You know, I think it’s sad in a way that big brands don’t release new collections of watches that often any more. Brand new models, or existing ones that have been thoroughly revised, are hard to come by, but it’s the former that catches our attention today as Longines unveils its new collection of watches called the Spirit collection. Designed to evoke memories of past aviators, and their Longines watches, the Spirit range seems to blend vintage design elements with the modern hallmarks of the Longines range.
Back in the day when the castor oil in plane engines gave you the runs and WW2 hadn’t happened yet, Longines was renowned in the industry for its remarkable watches worn by outstanding people. To name just two icons of the many that have donned Longines timepieces, Amelia Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic ocean solo had a Longines timepiece with her, and so did Charles Lindbergh when he flew the longest (but not the first) non-stop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.
The Spirit collection, a part of Longines’ Heritage range, features some design cues from its old watches intermingled with modern touches. These watches are both precise and legible, the two most important factors for a Pilot’s watch. The Spirit collection comes in two versions, one with a chronograph and one without.
Opting for the three-handed date watch gives you a classic-looking timepiece that has an elegant case shape and a well-executed dial. You can have this Spirit Time-And-Date model in either a 40mm or 42mm case with a whole array of straps and even a bracelet too. Inside the steel case is an ETA A31.L11, which Longines calls the L888.4. It has a 3.5Hz beat rate, a 64-hour power reserve and a COSC chronometer rating.
The Chronograph model only comes in one diameter, which is 42mm, but you get the same choice of black, silver or blue dials that you get with the Time-And-Date Spirit watch. You also get the same selection of straps. The main difference here is, of course, the movement. The new movement, dubbed the L688.4, is also an ETA-based movement, the A08.L01. This movement is unique and not shared with any other brand, most likely so it can be called an “in-house” movement. It comes with a column wheel, a date window and automatic winding. It also has a 4Hz beat rate and a 54-hour power reserve. It even has a silicone balance wheel, and it’s also COSC chronometer rated as well.
If you’re thinking of buying one of these, then the price is something you need to know, the Time-And-Date Spirit ranges between CHF2000 and CHF2700, and the Chronograph Spirit costs CHF2900.