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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Longines Heritage 1942 Chronograph

Jason Pitsch

November 5, 2012

Originally unveiled at Baselworld in March, the Heritage 1942 Chronograph pays homage to archival Longines wristwatches from the 1940s. The Heritage 1942 has a classic look, but with a modern case size of 40 mm by 12.5 mm. Fully polished (mirror finish) case, with flat sapphire glass which protrudes slightly above the fixed bezel and features an effective anti-reflective treatment. Its round pushers are consistent with vintage chronographs and further add to its vintage feel. The case back is sapphire, allowing a view into the self-winding column-wheel chronograph caliber L688.2 (ETA A08.L01) movement; the same movement used in the Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph that we featured here last year, which has 27 jewels, a frequency of 28,800 vph (4Hz) and a 54-hour power reserve.

The dial is lacquered (available in white or black, and features 9 Arabic numerals, a railway-track minute ring and a tachometric scale around the rim of the dial (white painted markings on the black dial and black on the white dial) The white-dial version has blued steel hands; the black dial version has rhodium-plated hands. Tachometric scale around the rim of the dial. Small seconds at 9 o’clock. Date aperture at 6 o’clock. 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock. Functions include hours, minutes, seconds, date. Chronograph center seconds, dragging 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and dragging 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock.

As is the case with most column wheel operated chronographs we have tested, the actuation of the start/stop/reset is smoother than a typical cam and lever operated chronograph (such as the Valjoux 7750) — although not as smooth as a Lange Datograph — which costs many, many times more. Some might argue that the hour hand is a bit short, and that is a valid point, however, this watch is based on a past model, and Longines was clearly trying to match the period, and besides it doesn’t take away from the reading the time — like it would if it was the minute hand. The crown is non-locking, so manual winding (if needed) is done from the pushed in position. Since the crown doesn’t screw down, water-resistant is only 30 meters. Pull the crown out one position, and you can set the hours and minutes. The date is not set via the crown, instead a key is included to adjust the date corrector located at 10 o’clock. Both dial colors come with a black alligator strap, with a signed and polished steel pin buckle.

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Something I noticed under slight magnification, is that the “4” Arabic numeral has a small paint defect. This is minor — and could be the result of being an early preproduction sample — but this is something I hope would not show up on a final production model.

This is a good looking timepiece, powered by a premium column-wheel chronograph movement with circular graining on the mainplate and bridges, as well as Geneva stripes on the rotor and a clear case back to admire it. The Heritage 1942 is more attractive (in my opinion), as well as more comfortable than the Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph that we covered in 2011, and it costs a hundred dollars less. Being a classic watch, it naturally works well with dressier attire; and because it is only 12.5 mm thick, it slides under a long-sleeve shirt nicely. If you are looking for a quality mechanical chronograph for under three thousand dollars, with a good brand name and heritage — then look look no further. There are very few options on the market that provide such a good value proposition. The price is $2,850. (Ref. L2.767.4.13.2 - white dial, L2.767.4.53.2 - black dial)

Hands-On, Longines


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