In June this year, Longines announced the introduction of their all-new Spirit Collection, which I surmised to be their aesthetic link between the brand’s incredibly successful ‘Tradition‘ and ‘Heritage’ collections. Paying homage to the pioneering spirit of legendary aviators and explorers Amelia Earhart, Paul-Emile Victor and Elinor Smith, the Longines Spirit Collection introduces an automatic three-hander with date and three register chronograph, also with date display.
Aside from brand cache, superior build quality and premium finishing across the board, the new Spirit watches arrive with COSC certified movements developed in house by ETA, exclusively for Longines. I was entrusted with three pieces from the new collection, differing in size, dial and choice of strap or bracelet – for an in-depth Longines Spirit Collection review. Dive in below.
Spirit L3.810.4.93.0 – 40mm
Longines Spirit Ref. L3.810.4.93.0 is an automatic three-hander with date display, in a 40mm case, with Sunray blue dial and matching blue leather strap. I applaud the brand’s persistence creating each dial and strap combination in both a 40mm and 42mm case, but this watch doesn’t need to be a millimetre bigger than 40. Paired with a 13mm case height to slip effortlessly under a shirt cuff, it presents as an extremely wearable daily.
The restrained steel case utilises brushed and polished finishes to highlight the bezel and distinct chamfers that extend, uninterrupted, from lug to lug. From above, the watch looks slightly elongated due to the length of the lugs, which curve nicely over the wrist. Despite the link to aviation – with an oversized crown for adjusting the time while wearing gloves – there’s a military aesthetic and utilitarian approach to the design.
Diamond indices are recessed into the sunray blue dial which draws your eyes from the centre to the raised Arabic numerals, executed in a sophisticated, modern font. Both the red-tipped seconds hand and creamy yellow hue of the Super-LumiNova contrast wonderfully with the blue – it’s the one I’d take…on the bracelet though.
The five stars adorning the dial is a nod to the brand’s past, once symbolising a watch that housed a movement that was improved for better quality and reliability. The stars feature across the collection and in the three-hander highlights a COSC certified Calibre L888.4 self-winding movement with silicon balance spring and solid 64 hours of power reserve.
Spirit L3.810.4.53.6 – 40mm
Longines Spirit Ref. L3.810.4.53.6 is also an automatic three-hander, also in a 40mm case, but arrives on a steel bracelet. The bracelet is not only more versatile for the summer months but also drapes over the wrist with a presence the leather strap simply cannot match.
This reference number features an elegant matte black dial, which is once again finished with raised Arabic numerals and silver sandblasted hands with Super-LumiNova. The polished bracelet links provide a dressy contrast to the brushed steel, with practicality enhanced by a triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism. It’s timeless, simple and effective. Furthermore, the bracelet doesn’t interrupt the Spirit’s handsome silhouette, with steel transitioning from case to the wrist seamlessly.
Residing under the matte black dial is the same five-star L888.4 calibre movement, protected by an engraved steel case back featuring the Longines logo, which provides up to 100 metres water resistance when paired with the screw-locked crown.
Spirit Chronograph L3.8188.8.131.52 – 42mm
Upping the ante in both size and functionality is the 42mm Longines Spirit Chronograph Ref. L3.8184.108.40.206, available in the same three dial variants as the three-hander. This piece embraces the core themes of the new Longines Spirit collection – an aviation-inspired chronograph in a larger, more robust case, complemented by an oversized crown and additional legibility.
Offered on either leather or steel bracelet, this three register Chronograph sports a granular dial that’s officially classified as ‘silver’ by Longines, but appears whiter in the sunlight. Both the minute track and bordered Arabic numerals catch the eye more easily atop this textured dial, elevating readability and the overall attractiveness of the watch. A simple circular pattern on the subdials provides a sophisticated addition, especially on this variant.
While not abundantly thicker on paper – a mere couple of millimetres – in the metal, the case is considerably thicker than the three handers and the additional heft wears a lot bigger on the wrist. Inside, the COSC certified Calibre L688.4 automatic movement, also developed in house by ETA, offers up to 60 hours power reserve. Elegant pushers on the right control the timing application while a screw-down pusher at 10 o’clock controls the date, tucked in between the 3 and 4.
To me, this Longines Spirit Chronograph screams Avigation BigEye – an undeniable hit from the brand’s Heritage collection – which is perhaps why the collection has been so universally praised.
For further commentary on this Longines Spirit review, check out our recent BH Daily with the collection below or head to longines.com to check out the entire collection.
This article is proudly presented in partnership with Longines however opinions of the author are their own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who help make Boss Hunting possible.