BY ERIK SLAVEN
Longines is completing its collection of Spirit pilot’s watches with a mid-size offering in three colors. The original models launched in 2020 with cases in 40mm and 42mm, and with the option of time/date or chronograph variants. This is a vintage-inspired line that honors the pilots and sportsmen that relied on Longines during the 20th century. Legends like Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh and Howard Hughes all wore Longines watches as they made aviation history. The designs are new, however, and don’t recreate a specific model from the past. This latest trio should appeal to both men and women with a universal size, and dials only come with a time/date setup.
The stainless steel case design hasn’t changed other than size, which now measures 37mm in diameter and 11.7mm in height. The screw-down crown tapers toward the case, providing a notch that makes it easier to wind and set the time. It also gives it a more purpose-built aesthetic. A domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coatings on both sides protects the dial and a solid case back has a detailed engraving of the brand’s logo. Water-resistance is rated at a respectable 100 meters, so swimming and light diving is fine. A nice three-link bracelet with a matching brushed/polished finish is one of four options that include leather straps in beige, blue or brown, all with white stitching. Quick-release levers are standard, making it easy to swap them out.
There are three dial colors available with a new one to the series, sunray champagne. The other colors, sunray blue and matte black, were available on larger Spirit models. Like the case, the dial is the same as the larger time/date counterparts, although one thing has changed. The date window moved from 3 to 6 o’clock. Strap colors are specific to the dials, with the champaign dial getting beige leather, the blue dial getting blue leather and the black dial getting brown leather. Applied Arabic numerals with Super-LumiNova and polished hour and minute hands have a retro pilot’s watch look, while the hands on the champagne dial have a muted PVD grey finish. The hour and minute hands have Super-LumiNova inserts. A nice yet subtle detail involves the outer raised minute track that has cutouts for diamond-shaped markers on the base dial to seamlessly extend outward.
The 37mm models use the same automatic movement as their larger brothers, the calibre L888.4. This is based on the ETA A31.L11 and has 21 jewels, beats at 3.5Hz with a power reserve of 72 hours. The five applied stars above 6 o’clock on the dials signify that this is a COSC-certified movement (-4/+6 seconds per day), which also has a rare silicon hairspring. It’s an impressive movement for such an affordable series from a very storied brand.
The 37mm Spirit collection retails for EUR 2,050 or CHF 2,000 for the strap options and EUR 2,290 or CHF 2,250 for the steel bracelet. Competitive prices for sure.
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