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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am lucky enough to have a job during this pandemic, and lucky enough to run a small account of buying and selling watches, so I have the personal benefit of wearing the watches I get, before they get sold. And I employ the strategy of only buying/trading watches that I personally would wear, so if they don't get sold, I wouldn't mind.

Longines as a brand has always been a dark-horse in the horology industry, they have been around long enough, but never made an impact big enough. And they are still content - until today, use "generic" ETA movements, but modified to their standard.

15532119


And for the recent years, I believe Longines have played a very important, and significant strategy of re-issuing their older historical models. This personally, I believe - leads to a real success in sales and marketing. While also re-instanting how vast is Longines history, reaching way back to the early 1900s.

What I have here, is something that I have really longed for, and wish to see in person, the Heritage Classic Sector dial. I have always been a fan of small subsecond dials, and this is one of the best execution in the business - IMHO. Sure it may not win awards, nor will it be "as beautiful" as the JLC for example, but, I personally think, for the price being offered, it has no competition.

15532120


Sadly, in my country, this model is not yet available, and the sales rep told me he doesn't even know if it will be available at all. Adding the current pandemic condition, I think it will be far fetched fo rme to find one soon locally.

I usually opt for finding one overseas, when I have friends who are travelling, or a more professional watch sales website goes out, I ask them to find one for me, and I will compensate with a certain fee. But of course, that is also something I find difficult to do, as there are many bans and travel restrictions in many countries and cities.

Out of the blue, a preowned one, purchased mid 2020, popped up for sale, and it only took me 15 minutes for me to make the call, haggle a bit, and made the purchase. It costed me some $1650, and I personally think it's on the high side of a preowned watch. However, thinking all the difficulties I may encounter to even find another example, I never hesitated.

It comes with a super large box, much like the BigEye, and the Legend Diver, and is very heavy. Although this one does come with extra stuffs inside, making the large box seems more appropriate. As you can see, it comes supplied with a funky blue NATO Strap, and a strap removal tool on the right side.

15532121


This version comes with a simple black calfskin strap with minimal stitching. And I believe there is another version, that comes with a blueish suede strap, and is accompanied by a grey-ish NATO strap instead of blue. I personally would get this black strap version anyway if I were to purchase it new.

I think it's nice to have options like this, so people can get what they actually like better, instead of just getting whatever strap that comes with it and swapping it out. But being a watch nerd like me, I did swap it out anyway, because I find that a watch like this, should have been paired with a more interesting strap.

15532122


Now lets talk about the proportions. I think this watch is superbly sized - any smaller it would look too vintage-y, any larger it would look out of place. This one measures exactly at 38.5mm, and I think is a sweet spot for watches, and fits many wrists nicely, be it both on the small or the larger side. We also get a 47mm-ish lug to lug length, which is great, but I think is a tad too long for the scale of the watchcase. I would highly prefer a 45ish lug to lug, and personally I think that would fit better overall.

You can see that the case is fully satinized and brushed, giving it a more tool watch appearance, and to be honest, gives way to spotlight the sector dial that is to me - the star of the show.

What I love most about this watch, is the 19mm lug width (hello sarcasm), odd lug widths are always annoying. Not only they are "less universal", I have also invested in alot of 20mm and 18mm straps, and because I do buy and sell watches alot, I prefer to use straps from my existing collections instead of buying one. Yes you could argue that I can always wear 18mm straps, or squeeze 20mm straps, but either one would impose a problem for me, as one would have a gap on the lugs, the other will most likely damage the strap.

15532128


On the side you get a larger pilot-esque crown. I understand that this watch was previously involved in aviation, but nonetheless the crown is large and very very nice to operate. It doesn't have a screwdown crown though, abit of a shame, would prefer to have that.

It is also rated at 30M water resistant, which I don't care at all, I never go deeper than a swimming pool. Besides, I never take my watches for a swim, especially those with leather straps. So whatever haha.

The sides of the case is fully brushed, but you see that there is an odd line spanning horizontally diving the case. I am not sure if that is a design cue, or is a technical decision. Either way, it does break up the chunkyness from the side profile nicely.

15532132


15532133


Now, the star of the piece, is the dial. Its called a sector dial for a reason, it divices the areas and spaces of the watch, using clean lines and markers, making the watch one of the easiest dial to read.

The base of the dial is very light beige, and in certain lights, it looks almost white. On the hour and minute marker ring, you have a brushed silver finish that plays with the light and changes it actual appearance from being totally matte, to dark, or even shiny. You can't really tell the brushing with the naked eye, but up close, you can definitely see it.

We also get the small seconds sub dial at 6, it has the same beige colour, but has a concentric pattern to it, and cuts off the hour silver ring by a bit, breaking up the symmetry a little bit. While this is a subject of an entirely different debate, having a cut-off numeral is nothing of a deal-breaker to me. And to be honest, I never even cared about it until I read about it, and someone even made an "alternative" image, were the 6 not cut off. To me, I like it the way it is, any smaller the sub dial will look just cute, any larger it would not have the exact imbalance as it does now. But that comes down to a matter of taste.

It is also devoid of any letters except the Longines branding - which is gorgeous. This is where "less is more" truly means.

Another thing of note, and is one of my favourite feature, is the really slender, slim, hour and minute hands, and is blued. I think when light hits at a certain angle, the colours beams vividly and adds a touch of fun and contrast to an otherwise very subdued dial.

15532170


From the side you can clearly see that the sapphire crystal is raised quite significantly from the bezel of the case. This is otherwise known as a top-hat around my area, and very slightly curved.

This lends the additional vintage-y vibe for the watch, while maintaining the scratch resistance and strength of a more modern sapphire.

15532143


15532147


The back of the case is a different story. It is highly polished - which you can see is definitely a scratch magnet, and is littered with words everywhere. It is as full as it can get I suppose, and I do wish it's brushed finished as well.

You can see clearly from the strap as well that it indicates the 19mm lug width, but funnily, the supplied NATO strap measures at 18mm (clearly says that too - but I forgot to take a pic). So I guess either Longines got lazy, of they are hard pressed finding or making that tang buckle into a 19mm (NATOs doesnt taper).

So I guess, Longines, you just created more problems to yourself than you originally thought.

15532148


The watch houses a specially modified ETA 2892 movement (this is a higher end version of a more "basic" ETA 2824), dubbed the calibre L893.5 (Thanks @Kirkawall ). It does add extra bells and whistles and has definitely is higher spec'ed than the off-the-shelf ETA. I have also learnt that this calibre is made specifically only for Longines, and is not available to other brands, even those within the group. While I am not an in-house junky, I do find that at this pricepoint, Longines could have offered more (perhaps a display caseback with a better decorated movement perhaps?).

Aside from that, I find the ETA-based movement is great, they are a tried and tested movement, and have been long enough to be serviced so easily by any adept watchmakers, and finding parts will never be a problem. Oh I also learnt that it beats at an odd 25000 ish, and has a power reserve of around 64 hours.

15532149


15532150


On my 16.5cm circumference wrist, I think the watch sits very very handsomely. It is neither too large nor too small, and it gives the wrist presence too. It looks very understated, yet very sophisticated at the same time.

This watch is to me - a really great example of a "home-run" from longines. If there were anything that I could change, would be the lug width, and the lug to lug length.

15532152


And as you can see, the watch also plays very very nicely with numerous straps. You can easily dress this watch up or down, and is a very strong candidate for a one watch collection. However if you prefer something like a dive watch or super sporty, then this watch should not be on your list.

But if you fancy everything else, walks on the beach, wine drinking, country driving, going for strolls, even to work and business meetings, then this is the watch for you.

15532156


I am so so so glad I didn't hesitate to make the purchase, and it is probably one of my best purchases ever. Now the question stands - will it go up to my sales place, or will I keep it permanently as my personal collection? Only time will tell...

Thank you for reading!
 

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Great review and lovely photos!

I've had mine for perhaps six months and love it. In fact, I'd argue it's the best looking sector dial out there - better looking than the JLC, where the symmetry is ruined by the date window. I also think the Longines' stick hands are better suited to this aesthetic than the fussy leaf hands on the JLC. To me, the Longines is something of an aesthetic tour de force.

The only niggles for me are the thickness relative to diameter and the lug width.

15532167
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Great review and lovely photos!

I've had mine for perhaps six months and love it. In fact, I'd argue it's the best looking sector dial out there - better looking than the JLC, where the symmetry is ruined by the date window. I also think the Longines' stick hands are better suited to this aesthetic than the fussy leaf hands on the JLC. To me, the Longines is something of an aesthetic tour de force.

The only niggles for me are the thickness relative to diameter and the lug width.

View attachment 15532167
I would agree on several points you made, and the date window on the JLC does "damage" the dial's symmetry somewhat. And thats a nice looking strap you got for it too!
 

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Great review - awesome photos - beautiful watch - too small for my 8/5" fat hams but no question its a gem
I have long been a Longines fan - having a Master collection for a decade and enjoying my Heritage chrono diver
One of the best value brands out there - with one of the best histories in horology too

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great review - awesome photos - beautiful watch - too small for my 8/5" fat hams but no question its a gem
I have long been a Longines fan - having a Master collection for a decade and enjoying my Heritage chrono diver
One of the best value brands out there - with one of the best histories in horology too

View attachment 15532188
You know, I have always been interested in this chronograph, but I can never find one in the metal. Does it actually come with that bracelet?
 

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No - it came on rubber with deployant or original design bracelet
I swapped it to this Staib mesh cos the original was mainly polished & too bling for me

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Thank you for the wonderful write-up! I have to agree with you and @LosAngelesTimer, there is very little competition for that beautiful dial, I'd argue at any price point short of, say, a PP. And this is coming from a JLC Sector Dial owner. 😅 If I didn't already have that I have no doubt I'd snatch this up in a heartbeat, and I have thought about it many a times, though I just can't seem to bring myself to part with it. Either it's a beast of a strap monster or you just have exquisite taste in strap selection, or both, but it looks seriously at home on all the straps. I'm biased towards the final one, as my sector dial is also rocking the same(?) combo, courtesy of Hodinkee.
15532440
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the wonderful write-up! I have to agree with you and @LosAngelesTimer, there is very little competition for that beautiful dial, I'd argue at any price point short of, say, a PP. And this is coming from a JLC Sector Dial owner. 😅 If I didn't already have that I have no doubt I'd snatch this up in a heartbeat, and I have thought about it many a times, though I just can't seem to bring myself to part with it. Either it's a beast of a strap monster or you just have exquisite taste in strap selection, or both, but it looks seriously at home on all the straps. I'm biased towards the final one, as my sector dial is also rocking the same(?) combo, courtesy of Hodinkee.
View attachment 15532440
Thank you for the kind words, and that just shows we have the same tastes. I wouldnt go as far as daring myself to compare this to your JLC, but given its much much lower price point its just hard to beat.

The last combo strap is definitely a must for either sector watches haha.

However, due to the "annoying" 19mm lug width, I couldnt pair it with my larger 20mm, more vast collection of straps!
 

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Great write up and a beautiful watch. 38.5mm is just too small for me unfortunately. I wish it were 1mm larger. I think that it would still look nice and then maybe the 47mm lug to lug would look a litt better against the case. Slight nits of course and there really isn't much not to like about this watch.
 

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Thank you for the wonderful write-up! I have to agree with you and @LosAngelesTimer, there is very little competition for that beautiful dial, I'd argue at any price point short of, say, a PP. And this is coming from a JLC Sector Dial owner. ? If I didn't already have that I have no doubt I'd snatch this up in a heartbeat, and I have thought about it many a times, though I just can't seem to bring myself to part with it. Either it's a beast of a strap monster or you just have exquisite taste in strap selection, or both, but it looks seriously at home on all the straps. I'm biased towards the final one, as my sector dial is also rocking the same(?) combo, courtesy of Hodinkee.
View attachment 15532440
Not sure where I got the idea this model has leaf hands. My mind's eye pictured it differently. The skeletonized hands are quite elegant.

Anyway, the JLC is clearly superior from a technical perspective - there's zero contest. My comments were referring strictly to the look. I wish they'd gone with a hand crank movement on the Longines to cut the height by a mm or two.
 

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I am lucky enough to have a job during this pandemic, and lucky enough to run a small account of buying and selling watches, so I have the personal benefit of wearing the watches I get, before they get sold. And I employ the strategy of only buying/trading watches that I personally would wear, so if they don't get sold, I wouldn't mind.

Longines as a brand has always been a dark-horse in the horology industry, they have been around long enough, but never made an impact big enough. And they are still content - until today, use "generic" ETA movements, but modified to their standard.

View attachment 15532119

And for the recent years, I believe Longines have played a very important, and significant strategy of re-issuing their older historical models. This personally, I believe - leads to a real success in sales and marketing. While also re-instanting how vast is Longines history, reaching way back to the early 1900s.

What I have here, is something that I have really longed for, and wish to see in person, the Heritage Classic Sector dial. I have always been a fan of small subsecond dials, and this is one of the best execution in the business - IMHO. Sure it may not win awards, nor will it be "as beautiful" as the JLC for example, but, I personally think, for the price being offered, it has no competition.

View attachment 15532120

Sadly, in my country, this model is not yet available, and the sales rep told me he doesn't even know if it will be available at all. Adding the current pandemic condition, I think it will be far fetched fo rme to find one soon locally.

I usually opt for finding one overseas, when I have friends who are travelling, or a more professional watch sales website goes out, I ask them to find one for me, and I will compensate with a certain fee. But of course, that is also something I find difficult to do, as there are many bans and travel restrictions in many countries and cities.

Out of the blue, a preowned one, purchased mid 2020, popped up for sale, and it only took me 15 minutes for me to make the call, haggle a bit, and made the purchase. It costed me some $1650, and I personally think it's on the high side of a preowned watch. However, thinking all the difficulties I may encounter to even find another example, I never hesitated.

It comes with a super large box, much like the BigEye, and the Legend Diver, and is very heavy. Although this one does come with extra stuffs inside, making the large box seems more appropriate. As you can see, it comes supplied with a funky blue NATO Strap, and a strap removal tool on the right side.

View attachment 15532121

This version comes with a simple black calfskin strap with minimal stitching. And I believe there is another version, that comes with a blueish suede strap, and is accompanied by a grey-ish NATO strap instead of blue. I personally would get this black strap version anyway if I were to purchase it new.

I think it's nice to have options like this, so people can get what they actually like better, instead of just getting whatever strap that comes with it and swapping it out. But being a watch nerd like me, I did swap it out anyway, because I find that a watch like this, should have been paired with a more interesting strap.

View attachment 15532122

Now lets talk about the proportions. I think this watch is superbly sized - any smaller it would look too vintage-y, any larger it would look out of place. This one measures exactly at 38.5mm, and I think is a sweet spot for watches, and fits many wrists nicely, be it both on the small or the larger side. We also get a 47mm-ish lug to lug length, which is great, but I think is a tad too long for the scale of the watchcase. I would highly prefer a 45ish lug to lug, and personally I think that would fit better overall.

You can see that the case is fully satinized and brushed, giving it a more tool watch appearance, and to be honest, gives way to spotlight the sector dial that is to me - the star of the show.

What I love most about this watch, is the 19mm lug width (hello sarcasm), odd lug widths are always annoying. Not only they are "less universal", I have also invested in alot of 20mm and 18mm straps, and because I do buy and sell watches alot, I prefer to use straps from my existing collections instead of buying one. Yes you could argue that I can always wear 18mm straps, or squeeze 20mm straps, but either one would impose a problem for me, as one would have a gap on the lugs, the other will most likely damage the strap.

View attachment 15532128

On the side you get a larger pilot-esque crown. I understand that this watch was previously involved in aviation, but nonetheless the crown is large and very very nice to operate. It doesn't have a screwdown crown though, abit of a shame, would prefer to have that.

It is also rated at 30M water resistant, which I don't care at all, I never go deeper than a swimming pool. Besides, I never take my watches for a swim, especially those with leather straps. So whatever haha.

The sides of the case is fully brushed, but you see that there is an odd line spanning horizontally diving the case. I am not sure if that is a design cue, or is a technical decision. Either way, it does break up the chunkyness from the side profile nicely.

View attachment 15532132

View attachment 15532133

Now, the star of the piece, is the dial. Its called a sector dial for a reason, it divices the areas and spaces of the watch, using clean lines and markers, making the watch one of the easiest dial to read.

The base of the dial is very light beige, and in certain lights, it looks almost white. On the hour and minute marker ring, you have a brushed silver finish that plays with the light and changes it actual appearance from being totally matte, to dark, or even shiny. You can't really tell the brushing with the naked eye, but up close, you can definitely see it.

We also get the small seconds sub dial at 6, it has the same beige colour, but has a concentric pattern to it, and cuts off the hour silver ring by a bit, breaking up the symmetry a little bit. While this is a subject of an entirely different debate, having a cut-off numeral is nothing of a deal-breaker to me. And to be honest, I never even cared about it until I read about it, and someone even made an "alternative" image, were the 6 not cut off. To me, I like it the way it is, any smaller the sub dial will look just cute, any larger it would not have the exact imbalance as it does now. But that comes down to a matter of taste.

It is also devoid of any letters except the Longines branding - which is gorgeous. This is where "less is more" truly means.

Another thing of note, and is one of my favourite feature, is the really slender, slim, hour and minute hands, and is blued. I think when light hits at a certain angle, the colours beams vividly and adds a touch of fun and contrast to an otherwise very subdued dial.

View attachment 15532170

From the side you can clearly see that the sapphire crystal is raised quite significantly from the bezel of the case. This is otherwise known as a top-hat around my area, and very slightly curved.

This lends the additional vintage-y vibe for the watch, while maintaining the scratch resistance and strength of a more modern sapphire.

View attachment 15532143

View attachment 15532147

The back of the case is a different story. It is highly polished - which you can see is definitely a scratch magnet, and is littered with words everywhere. It is as full as it can get I suppose, and I do wish it's brushed finished as well.

You can see clearly from the strap as well that it indicates the 19mm lug width, but funnily, the supplied NATO strap measures at 18mm (clearly says that too - but I forgot to take a pic). So I guess either Longines got lazy, of they are hard pressed finding or making that tang buckle into a 19mm (NATOs doesnt taper).

So I guess, Longines, you just created more problems to yourself than you originally thought.

View attachment 15532148

The watch houses a "generic" ETA 2824-2 movement, but modefied to Longines standard, and I'm not sure if it is COSC certified. While I am not an in-house junky, I do find that at this pricepoint, Longines could have offered more (perhaps a display caseback with a better decorated movement perhaps?).

Aside from that, I find the ETA movement is great, they are a tried and tested movement, and have been long enough to be serviced so easily by any adept watchmakers, and finding parts will never be a problem. Oh I also learnt that it beats at an odd 25000 ish, and has a power reserve of around 64 hours.

View attachment 15532149

View attachment 15532150

On my 16.5cm circumference wrist, I think the watch sits very very handsomely. It is neither too large nor too small, and it gives the wrist presence too. It looks very understated, yet very sophisticated at the same time.

This watch is to me - a really great example of a "home-run" from longines. If there were anything that I could change, would be the lug width, and the lug to lug length.

View attachment 15532152

And as you can see, the watch also plays very very nicely with numerous straps. You can easily dress this watch up or down, and is a very strong candidate for a one watch collection. However if you prefer something like a dive watch or super sporty, then this watch should not be on your list.

But if you fancy everything else, walks on the beach, wine drinking, country driving, going for strolls, even to work and business meetings, then this is the watch for you.

View attachment 15532156

I am so so so glad I didn't hesitate to make the purchase, and it is probably one of my best purchases ever. Now the question stands - will it go up to my sales place, or will I keep it permanently as my personal collection? Only time will tell...

Thank you for reading!
Great writeup!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not sure where I got the idea this model has leaf hands. My mind's eye pictured it differently. The skeletonized hands are quite elegant.

Anyway, the JLC is clearly superior from a technical perspective - there's zero contest. My comments were referring strictly to the look. I wish they'd gone with a hand crank movement on the Longines to cut the height by a mm or two.
Exactly my thoughts too, making it manually wound would be splendid. JLC's skeletonized siringe hands are quite nice actually. Wonder why they didnt opt to put the date at 6...
 

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Great, detailed writeup and beautiful photos -- many thanks for taking the time to produce such a useful review of this superb watch.

A quick note on the movement -- IIRC, the caliber L893.5 isn't quite a "generic ETA movement," and has some distinct advantages over its ETA base, including a generally higher spec, extra power reserve (as noted) and some silicon components (balance). While it isn't COSC-certified it seems to be closer to the Spirit line than some earlier Heritage ETA-derived calibers.

In terms of the movement quality and complexity alone, I agree that the JLC is comfortably ahead of the Longines, but I prefer the aesthetics of the Longines by a decent margin, and it's absolutely my pick given the price difference. I do think that a revamped hand-wind makes it a no-brainer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great, detailed writeup and beautiful photos -- many thanks for taking the time to produce such a useful review of this superb watch.

A quick note on the movement -- IIRC, the caliber L893.5 isn't quite a "generic ETA movement," and has some distinct advantages over its ETA base, including a generally higher spec, extra power reserve (as noted) and silicon balance. While it isn't COSC-certified it seems to be closer to the Spirit line than some earlier Heritage ETA-derived calibers.
I stand corrected, however, what I meant about "generic" (hence the quote unquote), is about that it uses a movement available for the masses despite the modifications being done. And I also meant that as a whole, Longines are content using non-inhouse movements for their calibres, despite being heavily modified.

Its like comparing the generic movement to a white shirt (despite being having a higher quality cloth), to say .. a vatican robe, where only a select few wears it and is made especially for them.
 

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I stand corrected, however, what I meant about "generic" (hence the quote unquote), is about that it uses a movement available for the masses despite the modifications being done.

Its like comparing the generic movement to a white shirt (despite being having a higher quality cloth), to say .. a vatican robe, where only a select few wears it and is made especially for them.
Of course, and it's no biggie -- just wanted to point out that it's a movement spec'd and made exclusively for Longines -- no one else gets it, even within the larger stable. It's one of the move Longines has made recently that I think is working out very well for them, a sort of midway point between designer and manufacture; or, to follow your analogy, a Vatican robe made in-house but not by the wearers themselves, as it were.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Of course, and it's no biggie -- just wanted to point out that it's a movement spec'd and made exclusively for Longines -- no one else gets it, even within the larger stable. It's one of the move Longines has made recently that I think is working out very well for them, a sort of midway point between designer and manufacture; or, to follow your analogy, a Vatican robe made in-house but not by the wearers themselves, as it were.
Interesting point! But yes, I guess it does make them somewhat in-house then. I wasnt entirely sure about the exclusivity, but thank you for pointing that out, learn something everyday!
 

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Thanks for a very detailed review! Your personal thoughts and nice photos really help to highlight the many details that are often difficult to find, even from the manufacturer.

I own 2 Longines watches (a hydoconquest and a 70-year old vintage model) and I really like the direction that Longines is going

Longines has been quietly releasing new watches with upgraded movements, but it is difficult to determine all of the details if you don’t really hunt for them.

Digging around the googles, it appears that this 893.5 movement has 21 Jewels, which leads me to believe that it is based on the ETA 2892 series movements rather than the 2824 series that is used as the base for the Powermatic 80 movements in the lower-cost ETA watch brands (Tissot, Certina, Mido, Rado). Longines uses a modified 2892 for the L888 movements in the Spirit, Hydroconquest, etc. These movements all use the 25200 beat rate (same as Omega), and provide the longer 64 hour power reserve. Powematic 80 movements in the lower-cost brands beat at 21600 vph, so Longines is trying to position it’s movements apart from the pack and more like big brother Omega.

As someone mentioned earlier, this movement has a silicon balance spring, which Longines is using for their better watches and COSC offerings such as the Spirit. Longines doesn’t make a big deal of it, so you have to look around on their website to find it. On the US website, there is no mention of the balance spring under the Movement section of the watch description. However, there is a brief mention of it in a random graphic for the 5-year warranty. If you didn’t already know about it, you wouldn’t know if it was significant. I don’t know why they don’t emphasize this feature more. In general, ETA is pretty opaque about the details of the various movements they have developed in recent years.

I’d love to read more if anyone has better knowledge of the new Longines movements.


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Nice review, thanks. One question I have: how thick is the case (including crystal)?
 
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