When Longines introduced its Spirit range last year, it finally gave the brand a solid modern pilot's watch collection to recall all the its compelling aviation history. Models have since continued to expand and evolve, and the latest variation features updates that significantly up the attraction. The new Longines Spirit has a titanium case but also refinements sure to please the pickiest watch snobs.
The Spirit collection isn't a remake of a particular watch, but everyone who's familiar with Longines (or pilot watches in general) will see the history in it. It takes style cues from classic pilot's watches, and its very existence seems to point to the brand's role in the 20th century, outfitting the wrists of some of the most pioneering aviators, from Charles Lindbergh to Amelia Earhart. Longines indeed deserves to be counted among today's top names in pilot's watches like IWC, Breitling and Zenith.
Though it seems to be full of history with some retro nods, the Spirit collection feels very contemporary — and the case in lightweight titanium further makes the point. As titanium has become more common in watchmaking in recent years, brands have gotten better at finishing it and treating it, and the contrasting finishes found on the Spirit should allow the wearer to appreciate the material's interesting luster. Of course, its lightweight properties will help the available 40mm- or 42mm-wide versions wear even better.
The Spirit has the appeal of a modern everyday watch, but this new version also indicates that the brand is also aiming for dedicated watch enthusiasts by doing away with the date window. Although the general consumer tends to want the convenience of a date display, many collectors seem to prefer the simplified aesthetics of the no-date look. These differences aren't radical changes from the existing three-hand Spirit watches, but they indicate that the brand is continuing to refine one of its strongest collections and give fans what they want.
All these features together make the Longines Spirit Titanium highly compelling and its proposition is boosted by an ETA-based chronometer-certified automatic movement inside featuring a silicon hairspring. The Spirit in titanium will come on a nylon strap or full titanium bracelet, and prices start at several hundred dollars more than in steel at around $3,000.