- JAMES STACEY
The Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale
An earlier MN is born again.
Following the same path of inspiration as models like last year's Heritage Military 1938, Longines has announced a new and very handsome edition to its Heritage lineup in the new Heritage Military Marine Nationale. With a creamy date-free dial, blued steel hands, and a larger-than-vintage-but-still-undersized case, this new Longines may have you looking for a French connection to call your own.
Measuring 38.5mm wide, the Heritage Military Marine Nationale is a modernization of a design that the brand produced for the French Navy after World War II. While the original reference 5774 (compared in the image below) was closer to 33mm in size and employed a hand-wound 12.68N Longines movement, it's not hard to see where Longines got the inspiration. Old or new, the dial lists only the brand name and "Fab. Suisse" (Fab for "Fabrique") – "Swiss made" but with French intentions.
In a world before the dawn of dive watches, this is what the French Navy would have used for water duties, and the 5774 offered a water-resistant design with strong legibility. Fast forward some 70 years, and the new Heritage Military Marine Nationale offers 30-meters water resistance, an anti-reflective crystal, and an automatic movement, all in an otherwise similar form.
Featuring a date-less version of the Longines L888.5 automatic movement, the Heritage Military Marine Nationale has a power reserve of 64 hours. In keeping with its history, this Longines has a solid steel caseback and drilled lugs, though the 19mm lug width is not ideal for those of us with strap-heavy lifestyles.
While I think that, given the original model's aquatic applications, it would have been nice to see more like 100m water resistance, there's certainly no arguing that the Heritage Military Marine Nationale is a really good looking and straightforward design from Longines. Additionally, the inclusion of one of the company's most modern movements along with the reasonable bump up to 38.5mm ensures a thoughtful and easy-wearing re-thinking of a model from the brand's considerable past.
Fitted to a cognac brown leather strap, the Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale carries a retail price of $2,000 and looks to be another strong addition to Longines' growing line of vintage-inspired watches.