If it comes to trumpeting an illustrious past, few watch companies can match around Longines. The brand from Saint-Imier has an unparalleled heritage with creating mechanical timepieces and its Heritage line is a testament to the glorious past. Now the brand presents a brand new field of Pilot’s watches that bring together its aviation heritage and contemporary watchmaking technology. Meet the brand new Longines Spirit collection.
Longines has had relationships with aviation pioneers like Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and Howard Hughes. The company also made lots of aviation and Pilot’s watches in the 1930s and 1940s. The purpose being that Longines can claim genuine legitimacy and while it has issued aviation-themed vintage-inspired watches in its own Heritage collection, it has not had a Pilot’s Watch as a regular watch family up until today.
The new Spirit collection has three watches — two really are three hand automatics with a date complication in two case sizes and the third is a chronograph with a traditional column wheel motion. There are attributes common to the whole collection — an oversized crown, stepped dial, diamond shaped indexes, five applique celebrities (to signify that the chronometer-grade movements which use silicon hairsprings), big luminous baton hands, and applied luminescent numerals.
The entry-level watch in the line (Ref. L3.810.4.53.0) includes a 40 mm stainless steel case with a mix of polished and brushed surfaces. It is fitted with a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on both sides, a screwed in crown, and a closed caseback. The matt black dial has applied Arabic numerals filled with SuperLuminova and miniature diamond shaped hour indices. The dial includes a stepped flange that houses a 1 fifth of a second graduated scale. A different date window looks at 3 o’ clock and the red-tipped central seconds hand provides a pop of color to the dial. The hours and minutes are signaled by silvered-sandblasted hands full of Super-Luminova.
As stated earlier, all of the moves used from the Spirit line are COSC-certified chronometers. Caliber L888.4, a self-winding movement based on the ETA A31.L11 movement, powers this view. It is currently fitted with a silicon hairspring that oscillates at 25,200 vph (3.5 Hz) and has a power reserve of 64 hours. Finally, it is paired with brown leather strap. The opinion is also available with a lovely grained silver dial (Ref. L3.810.4.73.2) paired with a brown leather strap or a blue sunray dial (Ref. L3.810.4.93.3) presented using a blue leather strap. Options are also available with a metal bracelet.
An upsized version of the watch is also available in a 42 millimeter size. Though mostly identical, it is possible to tell the difference in proportion from the fact that the 42’s dial includes a date window which sits awkwardly next to the Arabic 3 numeral.
The chronograph watches version can also be in 42 mm and has the same design codes as the remainder of the family. In addition to both mushroom-shaped pushers to operate the chronograph, the instance has a screwed-in date corrector in 10 o’ clock. The tri-compax design sees a 30 minutes counter at 3 o’ clock, a 12-hour counter at 6 and a running seconds hand in 9. A date window is again awkwardly placed at 4.30.
Caliber L688.4, a souped-up version of this ETA A08.L01, runs this watch. The motion has a conventional column wheel chronograph structure and is fitted with a silicon hairspring. It has a power reserve of 60 hours along with an escapement that oscillates in 4 Hz (28,800 vph).
While the 40 mm automatic date version is priced at CHF2,000 (Approx. AED7,650) while the 42 mm version reaches CHF2,100 (Approx. AED8,000) while the chronograph sells for CHF2,900 (AED11,111).