I’ll be honest: I’m not much of a black-dial guy. Sure, black goes with almost any attire, but if I’m not buying my “one watch,” a black dial would always be my last choice… That is, of course, unless you pair it with gold. More specifically, gold print, hour markers, and hands. Then, my friends, it’s a whole different story. That combo is enough to make me weak in the knees. I’m not alone in this sentiment either, judging from the massive popularity of black-and-gilt-dialed vintage watches. And Longines, a watchmaker with 190 years of history, certainly has a few of those in its back catalog! Channeling the spirit of some of its 13ZN chronographs of the 1940s, today, the brand introduces the Record Heritage. This chronometer-certified chronograph provides those man-crumpling good looks with modern reliability and a nice size to match.

Today’s release marks the first chronograph entry into the Longines Record collection. For those who don’t know, this line has been around since 2017, consisting solely of dressier pieces with COSC-certified calibers. According to the brand, “In Longines’ purest watchmaking tradition, the Record automatic models combine classic elegance and excellence, aspiring to become the spearheads of the brand.” Until now, though, none of the dressy designs had what it took. There was no way they’d win more hearts than the Spirit or Legend Diver lines. However, I believe the Record Heritage has a shot at winning the affections of vintage-minded watch lovers today. In doing so, it can become the champion of the Record collection, unlocking the door to the line’s potential for the brand. Let’s check out the Record Heritage model and see if you agree!

The Longines Record Heritage

Here we have a delicious black-and-gold-dialed chronograph measuring 40mm in diameter and just 13.8mm thick. The look undoubtedly harks back to historical references like the 3504 or, even better, the 4974 “Tre Tacche”. Though the case and pusher design, size, and movement inside differ, today’s Record model finds its heritage in some of the most desirable Longines chronographs ever. The dial design of the new watch is slightly updated, though, with Arabic numerals for the even hours and darts for the odds. All of these applied indices are done in a rich golden tone, matching every last bit of printing and the feuille hands in the center. They also work harmoniously with the frames around the snailed sub-dials and the applied Longines winged-hourglass logo. I love that the black dial is not glossy but matte. It steals none of the gold details’ thunder and accentuates them perfectly.

As on the historical ref. 4974, the gold tachymeter scale is fully graduated. Though it doesn’t mimic its ancestor in every tiny detail, the font and placement of the scale give it a true ’40s feel. The stainless steel case of the Record Heritage is a bit simpler in form with a sloped bezel rather than a two-tiered one. This bezel features a polished finish that continues onto the lug tops, the ovular pushers, and the knurled push-pull crown.

The case sides, however, are horizontally brushed, one of my favorite design choices on a dressier watch. And this surely is a dressier watch, as indicated by its standing in the Record collection and its 3 ATM water-resistance rating. But of course, a sapphire crystal with a multi-layer AR coating on both sides protects the gorgeous dial and hands. A sapphire crystal on the back also displays the caliber within.

A COSC-certified chronometer

As I mentioned, all of the watches in the Record collection contain chronometer-grade movements certified by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC). As such, the Record Heritage should run within +6/-4 seconds per day on average. The caliber that powers it is the L895.4. It is an ETA 2892-based modular chronograph movement that is exclusive to Longines.

What makes it exclusive are the upgraded features, including a 59-hour power reserve and an antimagnetic silicon balance spring. This no-date movement ticks at 28,800vph (4Hz) and displays the hours, minutes, running/elapsed seconds, and up to 30 minutes of elapsed time. It carries a Longines-signed rotor and nice decorations, including perlage, Geneva stripes, and more.

Options, pricing, and final thoughts

The Longines Record Heritage comes on your choice of a 20mm brown calfskin strap with a pin buckle or a seven-link steel bracelet with a dual-deployant clasp. While the brown strap has a nice medium tone that perfectly complements the dial, I’d have to go for the stainless steel bracelet. It features a mostly brushed finish with slim, polished intermediate links, and even if I felt like swapping it for a strap, it’s always best to own the bracelet as well. Here’s the great thing, though. According to the Longines website, the Record Heritage retails for exactly the same price on either the strap or the bracelet! It comes to €3,160 / US$3,000.

This price is in line with all of the brand’s currently available mechanical chronographs, give or take a few hundred euros/dollars. The closest in terms of vintage style is the Heritage Classic Chronograph. However, that watch retails for €3,320 / US$3,200 and is only 0.2mm thinner. Furthermore, it does not carry a COSC-certified movement. Considering that, I think the Record Heritage is a fantastic release. It offers a beautiful 1940s aesthetic and a great brand to back it up. I think this design could be a huge hit for Longines. Would I have liked to see it a bit smaller, say, 38mm? Yes, but 40mm is still better than 42! Currently, we don’t have info on the lug-to-lug measurement, but hopefully, we’ll get this model in for review soon. We’ll be sure to update you on the wearing experience and all the finer details at that time.

Until then, let us know your thoughts on the Longines Record Heritage in the comments!