Over the years, watch brands like to introduce some retro styles. The market is not good. Pulling some classic models from the brand history is not only the most stable method, but also can show the long-term heritage of the brand. When telling a bunch of sky-scratching historical stories, many table friends will be brought back to that era, and then reach the sublimation of the soul, and finally pay for it … but, not all retro styles can Made by the brand. It can even be said that most of the retro styles have not been made. The objective reason is that the pursuit of watches in different eras is very different. For example, before the 1990s, men liked watches below 36 mm, and now, some women’s watches are 36 mm. The more important subjective reason is that the brand manufacturers not only want to meet the aesthetics of a small number of high-end fever watch enthusiasts, but also to be accepted by the mainstream consumers, so they continue to modify based on historical models, and eventually become ‘four dislikes’. Neither end pleases. Last year, Longines released the ‘Little Freckles’, which is the best Longines retro model in my eyes these years. At that time, the American watch media Hodinkee first published a photo of Longines on its INS. Looking at the small picture, it was thought to be an antique watch. Because this type of original antique watch can be exchanged on Ebay from time to time, so I didn’t pay much attention, and it went smoothly. In the afternoon, they pushed a separate article to introduce that this is the retro model launched by Longines this year. The social network of watches and clocks at home and abroad was suddenly detonated … Air Force, referred to as ‘RAF’. But there was no GPS system at that time. Pilots could only use watches and sextants. This was the most accurate navigation method at that time. As a military watch, the accuracy of time is crucial and can even affect the success or failure of a battle. And to ensure the accuracy of the time, in addition to the watch itself needs to run stably, the initial proofreading is also key. Before performing military missions, not only pilots, all clocks and clocks need to be timed uniformly to ensure that everyone’s start time is the same, so that they can launch offenses and retreats at the scheduled time … 1940 On May 5th, the Royal Air Force supplier Goldsmiths and Silversmiths urgently placed an order with Omega’s London subsidiary, which required 2,000 watches with the Weems seconds hand rotation outer ring setting function. In addition to Omega, Longines, Zenith, Movado, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Wittnauer have also been successfully selected to provide products for the Royal Air Force. This project, known as ‘6B / 159’, is the historical origin of ‘little freckles.’ To facilitate procurement management and quality control, the British Military of Defense (MoD) has set a strict standard for pilot military watches. ‘6B’ in ‘6B / 159’ represents ‘aviation navigation equipment, accessories and maintenance parts’, and ‘159’ represents its specific enlistment sequence number. Querying the historical archive of that year, we can know the specific requirements of ‘6B / 159’: the movement needs to be wound by the crown instead of using a separate key; the power reserve time is not less than 36 hours; the hands should be made of blue steel ; Weems second hand sets the rotating outer ring; the case material can be chrome-plated steel or copper; light silver or white dial. At the same time, the travel time needs to be within the following deviations: 3 hours +/- 3 seconds, 6 hours +/- 5 seconds, 12 hours +/- 8 seconds, and 24 hours +/- 15 seconds. A London collector bought an original ‘6B / 159’ antique watch and visited the Longines Museum, which caught the brand’s official attention. Longines was inspired to launch the ‘retro’ model in 2018, and in this way celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Royal Air Force. The reason for this Longines ‘little freckles’ is in my eyes the most worth buying Longines retro models these years. That is because it finds a good balance between ‘military watch’ and ‘civilian’, ‘history’ and ‘modern’. Did you mention the ‘6B / 159’ rotating outer ring with Weems second hand setting function? So this Longines is gone. As mentioned at the beginning of this article, brand manufacturers not only want to satisfy the aesthetics of a small number of high-end fever watch enthusiasts, but also to be accepted by the majority of mainstream consumers, so they continue to modify based on historical models, and eventually become ‘four dislikes’ ‘? The true historical story is that in the later stage of the implementation of ‘6B / 159’, the ‘stop second’ function was applied to the watch, and the pilot could check the time more conveniently. Therefore, the British Ministry of Defence set the complicated Weems second hand to rotate outside. The circle was canceled. To put it simply, ‘6B / 159’ is divided into two versions: circled and acyclic. At the same time, we can also use this history to know that the scale of the stopwatch function originated in the 1940s. Compared to the ‘6B / 159’ with a circle and two crowns, the design of the circle-free version is not only more practical, but also in line with modern aesthetics. At the same time, careful watch friends will find that this ‘6B / 159’ is equipped with light silver or white dial + blue steel hands, while most military watches are black dial + luminous hands. Such a match, in addition to being rare and interesting, also meets the appearance needs of the majority of non-professionals. And between ‘history’ and ‘modern’, this Longines ‘Little Freckles’ found a good balance. The first point is ‘stubborn’. This is also the most important point. Longines has not added a calendar function to it this time, maintaining the balance of the dial layout. At the same time, the hands also use the roasted blue technology, which exudes a charming cornflower blue. Before I saw the real photos of Hodinkee and other foreign watch and clock media on the Internet, I felt that they were not blue steel hands, but paint pins. After getting the mass-produced version, check carefully to confirm that it is a more authentic roasting blue process. The second point is ‘fine tuning’. ‘6B / 159’ is equipped with a light silver or white dial. Because 70 years ago, the watchmaking technology was not advanced, so in long-term use, the dial will naturally oxidize and eventually form spots. This was originally a ‘defect’, but it was loved by table friends because it represented time and recorded the passage of time. The modern version is more stable and durable. If you want to wait until the spots appear, most of your cousins ​​may need to leave to the next generation. So Longines did the old ‘6B / 159’ engraving, first making the dial slightly yellow, and then adding spots on it, which is also the origin of this watch’s ‘small freckles’ nickname. In order to be more natural, the pattern on each ‘little freckles’ is handmade, without repetition, unique. The third point is ‘innovation’. The original antique ‘6B / 159’ case was 34 mm in diameter. This size was the most popular in the year, but it is definitely not suitable for now. The re-engraving of Longines this time did not increase to 42 millimeters in the mainstream at one breath, but made 38.5 millimeters with great restraint. In addition to the changes in size, the material of the table glass has also been changed from the original acrylic plastic to sapphire. However, in order to retain the charm of antique watches, Longines uses arched sapphire on this retro model, and at the same time has an internal coating to improve transparency. Under the sun’s rays, arc-shaped staggered light and shadow will still be left on the dial. The inner movement is probably the most important innovation of this time. The original antique ‘6B / 159’ uses a manual winding mechanical movement produced by Longines. After the quartz crisis, the brand has abandoned the movement production department, and its personnel and equipment have been transferred to the same group’s ETA. Now that the mass-produced vintage version wants to use the self-produced movement, it is already a luxury, and it is undoubtedly the best choice to carry the ETA movement. Among the several movements that can be used, the manual movement ETA7001 is too fragile and has three small hands; the manual movement ETA6497 is too large and requires a central second hand; the automatic ETA2824 is suitable, but it will cause the watch to increase its thickness. In the end, upgrading to L888.2 based on ETA2892 is undoubtedly the best choice. Compared with ETA2892, the main change of L888.2 is the power reserve time. Because the overall structure has not been changed, ETA has increased the original 42 hours to 64 hours by fine-tuning such as reducing the operating frequency, increasing the winding efficiency and the mainspring length. At the same time, the L888.2 also uses a new T-shaped shock absorber and a weightless balance wheel. In daily wear and use, in fact, there is not much difference between L888.2 and ETA2892. The added benefit is more meaningful, that is, it is convenient for us to check the authenticity of the watch. Because it is difficult for fake watch manufacturers to produce such a movement, ETA is not sold. The retro watches of the horological brand are ‘difficult’ and ‘don’t need’ to be exactly the same as the original antique watches, and they are no longer the products of the year. If you really like antique watches, you might as well go for it yourself. Even antique watches are sometimes cheaper than the engraved version. The mystery of the retro model lies in refining the temperament and charm of antique watches, and using modern technology to produce, suitable for the current use environment. The specific model of this Longines freckles is l2.819.4.93.2, which was released in March 2018, and it took almost 1 year to go on sale. Compared to ordinary Longines models, it belongs to the Heritage series, equipped with military green nylon and cowhide two straps, and also has a huge wooden box. The official domestic price is 16,600 yuan. However, as this type of retro Longines is rarely known, many specialty stores do not have stock. If you want to buy a friend, you are advised to go to the official Longines store. —END —