Decoding Longines Reference Numbers
Longines watches have reference numbers of the following form:
Knowing about these reference numbers and what they mean can help in deciphering differences between watches or making an educated guess unseen watches.
Lv = Family w = Model x = Case Material y = Dial z = Bracelets
From the website we have found the following associations (the recurring L, of course, stands for Longines):
L5 – DolceVita
L8 – PrimaLuna
L4 – Les Grandes Classiques de Longines
L2 – The Longines Master Collection, Evidenza & Conquest
L3 – HydroConquest, Conquest & Admiral
These are just the ones from the website, so others not listed on their website are not listed here.
From our investigation, we found that “w” is a Model Number based upon the size of the watch and a sequential number. The first digit is either a:
1-4 = Ladies
5 = Medium
6-9 = Gent
The next example is taken from the Admiral line.
What has changed here is the dial and bezel color. We can see that the grey dial is 06 and the black is 56, and if you look up to the previous HydoConquest we can indeed see that both of those black dialled watches have 56 in the dial color position which fits in with what we learned here. Now don’t ask about what will happen if the bezel and dial don’t match, we haven’t figured that one out yet.
You will also notice that they both have similar bracelets, stainless steel with ceramic center links, and matching digits in the bracelet field of the reference number. So a 7 seems to indicate the SS bracelet with ceramic center links, but makes no difference between the grey and the black.
The next example is taken from the Evidenza line.
Here we see two watches that are the same except for the case material, one being gold and the other stainless steel. And we can see that only difference between the reference numbers is in the “x” position. From this and other models we have investigated we can assume that:
0 = Steel/Diamonds
2 = PVD
3 = Stainless Steel / PVD
4 = Stainless Steel
5 = Stainless Steel / 18k Gold
6 = 18k Gold (Yellow & White)
7 = 18k Gold / Diamonds
8 = Pink Gold
9 = Pink Gold / Diamonds
The “y” value is the type of dial. We do not yet have a compiled guide to this, but we will be sure to update the post when we can. The last value is “z” – which lets us know if the watch comes with a bracelet, strap, or is just the watch head only. Here is an example from the HydroConquest range:
As you can see, these watches are identical except for the strap and bracelet. And it you look at the reference number the only thing that has changed is the “z” position in the reference. With that in mind, and after analyzing the rest of the available collections available from Longines, we can assume:
0 = Strap
1 = Head only
2 = Strap
3 = Strap
4 = Strap
5 = Strap
6 = Bracelet
7 = Bracelet or Strap
8 = Bracelet or Strap
9 = Strap
So there you have it, how to decode the reference numbers. We haven’t gone through and tried to document all possibilities for each of them. Perhaps at a later date we can try and get some more information on the numbers above, especially the dial information.