The new Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase (€3,300) confidently sways into the room and immediately has all eyes glued to it. With its svelte, silvery dial adorned with subtle minute markers in between sharp, applied indices, a traditional moonphase display, and elegant, crisp lugs, it is quite a head-turner indeed. First impressions never lie, they say. Still, once you see the watch up close, you will find out that the classic face of the watch is paired with an athletic “body”.

The face of the new Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase is one of timeless beauty. Just look at the shimmering silver-white dial, the large dauphine hands that are silvered, polished, and filled with Super-LumiNova, and the moonphase indicator inside the pointer date sub-dial at 6 o’clock; this is a watch that knows its classics. And it even manages to give them a contemporary twist. It may not be radical, but the choice of a gray instead of a black crocodile leather strap does give the watch a light, casual, and even slightly trendy look. The buckle, by the way, is newly designed.

Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase

The Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase from all sides

Let me make one thing clear before going beyond the dial of the Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase (L4.815.4.72.2) and inspecting the watch from all sides. There will be no “body shaming” here. There will be no mocking of the shape, size, or appearance of the watch’s case. There will, however, be some respectful remarks.

Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase

When looking at the newest Flagship model, the watch doesn’t quite reveal its full self. It does once in your hands and on your wrist, though. The 38.5mm diameter of the steel case is modest. It’s also what the avid watch fan wants today — a watch case with a size from the old days. But size means more than just a moderate diameter. The thickness is also a major factor.

What if I tell you the new Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase measures 12.4mm thick? What is your response? The veteran watch fan can visualize the proportions. Did you gasp? I did when I put the watch on my wrist. The frontal look doesn’t correspond with the thickness of the case. The result is proportions that are a bit odd. Again, I’m not going to body-shame this watch, but the face just doesn’t match the body.


Other case quirks

There are a couple of other things that drew my attention to the 38.5 × 12.4mm case with its 19mm lug spacing and 30m water resistance rating. When you look at the watch from the crown side, you will notice that the crown sits very low on the case flank. The base movement — more about that one later — sits at the bottom, has a moonphase module on top, and, to make the whole construction even thicker, there’s a very tall hand stack. There’s a lot of verticality, you could say. And once on the wrist, you will find that the watch sits very tall.

Inside the Flagship Heritage Moonphase

The caliber L899.5 inside the Flagship Heritage Moonphase is not a new one. The original version of the movement debuted in 2019 in the Master Collection Moonphase and also found its way to other models since then. The automatic movement with a 72-hour power reserve is based on the ETA A31.L91.

Flagship Heritage Moonphase

The caliber L899.5 oscillates at 25,200vph and cannot be seen through a see-through case back. Instead, the watch that stems from a long line of Flagship models — the first Flagship was launched in the late 1950s — proudly shows the emblem of the Flagship Heritage collection, a caravel on a gold medallion.

Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase

Final thoughts on the Flagship Heritage Moonphase

Remember when your parents told you they were not angry but disappointed? Their disappointment was worse to deal with than just plain anger. Well, just like the Le Chronographe Monopoussoir Louis Erard × Massena LAB did some time ago, the Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase doesn’t make me angry. Rather, it disappoints me. Both the Louis Erard and the Longines have an extremely attractive dial that, at least to me, promises slender lines, slimness, and delicate proportions. Instead, the watch is a bit of a cold shower once it sits so high on the wrist. Because of the 38.5 × 12.4mm dimensions, it feels a bit bulky.

If only Longines had dared to remove the central rotor from the caliber L899.5. Yes, you’d lose a bit of practicality because of the date and moonphase indicator. A manually wound movement would require you to be hands-on with this Flagship to keep it functioning accurately. But since I categorize the moonphase complication as an esthetical rather than a functional feature and, without my reading glasses, I can’t read the date indication in the sub-dial anyway, I would be okay with that. And with a bit more attention to the hand stack, the Flagship Heritage Moonphase could see dimensions that are proportionally better. I’m thinking 38.5 × 10mm. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Watch specifications

Flagship Heritage Moonphase
Sunray silver with applied indices
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
38.5mm (diameter) × 12.4mm (thickness)
Sapphire with multilayered antireflective coating
Case Back
Stainless steel screw-down case back with an embossed flagship on a gold medallion
Longines L899.5 — automatic winding, 25,200vph frequency, 72-hour power reserve, 21 jewels, antimagnetic silicon balance spring
Water Resistance
3 ATM (30m)
Gray crocodile leather (19mm width)with pin buckle
Time (hours, minutes, central seconds), moonphase display, pointer date
Five years