This New Pilot’s Watch Collection Is Steeped in Aviation History

Longines’ new Spirit line evokes the cockpit instruments that the company once made for aeronautical pioneers like Earhart and Lindbergh.

Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

Longines just announced a new pilot’s watch collection that seems such a natural addition for the brand, one wonders how it didn’t happened sooner. With all the high-flying history the Swiss juggernaut can boast, Longines certainly deserves to be among watchmakers that are most associated with the popular genre today. (Their logo is a winged hourglass, after all.) The new Spirit collection aims to put Longines on the radar of pilot’s watch fans and debuts with a handsome chronograph as well as this simpler, three-hand automatic model.

Available in a 40mm or 42mm-wide steel case, the Spirit takes cues and traits from the classical pilot’s watch, but thankfully stops short of feeling like another “vintage-inspired” timepiece, of which there are plenty these days: Indeed, the Spirit, which is contemporary in feel, offers more refinement than the aviators of yore would require. Those pilots would doubtless find little practical use for features like applied indices and a blue sunburst dial, for example, but these details are sure to be appreciated by modern wearers.

Featuring just the time and date, the Spirit watches are powered by ETA-based automatic movements with COSC chronometer certification and silicon hairsprings. Available with black, blue and white dial options, the new Longines Spirit watches are priced at $2,150 in 40mm or $2,250 for the 42mm version, regardless of whether you choose a steel bracelet or leather strap. (We recommend the bracelet option in this case — you can always add an aftermarket strap later.)

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