When Longines announced it would be whipping up a remake of its "BigEye" chronograph a couple years ago, it was styled with an appropriate vintage look. But this is 2021, and the time has come for change. The new Longines Avigation BigEye (named for its extra-large subdial) has a sleek modern feel thanks to its new aesthetic — but it's a titanium case that makes this version much more than just a new dial color.
Titanium doesn't just give a watch a lighter wrist presence, but it can also bring a technical feel that can make it more interesting. For Longines's BigEye, it's both the titanium case and the faded blue dial that moves it a further step away from its pragmatic military roots. Its 41mm case isn't overly large, and titanium should help it wear even more comfortably. (Still, it'd be cool to see it match the size of more recent vintage-themed chronographs that come in at under 40mm.)
Of course, its automatic movement is also fully modern — based on the ETA A08.L01, it offers a power reserve of 54 hours. It also boasts a feature considered premium and desirable for its smooth chronograph operation: a column wheel.
Products like the new BigEye reflect an interesting approach to the vintage re-release trend: some brands have taken the route of releasing a faithful recreation of a vintage watch but subsequently following up with creative new variations on that take the underlying design in a whole new direction. Zenith's Chronomaster Revival is an interesting example, and Seiko has taken a similar approach.
So far, Longines has not released the titanium Avigation BigEye in the United States, but we hope to see it soon — and of course, you can order it from abroad if it's not yet available in your country. In addition to being hard and lightweight, titanium also means a significant price premium: at well over $1,000 more than its steel version, this cool titanium chronograph will cost you around ~$4,200.