Longines Expands Spirit Collection With New Flyback Chronograph

The Longines Spirit collection welcomes a new member today with the release of a new Flyback Chronograph, bringing a (perhaps surprising) element of Longines heritage into the mix along the way. Longines may not be the first name that comes to mind when hearing the word ‘flyback’ but it probably should be, and this latest Spirit watch will serve as a reminder to the brand’s extensive history with the complication, which dates back to the 1920’s. Visually, the new Spirit Flyback Chronograph presents a cleaner execution than the existing chronograph, placing emphasis on the uniqueness of this complication, however the visual identity of the Spirit collection is clear and present here. 

Let’s take a quick step back, and get a better understanding of Longines’ place in history when it comes to the flyback complication. Longines had a lovely chronograph movement called the 13.33Z first introduced in 1913, which, later in life, likely served as a testbed for the flyback mechanism that would flourish in the more well-known 13Z. As far as we know, Longines placed the first flyback mechanism within the 13.33Z in 1929, and it wouldn’t be until June 12th of 1935 that the brand filed for Swiss patent on the mechanism, which would go on to be granted in March of 1936 (Brevet 183262). There’s much more to read on the topic, which has been covered beautifully by SJX and collector Dr. Christian Müller right here.


Not that Longines needed an excuse to release their own flyback chronograph, but they’ve certainly made a compelling case for their heritage, and if nothing else, shines a welcome light on some under-appreciated areas of their history in total. The movement in this flyback is scarcely related to some of those early all-time great Longines movements, but it connects some dots in a welcome manner nonetheless. 

Setting all that aside, what’s the new Spirit Flyback Chronograph like? Well, after some hands-on time with the watch I can say it’s certainly handsome, if a bit much for my 7.25 inch wrist. If you’ve enjoyed earlier complicated Spirit watches, such as the Zulu Time, and the regular Chronograph, you’ll likely find a lot to love here. If, on the other hand, you’ve been left wanting a touch more restraint, this won’t get you there. 

This watch gets a steel case that measures 42mm in diameter and 17mm in thickness, however as there is no date to adjust, it ditches the appendage at 10 o’clock along the case, and presents as relatively sleek in shape. Inside sits a flyback movement in use exclusively by Longines dubbed the L791.4 which gets 68 hours of reserve, a silicon balance spring, and a COSC certification guaranteeing its accuracy.

It’s a lot of watch and you feel every bit of it on the wrist. The situation is aided by a set of quick release straps and one exceptionally comfortable NATO strap option that’s available with the watch. Brands creating their own fabric straps is nothing new but this is one of the better examples I’ve experienced, and while it doesn’t entirely reign in the heft of the head of the watch, it provided the most comfortable on-wrist experience of the bunch. A three link steel bracelet and leather strap are also available options. 

Two separate dial and bezel colorways are also available, sunray black and sunray blue, each with gilt trimming around the features. The familiar 5 applied stars still appear at the 6 o’clock position, accompanied by the ‘Flyback’ label. The ceramic bezel insert is matched to the dial as well, and set within a rotating assembly. The lack of a date is appreciated in this format, however it doesn’t come with the usual side benefit of reduced case thickness. 

Pricing ranges from $4,450 on leather and the fabric straps, and rises to $4,550 on the steel bracelet. The Longines Spirit Flyback Chronograph is available to order now directly from Longines.

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Blake is a Wisconsin native who’s spent his professional life 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 Seiko to vintage Rolex. He is an avid writer and photographer with a penchant for cars, non-fiction literature, and home-built mechanical keyboards.