190-year-old Longines could be counted among the triumvirate of Swiss watchmaking’s most celebrated names back in the day. Without a doubt, Longines is a watchmaking brand with a strong tradition. After close to two centuries of craftsmanship forged in tradition, elegance and performance, Longines is guardian to one of the world’s greatest horological archives.

To mark its 190th anniversary, Longines is presenting a series of three exclusive timepieces with well-finished and uncharacteristically elaborate dials featuring exquisite textures and engraving. Named the Longines Master Collection, this is a line emblematic of its rich heritage.

Combining classic elegance and excellence, these watches are available in regular production stainless-steel models as well as two premium precious-metal editions: the 18-carat yellow- and rose-gold versions are presented in a limited, numbered edition of 190 pieces to underline their exclusivity.

Emblematic of classic mid-20th-century dress watches, gentlemanly proportions and an exquisite dial easily make the Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary one of the most appealing of vintage-styled references from the brand. That said, it is not a reissue from their archives even though it wouldn’t feel out of place alongside the several dozen reissues currently in its catalogue.

Flourishes like the engraved Breguet hour numerals set the anniversary edition of this Master Collection apart from its siblings. The Master Collection is traditionally a lineup of watches ranging from simple time-and-date models to annual calendars and moonphases with polished stainless-steel cases and stamped guilloche dials bearing Arabic numerals.

The 9.35 mm thin three-hand Master Collection 190th Anniversary stands heads and shoulders above them all as simply one of the most luxuriously crafted entry-level timepieces I have ever seen. Enjoying a 40 mm round case, with classic lines, and housing an exclusive in-house Longines movement with a silicon balance-spring, the Master Collection 190th Anniversary stands out aesthetically through its meticulous workmanship and the special care lavished on every detail.

The grained anthracite, brushed grey or sandblasted silver dial is distinguished by a unique finish and delicately, if machine-engraved Arabic numerals‒ what makes this feat even more remarkable is that the sharp cuts reminiscent of hand-engraving are so distinct that it would take all but the most experienced watch connoisseur to know the difference.

Longines Master Collection box

Sophistication abounds with minimal text on the dial executed in classic italic upon subtle yet sumptuous straight grained or granular frosted surfaces. Accompanied by elegant pink, gilt or blued steel hands marking the passing hours, minutes and seconds, these elements serve to accent the dials’ refined purity.

Longines Master Collection 190th Anniversary

Price + Specs

Case 40 mm x 9.35 mm stainless steel, 18K yellow or rose gold with 30 metres water resistance
Movement Automatic calibre L888.5 with 72 hours power reserve
Price S$3,420 for steel, S$17,170 for gold

(Images: Longines)

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