What makes vintage-inspired watches so charming to replica watches fans? Judging from what we learnt this year, this trend seems to show little sign of depression. Of all the new vintage-inspired watches announced at Baselworld 2018, one of the most exciting and impressive comes from fake Longines.
Longines has been identified by the Swatch Group to be the brand to spearhead the group’s efforts in the mainstream part of the watch market. In this way, the replica Longines has embraced the trend of vintage-inspired watches. This makes sense since Longines is one of the oldest watch companies and has a rich history on which to draw inspiration from. So which watch from Longines’ history did the Heritage Skin Diver get its inspiration from? It is actually based on the Nautilus 6921 from the late ’50s.
Though the Heritage Skin Diver is based on the Nautilus 6921, Longines has updated its dimensions to give it a more contemporary look. The case is still made out of stainless steel but its diameter has been upsized from the 40mm of the original to 42mm. As for me, I would have preferred if Longines kept the size at 40mm. After all, it is not as if the original Nautilus 6921 was 34mm or 36mm. That would possibly be far too small for modern tastes.
Another obvious feature of the Longines Heritage Skin Diver is the large crown. It stays faithful to the Nautilus 6921 by eschewing crown protectors. It is an interesting look, but the size of the crown means that it can be quite easy to snag it against something.
Like the real model, the Heritage Skin Diver has a prominent black dive bezel, but the modern version is made out of black PVD steel. The vintage Nautilus 6921’s bezel was made out of delicate bakelite. The markings on the bezel are done in a faux patina color and the faux patina coloration extends to the dial as well. The hour and minute markers together with the hour and minute hands are all made in faux patina-colored lume, and it offers a good contrast to the black textured dial.
The watch’s heavily domed sapphire crystal accentuated the aged look of the dial, which recalls the look of acrylic crystals found on vintage fake watches. It’s a masterful touch that completes the look of the watch. More importantly, it creates some distortion depending on the angle which makes the dial all the more fascinating to look at.
The movement is concealed behind a stainless steel screw down caseback which has an engraving of a diver with a spear. But rest assured that it’s a competent one.
My only worry about the watch is its size. Keeping it at 40mm would absolutely have been much preferred. As it is, I find the case a tad too large and the lugs far too long. However, I still find this watch very much attractive. The Longines replica has got the tone of the faux patina lume and markings just right, and the refreshing to see a dial that’s so clean and well proportioned.