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INTRODUCING: Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase Year of the Dragon (Ref. L4.815.4.09.2)

The Longines’ Flagship Heritage Year of the Dragon Ref. L4.815.4.09.2.

The zodiac-themed watch is a subtle nod to traditional Chinese art and the Lunar New Year.

The dragon has incredible mythological importance in Asian culture, and with the Year of the Wood Dragon approaching, watch brands are all charging in to celebrate this zodiac animal. The latest is Longines, which is creating a thematic watch for the Chinese zodiac for the first time. This comes as a surprise to us, given how popular the brand has historically been in China for the last decade or two.

Shanghai-based artist Lin Zinan a.k.a. Zinan Lam and co-founder of OOP Supply.
Lin Zinan (aka Zinan Lam), Shanghai-based artist and co-founder of OOP Supply.

For this first themed timepiece, the watchmaker has collaborated with a Chinese artist, Lin Zinan (aka Zinan Lam), to design an emblem that is etched on the caseback of the Flagship Heritage watch. Lam is a Shanghai-based artist who has been exploring different mediums since 2003. Beginning with graffiti art, he has worked on paintings, installations, and sculpture, focusing on the intersectionality of natural and Eastern philosophy through individual perception.

The dragon motif is revealed on the caseback of the Longines Flagship Heritage Year of the Dragon Ref. L4.815.4.09.2.
The dragon motif is revealed on the caseback of the Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase Year of the Dragon (Ref. L4.815.4.09.2).

Where the Flagship Heritage’s traditional medallion appears, instead, there’s a graphic of a dragon raising its head on the caseback. The design of the dragon motif is akin to the style of Chinese paper-cutting (jian zhi), as well as Chinese graphic novels. Longines’ winged hourglass icon is also transformed into a dragon ball, symbolising the lunar and solar cycles.

To emphasise the ‘lunar’ aspect of the Lunar New Year, the watch is endowed with a moonphase complication that accompanies an analogue date display at 6 o’clock on the dial of the watch. The dial is in a stunning shade of rouge that deepens to black at the edge of the display. The watch has a very minimalist design, except for the circular-grained moonphase display, with a white minute track and applied gilt indexes. Faceted sword-style hands with luminous paint indicate the time clearly.

The dial of the Longines Flagship Heritage Year of the Dragon L4.815.4.09.2 has a red-to-black gradient dial.
The dial of the Longines Flagship Heritage Moonphase Year of the Dragon (Ref. L4.815.4.09.2) has a red-to-black gradient dial.

The Flagship Heritage Moonphase Year of the Dragon comes in a 38.5mm stainless steel case and is matched with a black textured leather strap. It’s equipped with Longines’ self-winding L899.5 calibre, which has a silicon balance spring for improved magnetic resistance and precision, delivering 72 hours of autonomy when fully wound. Only 888 pieces are available through your nearest Longines boutique; try it on to see how it feels and looks on your wrist.

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Editor

Darren has been writing about, and admiring the craft of watchmaking for over a dozen years. He considers himself lucky to live in a golden age of horology, and firmly believes that the most difficult watches to design are the simplest and the most intriguing to discover.


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