One of the most recognizable, classic, 1950s-Mad Men era wristwatches ever made is the Longines Flagship, which is as solid a representation of the iconic notion of a "men’s dress watch" and/or "a good Swiss watch" as anyone has ever seen (all that buy-in to the latter concept contributed in no small part to the demise of the American watch industry, but that’s a story for another day). It was 1957 when the first Flagship came out and these three new commemorative versions are about as picture-perfect as a vintage watch homage gets.
There will be three versions offered: steel, yellow gold (not gold plate), and rose gold (ditto). All are powered by the caliber L609 (derived from the ETA 2692) and the gold models will be produced in a run of 60 watches each, while there will be 1957 steel watches made. We don’t have caseback shots yet, but the engraving of a caravel (a 16th-17th century sailing ship used by the Portuguese and Spanish for trade and exploration) will be on the back as well.
This is a great effort by Longines, I think – no date window to clutter the design and a case diameter of 38.5mm, which is going to fit right into the sweet spot for many of us in terms of producing adequate visual and tactile impact on the wrist, without going unnecessarily big.
Longines has done what looks like a bang-up job of leaving well enough alone. This may sound like damning with faint praise but it isn’t – the urge to fiddle with things is as nearly irresistible for watch brands as it is for anyone else, and being able to understand that things which are not broke, are not in need of fixing, is a rare virtue in modern horology. The only thing needed to make it perfect is a resurrection of the hand-wound caliber 30L – but maybe let’s not get too greedy.
Pricing has not yet been announced, but we’ll let you know as soon as the information becomes available.