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.
From the WatchTime archives: If you want to climb mountains, explore caverns, or undergo underwater ordeals, these watches will blithely master such extreme situations. But their attributes can also be useful in everyday life.
Light Fantastic: Ball Watch Engineer Hydrocarbon Black
A watch designed for extreme missions must be easy to read in every situation. When nighttime legibility is at stake, everything depends on how long the dial’s luminous material continues to glow. Some watches can be read after eight hours in darkness, but even Super-LumiNova gives up the ghost if the gloom lasts much longer. This is not the case when the dial’s illumination relies on tritium gas. Here, little glass tubes are coated with a luminous substance on their inner surfaces and filled with safely captured tritium, which activates the luminescent material that lines the tubes. The tubes continue to gleam brightly, even after spending years in total darkness. Watches equipped with these luminous tubes are frequently used by the military and by members of the Special Forces. Ball Watch uses this technique in its Engineer Hydrocarbon Black, which has a titanium case coated with black DLC, a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel and a 5.3-mm-thick sapphire crystal. A patented system protects the crown against impacts. Ball Watch uses another patented system to modify the shock absorbers for the balance so the watch is more resistant to vibrations. Ball’s self-winding caliber, which is based on Sellita’s SW 200, is COSC-certified. This 42-mm watch is water resistant to 300 meters. Price: $4,699.