Longines established its Master Collection in 2005 and has been expanding it ever since, mostly with the “small complications” at which the venerable Saint-Imier-based brand excels. This year, Longines takes the series, which it considers one of its flagships (and not to be confused with another Longines collection, actually named Flagship), to the next level, with a new range of timepieces equipped with elegantly placed moon-phases and pointer date functions and powered by an all-new exclusive movement.
The new face of the Longines Master Collection is defined by its 6 o’clock subdial, which combines a moon-phase indication in its center with a 1-31 date scale around its border and a central pointer hand that indicates the current day. The leaf-shaped central hour and minutes hands display the time on either painted old-style Arabic or Roman numerals or applied indices while a thin, baton-shaped seconds hand ticks away the seconds on the 0-60 scale, combining Arabic numerals and indices, on the dial’s flange. Two of the dial options, in silvered white or lacquered black, have a barleycorn motif and painted numerals (Arabic on the former, Roman on the latter); the third is in bright blue with a sunray pattern and applied indices.
The round, stainless steel case of the new Master models are available in two sizes, 40 mm and 42 mm in diameter, and all are fitted with sapphire glass both over the dial and in the caeeback, the latter to proudly show off the new Caliber L899. Developed exclusively for Longines by movement specialist ETA, the brand’s sister company within the Swatch Group, Caliber L899 is a mechanical self-winding movement with 21 jewels, a 25,200-vph balance frequency, and a 64-hour power reserve. Presumably it will serve as the base for additional small (or even large?) complications is future Master Collection models.
Each Master moon-phase watch comes on either a steel link bracelet or a color-coordinated leather strap: brown for the silvered barleycorn dial, black for the black-lacquered version, and blue for the blue sunray. All are equipped with triple safety-folding clasps with push-button opening mechanisms. The 40-mm version of the blue-dial model, as pictured, is available with diamond indices at the hour markers.