Longines Launches the Spirit Collection, a New Line Based on Classic Aviation Watches

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Lately when we’ve looked at Longines, we’ve primarily been focused on their ability to raid their own back catalog for inspiration, creating some of the best bang-for-buck vintage reissues on the market right now. Longines is a brand with a deep archive of great designs that spans decades, and they’ve really carved out a niche among enthusiasts in recent years by pulling off some really wonderful versions of watches from their past. Today, we’re looking at something a bit different from Longines. These watches are still very much inspired by historical designs (and people) but instead of reproducing specific watches, this new collection is an entirely new set of classic, vintage inspired sports watches. Let’s take a look at the first watches in the all new Spirit collection.


Longines Spirit

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Black, white, blue
  • Dimensions: 40mm or 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire        
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull                      
  • Movement: L888.4
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather, stainless steel bracelet
  • Price: $2,150 ($2,650 for the Prestige Edition)
  • Reference Number: L3.810 (40mm), L3.811 (42mm)
  • Expected Release: Fall 

Longines Spirit Chronograph

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Black, white, blue
  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire        
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull                      
  • Movement: L688.4
  • Strap/bracelet: Leather, stainless steel bracelet
  • Price: $3,100
  • Reference Number: L3.820
  • Expected Release: Fall 

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The Spirit collection is named for the “pioneer spirit” of 20th century aviators and adventurers like Amelia Earhart, Paul-Emile Victor, Elinor Smith and Howard Hughes, all of whom used Longines devices at one point or another, according to the brand. The idea behind these watches is to combine the classic, functional style of early and mid-century aviation watches with the best of modern watchmaking technology, which of course Longines, as a member of the Swatch group, has easy enough access to. 

The initial release in the Spirit Collection, a three-hand model with a date at 3:00, features several obvious styling cues that link it to watches of the past. Chief among them are an oversized crown, the diamond shaped hour markers paired with large Arabic numerals, and the big baton style hands, which of course are filled with luminous material. These vintage inspired elements are matched with a case that is actually thoroughly modern in presentation – this watch has a wide, modern stance, and is available in both 40 and 42mm diameter variants.

Three dials will be available when the watch launches in the fall. Customers can choose a Spirit with a textured white dial, simple black, or blue with a sunray pattern. The movements are COSC certified as chronometers, and feature silicon hairsprings for magnetic resistance and extended power reserves of 60 hours. The five stars seen on the dial is a throwback to how Logines would historically denote watches with movements that have been “improved” and represent the peak quality and reliability. 

In addition to the three-hand Spirit, Longines is also producing a chronograph version of the watch. The three register chronograph has the same aesthetic as the time-and-date Spirit, but is only available in a 42mm case. The chrono also features a COSC certified movement with the same modern tech and features as its more simple counterpart. To me, the chronograph version of the Spirit has a more distinctly aviation inspired appeal – it just presents as more of an instrument, with a naturally busy dial and case flanks full of pushers and crowns to fiddle with. Notably, it also features the L688.4 caliber, which is a column-wheel movement. 

The Spirit collection is a genuinely interesting new collection from Longines, and I look forward to seeing how the brand builds on it in the future. With aviation, exploration, and general adventuring as a theme, there are a lot of cool places this collection could go with additional complications and historical points of reference. With pricing sitting just over $2,000 for the three-hander (a bit more if you choose the “Prestige” edition, which includes a leather strap, bracelet, and nylon strap) and around $3,000 for the chronograph, these watches also represent a solid value when you consider the solid movement, brand heritage, and smart design. Longines

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Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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