so far.
This legacy of considering exterior the field continues to tell Longines right now, leading to qualitative and accessible watches that supply loads of bang for his or her buck. Even the Grasp Assortment a hundred and ninetieth Anniversary is fairly priced, with the metal model obtainable for S$3,420, whereas the restricted version gold variations are S$17,170.
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