Longines Calibre L897.2

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The Longines Master Collection Annual Calendar indicates the date and the month on the dial, so there’s only one correction necessary on the first day of March. The rest of the year will go smoothly on each first day of the month. Quite an interesting mechanical complication, don’t you think?

Annual calendars normally don’t come cheap. Even in the pre-owned market of watches, an annual calendar of Swatch Group sister brand Omega is already around 4000 Euro. So a retail price of 1940 Euro for the Longines Master Collection Annual Calendar is – by far – the most accessible watch with this complication. Longines did a great job here.

The Longines Master Collection Annual Calendar will be available later this year, We’ve explained the difference often here, but just in case you haven’t read it, or simply haven’t heard about annual calendars before, here’s a short explanation. If you own a watch with a date feature, you occasionally run into the issue that the date aperture indicates it is the 31st of a month while it is actually the 1st of the new month. Your watch doesn’t know whether it is June or July. Digital watches are the exception, of course, as those are programmed centuries ahead. Some people find this annoying because they now need to advance the date by hand or when your watch does not have a quick-set date, you need to advance the hands 24 hours. An annual calendar is programmed to know which months have 30 days and which ones have 31 days. The exception is for February, so on the 1st of March you still need to correct your watch. If you want to have a complication that can be set once and will run for decades or even centuries without one single correction on March 1st, you need a perpetual calendar. But those often come with a very different price tag, as mentioned at the start of this article.

Inside we find the ETA (calibre ETA A31.L81) based Longines movement, dubbed L897.2. Besides the awesome annual calendar complication, this movement also offers you a lot of power reserve with no less than 64 hours on a fully wound mainspring. The watch ticks at the somewhat unusual speed of 25.200vph. And we would have fully understood when Longines decided to refrain from a nice optical finish on this movement and hide it for the owner beneath a steel case back. But Longines did not. Their calibre L897.2 has actually a nice finish, Geneva striped on the rotor and a bit of perlage on the plate. The rotor also has been engraved (in gold) with ‘Longines’ and the calibre number. As always, I find that there’s a bit too much other text engraved on the case back, but others might enjoy it.