By Gordon Henderson
The Longines Spirit collection looks to tap into the shared history of the manufacture and the many adventurers that have used the brand’s timepieces to navigate land, sea and air. Celebrity pioneers include Charles Lindberg, Amelia Earhart, Paul-Emile Victor, Elinor Smith and Howard Hughes, to name a few. The pilots watches and chronographs in the current Spirit lineup are meant to pay tribute to the strong history of innovation that exist within the brand,
The Spirit line draws on traditional design aesthetics and injects modern technology and lines to bring the brand’s rich history into today’s market place. For example, certain elements from the early days of aviation are found in the pilot’s watch and serve as aesthetic foundation. It features an oversized crown, flange, a pronounced step around the crystal and more. The font used on the dial, the diamond-shaped indices, and large luminous baton hands are all drawn from the period. These elements, though, are all endowed with updated proportions and lines to make them more contemporary.
The three-hand pilots watch features a clean dial with date window at the three o’clock position. The hour indices are large and legible with a red tipped second hand that adds to the readability of the dial. When paired with the large crown, the piece is easily manipulated while wearing pilot gloves and the dial is highly legible at a quick glance while traveling at high speeds. The chronograph features the same font for the numerals and dial as the pilots watch, and the foundational design elements are still there. However, being a chronograph, this watch has a little more to offer its wearer. The chronograph is a three register piece with a date window between the four and five o’clock positions.
The three hand pilots watch comes in either 40 or 42 mm cases, while the chronograph coming in only 42mm case. They are offered in either matt black, grained silver, or sunray blue dial on either a steel bracelet or a dark brown, light brown or blue leather strap. The three hand pilots watch also features a ‘Prestige’ edition that comes with three interchange straps: steel bracelet and leather and NATO leather strap.
Capitalizing on current technology, the watches are powered by the self-winding L888.4 and L688.4 movements with anti-magnetic silicon hair spring. The power reserve for the two movements is 64 and 60 hours respectively and are COSC certified. Depending on the model, the watches range from $2150 to $3,100 offering a great value proposition.