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The Complete Buying Guide to Longines Watches

From the Legend Diver to the Spirit and beyond.

longines watch collection
Longines

Welcome to Brand Breakdown, a series of comprehensive yet easy-to-digest guides to your favorite companies, with insights and information you won’t find on the average About page.

Longines is one of the nineteen watch manufacturers that comprise the massive Swatch Group. Located in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, the brand produces luxury watches with a modern internal inventory and part delivery system — it leverages its automation in conjunction with traditional watchmaking to produce nearly two million watches annually.

There are over 1,200 different models in the Longines catalog, though that number does take into account that every strap option or dial color variation results in a different SKU. This number of models available allows Longines to serve the diverse tastes of global markets — the brand achieves an enormous market presence by strategically positioning its watches at a price point within the Swatch Group below Omega and above Tissot.

Longines currently concentrates its sports sponsorships to alpine skiing, archery, and equestrian sports, with brand ambassadors such as Kate Winslet, Mikaela Shiffrin, and Andre Agassi. The combination of high-profile partnerships, the volume of luxury watches produced, and the winged hourglass logo make the Longines brand recognizable around the world.

Longines' History

The history of Longines starts long before a list of mergers leading to the Swatch Group. The Swiss watch manufacturer was founded in 1832, and their breakthrough in watchmaking came in 1878 through developing the first chronograph watch movement, the caliber H20. (The H20 features start, stop, and reset functions controlled by a single monopusher in the crown.) By 1886 Longines was supplying pocket watches with chronograph complications that could be used to time professional-level sporting events, which began their connection with equestrian sports.

Longines began the transition from pocket watches to wristwatches in 1913 with the 29mm reference 13.33Z, a chronograph. In 1919, just post-World War I, Longines was named the official watch supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation as aviation gained popularity. During World War II, the brand was one of twelve companies contracted by the British Ministry of Defense to manufacture the W.W.W. (Watch, Wrist, Waterproof) for British soldiers, which are collectively known today as the "Dirty Dozen." During these early decades of the 20th century, famous Longines wearers included theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, legendary actor Humphrey Bogart, and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.

In the 1970s, Longines resisted manufacturing quartz watch movements and instead developed ultra-thin mechanical movements. These thin movements bridged the gap until Longines joined the Societe Suisse de Microelectronique et d’Horlogerie (SMH) in 1983 — the conglomerate that would continue to evolve into the Swatch Group.

Longines maintains detailed numerical records by the serial number of every watch that they have produced, and owners can request “Certificate of Authenticity” and/or an “Extract from the Archives” for detailed information about their timepiece. (This process is detailed on the Longines website.) Interestingly, the brand's winged hourglass logo continues to be the oldest registered trademark in the world that is still being used for its original purpose.

Below, we've included a guide to each model line within the collection as well as several standout models.

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The Elegance Collection
elegance collection
Longines

The Elegance Collection is the largest and most diverse collection in Longines’ catalog, and is organized into five product lines: La Grande Classique de Longines, Longines PrimaLuna, Longines DolceVita, Présence, Longines Symphonette, Longines Lyre, and Flagship. Elegance focuses on dress watches: Gem-set cases and diamonds abound. But it's about more than classy timepieces — many of Longines’ classic and more versatile designs can be found here.

DolceVita (Ref. L5.767.4.71.0)
Longines

For those who can’t seem to find the right sized Cartier tank, the DolceVita provides a compelling alternative. There are many dial configurations available, with the silver flinqué dial being the standout. (Flinqué is a method of patterned dial engraving.) Note the clean edges of the printed Roman Numeral hour indices and the LONGINES branding on the dial. 

Movement: Cal. L592 automatic 

Dimensions: 28.2 x 47 x 10.3mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Alligator leather

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Présence (Ref. L4.905.1.11.2)
Longines

The 40mm Présence is one of those watches that can play up: The red gold-colored PVD coating gives the wearer a superlative wrist presence without needing to overspend. This relative bargain still has the luxury Longines timepiece chops with a matte white dial and high-quality leather strap, while the caliber L892 movement found in the 40mm Présence offers a 72-hour power reserve. 

Movement: Cal. L892 automatic

Dimensions: 40 x 9mm

Material: Stainless steel and red PVD coating

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Leather 

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Flagship (Ref. L4.984.4.52.2)
Longines

If you're looking to buy a luxury timepiece for a gift like a graduation or an anniversary, start here. Proof that "conservative" does not have to be boring, the Flagship is a crowd-pleaser, with one of the widest appeals in the entire catalog. The stainless steel 40mm case will fit a variety of wrist sizes and Longines’ clean styling allows the wearer to easily dress the watch up or down. 

Movement: Cal. L888 automatic

Dimensions: 40 x 8.7mm

Material: Stainless steel 

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Leather or bracelet

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Watchmaking Tradition
watchmaking tradition watches
Longines

The Watchmaking Tradition line — which contains the largest number of watches of any line — features pieces that showcase Longines’ rich heritage. It's divided into six subcategories: The Longines Master Collection, The Longines 1832, The Longines Elegant Collection, Record Collection, Longines Evidenza, and Heritage Classic. If you're looking for a luxury timepiece that has roots in that past, Longines pulls from its historical catalog to inspire many of the timepieces found here, some of which come in precious metals.

The Longines Master Collection (Ref. L2.793.8.78.3)
Longines

The Longines Master Collection is a great entry point into luxury precious metal timepieces, and it delivers with a punch — there's no gold plating here. The ref L2.793.8.78.3 specifically is solid pink gold, and at 40mm, it's both wearable and dapper. The brand calls the unique texture on the dial “barleycorn." 

Movement: Cal. L888 automatic

Dimensions: 40 x 9.8mm

Material: Pink gold 18k

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Alligator leather

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The Longines 1832 (Ref. L4.826.4.92.2)
Longines

The 40mm Longines 1832 reference L4.826.4.92.2 features a beige dial that appears cream in a certain light. To reinforce the traditional Swiss design, Longines positioned the moon phase complication at six o’clock, which is complemented by the small hand pointer date. The Longines 1832 automatic movement has a 72-hour power reserve and can be visually appreciated through the display case back. 

Movement: Cal. L899 automatic

Dimensions: 40x 12.3mm

Material: Stainless Steel

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Alligator leather

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The Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph (Ref. L2.830.4.93.0)
Longines

The Longines Heritage Classic Chronograph features a tuxedo (black and white) dial that balances the two sub dials — a running seconds at three o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph counter — at nine o’clock using a bicompax layout. Historically inspired features of the Heritage Classic Chronograph include blued steel subdial hands and an international tachymeter scale on the outer dial. The multi-layer anti-reflective coating on the sapphire crystal is a noted modern touch. 

Movement: Cal. L895 automatic 

Dimensions: 40 x 13.6mm

Material: Stainless Steel

Water Resistance: 3 Bar

Strap: Leather

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Avigation
avigation watches
Longines

When thinking about flight-inspired watches, multi-time zone and circular slide rule timepieces often come to mind, though Longines takes a different approach. The Avigation collection of watches breaks down the pilot’s watch into a simpler format, while the three Avigation subcategories are highly legible and focus on the pre-jet era. These classic timepieces combine vintage styling with modern robustness. Many of the watches in the Avigation collection have vintage Longines counterparts.

Longines Spirit (Ref. L3.810.4.03.2)
Longines

The matte green dial with five stars is nicknamed the “IKE” and is the favorite among the Spirit sub-collection. However, the Longines Spirit is also available with black, blue, or silver dials as well. It also has a quick-change leather strap or you can purchase the watch on a bracelet for an extra $250. 42mm versions are available if you prefer a larger watch. 

Movement: L888.4 automatic (COSC Certified) 

Dimensions: 40 x 12.2mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 100m

Strap: Leather or steel bracelet

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The Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale
Longines

The Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale pays tribute to the Longines reference 5774, a watch issued to the Marine Nationale (French Navy) by Longines starting in the late 1940s. Today the case diameter of the Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale has been increased from 33mm to 38.5mm for modern tastes, though it preserves the mid-century military ethos. 

Movement: Cal. L888 automatic

Dimensions: 38.5 x 12.3mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Leather

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The Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935
Longines

The Longines Avigation Type-A7 1935 chronograph is a timepiece that you would see in the very early days of aviation. The most striking feature of the design is the 45-degree offset on the dial, which comes from a pilot's need to read the time quickly without removing their hands from the aircraft’s yoke. The single-push piece chronograph pusher emanates from traditional pocket watch designs that contained a chronograph complication. 

Movement: Cal. L788 automatic

Dimensions: 41 x 14.1mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 30m

Strap: Alligator leather

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Diving
diving watch collection
Longines

Longines’ Diving collection offers both modern and vintage-inspired dive options that appeal to diverse aesthetic preferences. Along with the distinct dive watch models available, there are different colors and sizes available, particularly in the HydroConquest line. Within the HydroConquest line, Longines offers both three-handers and chronographs, all with 300m of water resistance. Swiss manufactured quartz and mechanical movement are both offered, and the collection consists primarily of stainless steel cases with a few models that have gold-colored PVD coating for a two-tone look.

HydroConquest (Ref. L3.741.4.96.6)
Longines

The HydroConquest is a tremendous value in the Swiss sports luxury timepiece category. In a trend of oversized dive watches, Longines produces a refreshing 39mm version of it, though it only comes with an aluminum bezel insert. (The 41mm Hydroconquest is offered with either aluminum or ceramic bezel insert — a 43mm black ceramic version is also available for $3,725.) All HydroConquest watches are fully capable in the water, with dive extensions on the bracelets and a generous abundance of Swiss Super-LumiNova® treatment on the dial. 

Movement: Cal. L888 automatic

Dimensions: 39 x 11.9mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 300m

Strap: Steel bracelet 

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The Longines Legend Diver Watch (Ref. L3.774.4.50.2)
Longines

Many luxury Swiss watch manufacturers are currently offering bronze models, and the golden-colored case over a green dial of the Legend Diver is certainly on-trend. The Legend Driver’s bronze case will age over time developing a unique patina for each owner, though it features a titanium case back to keep the bronze’s oxidation off your wrist. The dual crowns are functional: One sets the timekeeping, and the other crown rotates the internal dive flange to measure elapsed time. Longines includes an additional NATO-style strap with the watch. 

Movement: Cal. L888 automatic

Dimensions: 42 x 12.7mm

Material: Bronze

Water Resistance: 300m

Strap: Leather and NATO-type straps

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The Longines Skin Diver Watch (Ref. L2.822.4.56.6)
Longines

The Skin Diver, with its 300m of water resistance with painted numerals, is a modern reinterpretation of Longines' original dive watch design from 1959. As a bonus, it's the same price on a bracelet, rubber strap, or leather strap, though the best value is in the bracelet version. Just about any 22mm strap is going to look great if you feel the need to switch it up. 

Movement: Cal. L888 automatic

Dimensions: 42 x 13.7mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 300m

Strap: Stainless steel bracelet (mesh); rubber strap; leather strap 

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Performance
performance watch
Longines

Longines doesn’t purely focus on its rich back catalog for inspiration — the company is also introducing luxury timepieces with modern designs and features. Longines centers the Performance collection around the Conquest derivative, which is divided into three very distinctive sub-categories: The Conquest Classic is a contemporary design with a mid-size case, which you'll recognize because its case shape is similar to that of the HydroConquest. Remove the Hydro and you are left with Conquest, a similar watch without the diving mastery. The third Performance sub-category is the V.H.P (Very High Precision), all of which feature quartz movements with an extraordinary level of accuracy.

Conquest Classic (Ref. L2.387.0.57.6)
Longines

The 36mm Longines Conquest Classic glistens in a gender-neutral and pleasing package, with forty-five Top Wesselton diamonds set around the inside of the bezel. What makes this Longines Conquest Classic unique is the black ceramic outer bezel for added strength and durability. In addition to the bezel, this the dial is highlighted by eleven Top Wesselton diamonds on the hour indices. 

Movement: Cal. L165 quartz

Dimensions: 36 x 8.8mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 50m

Strap: Steel bracelet

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Conquest (L3.777.4.76.6)
Longines

Models like the Conquest are in line with Longines' initiatives for an appeal to a vast audience. This model is Longines’ purest form of its modern design language: Once the dive watch design elements are stripped away, the result is a clean and modern luxury timepiece. The Conquest offers dials in classic colors (silver, black, blue, and mother of pearl). In addition, Longines offers five case sizes (29.5, 34, 39, 41, and 43mm) as well as mechanical movements. However, the quartz Conquests are a mere $800, providing a compelling entryway into luxury timepieces. 

Movement: Cal. L888 automatic

Dimensions: 41 x 11.7mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 300m

Strap: Leather strap or bracelet 

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Conquest V.H.P. GMT (Ref. L3.718.4.96.9)
Longines

The Longines Conquest V.H.P. (Very High Precision) makes a sound case for the category of elite luxury travel watches: The user can easily swap between home and travel time with a simple push of the crown. More complex functions can be easily set using Longines’ V.H.P. GMT Flash app — your mobile device flashes a code using its LED light to transmit home and travel time zones to a sensor on the dial. Further, the Conquest V.H.P. is accurate to +/- 5 seconds per year. 

Movement: Cal. L287 quartz

Dimensions: 41 x 12.5mm

Material: Stainless steel

Water Resistance: 50m

Strap: Bracelet or rubber strap  

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