I’ve mentioned this a few times before — specifically, when covering the Lindbergh Hour Angle and the Legend Diver — but I truly believe Longines boasts one of the best “heritage” collections on the market today. It’s not simply that the collection contains some vintage-style watches with historical backgrounds, but that it has so many pieces, the vast majority of them offering a very interesting narrative. I suppose this benefit comes from being a popular Swiss watch brand for almost 150 years, but many other popular brands, with just as rich histories, abstain from re-creating such pieces on such a large scale, which to me makes Longines’s array that much more impressive.
A part of this large historical collection, and the piece we happen to be going in-depth with today, is the Longines Heritage Diver 1967. This watch is a re-creation timepiece based on a style of diving chronographs, produced by Longines and a variety of other Swiss brands, during the mid-1960s-to-1970s. The particular model this modern watch is based on is a 40-mm, two-subdial diving chronograph released in (naturally) 1967. It was produced by both Longines and Wittnauer until around the early-to-mid-1970s, when the trend for this type of watch began to down. The modern watch’s specs are not all that different from those of the vintage model, albeit with the added touch of modernity that Longines often adds to bolster its Heritage collection pieces.
At 42 mm and housed in a stainless steel case, this relatively thick sports watch is certainly a standout among its peers. With a deep red aluminum bezel (the brand calls the color Bordeaux), vintage-style pushers, and a screw-down crown, the Heritage Diver can withstand up to 300 meters of underwater pressure, an impressive feat for an “homage” chronograph diver. The dial is surrounded by an outer white tachymetric scale, while silver-colored, applied tick marks rest at each hour on the black dial. The piece has one silver subdial at 9 o’clock for running seconds, a larger subdial for chronograph minutes at 3 o’clock (common in vintage chronograph divers), and a partially hidden black subdial at 6 o’clock for the chronograph hours. At the 4 o’clock mark, notice the well-integrated date indicator, and also take note of the vintage-style luminous baton hands used on the main dial. This piece is powered by the automatic Longines Caliber L688.2 (a modified ETA A08.231), hosting a power reserve around 54 hours, and is currently available for around $2,300 depending on the dealer.
This reference, to its well-deserved credit, is both a solid homage watch, and a well-manufactured modern piece in its own right. In comparison to the vintage model, Longines maintained many distinctive design elements such as the red bezel, the differently sized silvered subdials, the baton hands, and the overall function (i.e., a divers’ watch with chronograph). But the brand also made some modern additions that fit very well into the pre-existing vintage design. These are seen in the additional black subdial at the 6 o’clock mark, the increase in case size by 2 mm, the date indicator at the 4 o’clock mark, and the impressive diving depth to 300 meters.
Overall, I find the modern Diver 1967 to be an excellent contribution to the already impressive scope of Longines’ Heritage collection, as well as being a distinct and well-built modern sports watch in its own right. The brand could have altered the vintage design by offering different bezel colors, or bolstering the steel case to even larger dimensions than 42 mm, but instead it stuck to what made the watch attractive almost 50 years ago and made slight improvements upon the design. With a thick case, a unique look, and some solid features, the Longines Heritage Diver 1967 certainly fits the bill of a vintage-inspired piece done well.
For our most recent article, in which I look at the historical inspirations for the modern Sinn 908 St, click here.
Caleb Anderson is a freelance writer with a primary focus on vintage watches. Since first learning about horology, he has garnered extensive knowledge in the field, and spends much of his time sharing his opinions among other writers, collectors, and dealers, alike. Currently located near New York City, he is a persistent student in all things historical, a writer on many topics, and a casual runner.