Longines Brings GMT Hand To Spirit With New Zulu Time

Longines continues to expand on their Spirit collection with the new Zulu Time, equipped with a true GMT complication, 24 hour bezels, and a quick change strap system. The newest member of the Spirit family is presented in a trio of rich, deep colorways spanning black, blue, and green. The 5 stars remain at the bottom of the dial, and the same qualities we enjoyed in the original Spirit (reviewed here) are translated effectively to host a new compilation for the range. With case sizes that range from 37 to 42mm, and encompass time only models to chronographs, and now GMTs, there seems to be a Spirit for just about everyone, with the clear thread of aviation tying them all together. 

When we refer to GMT watches, it’s generally understood that we’re talking about Greenwich Mean Time or, since 1972, Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). GMT, which is a timezone at longitude 0 degrees 0 minutes, is now a term used synonymously with the 24 hour complication (around watch folk, at least). In the military, the term Zulu is used when referencing UTC to keep things in sync throughout global operations. It’s still the mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, counted from midnight, but, you know, it sounds a bit cooler.

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Longines has a history of using this nomenclature that’s more than 100 years deep, so it feels appropriate on the dial on this execution of the Spirit GMT watch. The words appear directly above the 5 applied stars at the bottom of the dial, rendered large enough to merit a salute with each opening of the watchbox. 

The Longines Zulu Time builds on the same formula we’ve seen since the first Spirit watch was launched back in 2020. That means full Arabic numerals around the dial, simple but legible pencil hands, and a separate chapter ring resting atop the dial. Here, we have the addition of a rotating 24 hour bezel assembly with a ceramic insert to compliment the color of the dial. This joins the 24 hour hand, which is matched to the color of the dial as well, save for the arrow tip rendered in an accent color for quick legibility without compromising local time reading. 

Longnes is using a COSC certified automatic Caliber L844.4, which gets 72 hours of reserve, and more importantly, an independently adjustable hour hand. The best travel watches allow for quick and easy adjustments to local time on the fly without altering home time, and that’s exactly what we’ve got here. This is a welcome appearance within this price range, and something we’ve spoken about before when Mido used a similar movement in the Ocean Star GMT.

On the wrist, the Zulu Time is robust, with the steel case measuring 42mm in diameter, and 13.9mm thick. It falls in that “wearable but you’re gonna feel it” territory that will do better on some wrists than others. Both the strap and bracelet are quite comfortable thanks to the micro-adjustment implementation, which works very well here. A press of the buttons will move the clasp up and down for fine tuning quickly and easily. I’ve not seen such a system before and it’s a feature I’d like to test further. 

Finally, Longines is introducing a quick release end link on the bracelet seen on this watch, which will allow for strap changes on the go. The watch is also offered on a leather unit with folding buckle and micro-adjustments, though it remains unclear if you’re able to purchase that strap separately. Regardless, the most time consuming part of swapping straps, removing the bracelet, should be a breeze here if you like to go with a fabric option on the weekends. 

The Longines Spirit Zulu Time is available now, starting at $2,950 on strap, and $3,050 on the bracelet. Longines.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent the past decade covering the people, products, and brands that make the watch world a little more interesting. Blake enjoys the practical elements that watches bring to everyday life, from modern Seikos to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for classic cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.
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