"An oversized military-type stainless steel wristwatch....." describes the original 1939 model, according to Phillips Auction House. And that accurately describes the revival model by Longines. At limited edition of, appropriately, 1938 pieces, it is an amazingly accurate revival of the original. As soon as I saw it for the first time online, and read all the details, I knew it was a model I simply had to have.
So, before Christmas 2019, I put in my order with Jack at Lugaro Jewellers here in Burnaby BC. True to his word, Jack got me the watch, which it seems is a fairly difficult achievement here in Canada. Thanks to Jack very much for persevering, I would have been disappointed if this is a model I was unable to get. In my eyes it is one of the very best and accurate vintage revival pieces done by Longines. Not to mention the excellent craftsmanship on the dial and case.
At 43mm it is exactly the size of the original, which had a manually wound calibre 17.26. This new model has also a manually wound Longines caliber 507.2 based on the ETA 659/2 with 53 hour power reserve. Kudos to Longines for using this movement, which means that the small seconds sub dial is perfectly placed at the bottom of the dial, at 6 o'clock, just above the railroad minute track. The 43mm size would have been very large for a 30's watch.
Even the fonts used on the dial are in keeping with the original. Sans serif font for the hour indicators, and serif font for the small arabics on the small seconds sub dial. Also, the "LONGINES" font on the dial is identical to the original, with a lesser serif than the new Longines logo. The hour and minute hands are simple, and long, with the hour hand extending slightly into the arabic markers, and the minute hand extending into the railroad minute track.
Lately, I have become less fond of faux patina on most watches, but I feel this one has been done well, not too obtrusive, and very fitting for the watch. Well lumed hands and arabic markers, provide excellent night visibility. Most likely designed for pilots for use in night combat. The large size onion crown is very easy to wind, although not as large as I have seen on some similar type military watches.
A simple, non screwed case back would also likely be in keeping with the original. Just stating "Water Resistant" it has a rating of 3bar/30m.
Not really a terribly large watch by today's standards (although apparently many would disagree), it has fairly short curved lugs, and should be a good fit for most wrists under 7 inches. Lug-to-lug is exactly 50mm. I think part of the idea (at least my theory) of making a limited edition of this watch, is the fact that the size may not appeal to lots of guys, regardless of the fact it is true to the original. The lug width is 20mm which, also by today's standards, is small for a watch this size but true to size back in the day.
Anyway, not to ramble. I have said my piece, and stated my appreciation of this watch. Plenty of articles online, including photos of the original watch. Especially this one by Hodinkee:
Also, excellent insight into what the original watch was like here on Phillips website:
Hope you enjoy some photos I have taken so far:
Thanks for looking at my review. I might add that this is not the original leather strap. Although I do like the original, and the excellent leather NATO supplied with the watch, this one just works better for me.
And I am doing an edit to post a photo from Fratello of the original 1938 watch. The only small disappointment I have with the revival model is the lack of detail on the small seconds hand.