Longines Heritage models have been universally praised by horology fans around the globe, thus a watch that bridges the design gap between the iconic ‘Tradition’ and ‘Heritage’ makes perfect commercial sense – while evolving the brand’s aesthetic.
That watch is the new Longines Spirit.
The Longines Spirit collection pays homage to the pioneering spirit of legendary aviators and explorers like Amelia Earhart, Paul-Emile Victor and Elinor Smith, whose achievements left their mark on history and inspired new generations to push the boundaries.
Longines watches have accompanied explorers on their journeys to unknown lands, defied extreme weather, navigated oceans and assisted pilots in opening up new air routes and establishing aviation records. With the Longines Spirit collection, the brand aims to bring that rich heritage into the modern-day.
Linking history with innovation, the new Spirit models take traditional features from pilot and military watches and combines them with contemporary lines and codes. The oversized crown – for adjustment while wearing gloves – the dial font, diamond indexes and large, luminous baton hands are all elements drawn from the days of pioneering aviation.
While Longines are classifying the Spirit as a sports watch, it will arrive a touch smaller than the HydroConquest, in a 40mm or 42mm case (the same as the Master Moonphase) with a choice of three dials, a sunburst blue, flat black and an interesting textured white dial, on steel or leather.
Inside, the three-hander features the COSC certificated Calibre L888.4 with silicon balance spring and 64 hours of power reserve, while the Chrono will sport the Calibre L688.4 with 60 hours of power reserve – both developed in house by ETA, exclusively for Longines.
I think the proportions of the Spirit look excellent and the brushed steel case and pronounced chamfers play nicely to the utilitarian nature of this timekeeping tool. I also love the red-tipped second and chronograph hand. With a case height of 13mm, the three-hander presents as a subtle and handsome daily wearer on leather and perhaps a bit dressier on steel – even though I don’t love the polished links.
For those wondering if the five stars on the dial have any relevance, Longines has historically applied these to pieces that house movements that have been improved for better quality and reliability. Unfortunately, it’s a tad James Halliday for me.
Prices for the Longines Spirit Collection will range from AUD$3100-AUD$4500, with pieces set to land in late July. Head to longines.com to inspect.