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Longines Heritage Legend Diver 39 Stainless Steel

Big news for fans of the Longines Legend Diver as the brand’s long-standing vintage effect dive watch has been retooled with a smaller case. Now in 39mm, the 2023 Legend Diver has been resized to reflect the current taste and is now offered in black or blue lacquer dials, and, as is common for the Swiss brand, you get a choice of straps or a steel bracelet.
Both colorways offer the same brand new 39mm steel case, which is 12.7mm thick and 47mm lug to lug. With 300 meters of water resistance, a closed steel case back, and two crowns – one for setting the time (no-date is the only option at this time) and one to control the bidirectional rotating internal bezel – it’s the Legend Diver we’ve known and loved since 2007, but refreshed for maximum wearability.

Replete with COSC certification, Longines has fitted the newLongines Heritage Legend Diver 39 with the brand’s modern and ETA-based L888.6. It’s an automatic movement with 72 hours of power reserve and a silicon balance spring. Furthermore, the Legend Diver is also an ISO 6425-compliant dive watch (for those of you keeping score).
While either the black or the blue dials can be had with a full steel tapered bracelet, the blue version can be optioned with a blue nylon NATO-style strap, or you can get the black dial with a vintage-style brown leather.
As I alluded to above, the Longines Heritage Legend Diver 39 was launched back in 2007, and it was a huge success that put Longines at the forefront of the then-novel “new vintage” movement. Based on a design from 1959, the Legend Diver was originally a Super-Compressor-style diver that measured 42mm wide. For 2023, in a somewhat backward turn of events, the Legend Diver has been re-born with a smaller footprint meant to translate the mid-century design into a sizing that is more in line with today’s tastes. What I find funny – aside from a modern version of a watch being smaller than the 1950s original – is that the 2007 Legend Diver was already a bit small for popular tastes when it launched during a time that was likely more connected to the rise of larger designs like those from Panerai (and let’s not forget that Longines does continue to offer a 36mm legend diver).

But at Longines Heritage Legend Diver 39mm, in an era downstream of the commercial success of watches like the Tudor Black Bay 58, the sizing seems just right. And where the case width has shrunk by 3mm, the lug-to-lug is more than 5mm shorter than on the 42mm model (from 52.4mm to 47mm). For a watch that was often noted as being quite long in the case – too long for my wrist – this change might be the secret to making this beautiful design suit a wider range of wrists.
All told it’s a simple, understandable, and entirely exciting development for one of the OG faux-vintage dive watches. With new sizing, continued tool-level specs, COSC timekeeping, and a variety of mount options, Longines Heritage Legend Diver 39 continues to impress with their 2023 novelties, and I’d imagine that this new take on an old diver will be very popular for those who appreciated the Legend Diver design but wanted it in a more conventional mid-sized offering.

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The Longines Spirit Flyback Chronograph

Earlier this year, we covered the launch of the Longines Spirit Flyback Collection. Now, Longines is introducing the Spirit Flyback with a grade 5 titanium case and the option of either a titanium bracelet or NATO-style strap. Since Longines already offers the time-only Spirit in titanium (which we like!), it’s a predictable extension of the collection. Like the existing steel models, the Spirit Flyback in titanium measures 42mm x 17mm thick (49mm lug-to-lug). Some of that thickness is due to the domed sapphire, but there’s no way around it: this is a thick boy. The Longines Spirit Flyback dial is a sunray anthracite, complemented by a black ceramic bezel insert. There’s Super-LumiNova on the applied Arabic numerals and hands, with gilt accents – as our hands-on of the steel version shows, the Spirit Flyback has a strong lume signature on the dial and bezel.

The grade 5 titanium case offers 100 meters of water resistance. When it comes to watchmaking, titanium comes in two forms: Grade 2 and Grade 5. I appreciate that Longines has opted for the slightly higher-quality grade 5 titanium, an alloy that includes aluminum and vanadium (6% aluminum and 4% vanadium, which is why it’s also referred to as Ti 6Al-4V). Grade 5 is harder, and usually, you can expect to see it in higher-end manufacturing, while lower-priced options might use Grade 2. As just one example, the Rolex Yacht-Master uses Grade 5, while the Tudor Pelagos 39 uses Grade 2.
“I know that the five stars offer a link to past Longines models, but I also know that it looks like this watch has an Uber rating,” James wrote in his hands-on review of the 39mm Spirit Zulu Time. This sums up how I feel about the Spirit Flyback. It has one foot firmly in Longines’ heritage and the other in the modern era. It makes for a decent release but with some compromises.

Longines invented the Longines Spirit Flyback chronograph in the 1930s, a useful complication for pilots of the era, allowing them to stop, start, and reset the chronograph with the press of one pusher. This led to the production of the 13ZN (read our in-depth article about the caliber here). It was one of the most legendary calibers of all time and it was put to use in some of the most beautiful chronographs ever made. But with the introduction of the Longines Flyback Spirit this year, Longines hasn’t (yet) fully told this story or made this historical connection. First, there’s the watch itself: it’s a commercial proposition, large, and presumably targeted towards a population that has a taste for watches of this size.

But a Longines Spirit Flyback chronograph is a bit of a nerdy thing and not necessarily a commercial proposition. It’s something enthusiasts covet, understanding that it’s not a common complication but one that’s historically and horologically interesting. As an enthusiast, I would’ve loved to see Longines lean into this heritage and historical tie-in, both in product and in messaging. Longines already makes some of the best heritage-inspired watches on the market, and it is perhaps the most historically impressive maker of chronographs. This release continues to toe the line between modern and heritage. It’s cool to see that Longines has brought a flyback chronograph to its pilots’ line. Like the Spirit Zulu Time (introduced at 42mm, now also offered at 39mm), I’m sure it’s only a matter of time until Longines brings its flyback functionality to a variety of case sizes.

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longines dolcevita quartz

Earlier this year, Longines added two new Art Deco sector dialled automatic watches to their longines dolcevita quartz Collection. The collection is the brand’s answer to a classically styled Tank-shaped watch. These new iterations translated the design of their Heritage Classic Sector Dial into the more dressy confines of a DolceVita. As the watches have started to hit boutiques and authorized dealers, I decided to take closer look at what Longines is offering here.
After a few calls, I tracked down the new references to the Westfield World Trade Center Mall in New York City. Within its confines exists the Longines Boutique, which currently is the only location in the city that had the four references I was interested in viewing. Once inside, I got to spend a few minutes with each, trying to get a better sense of wearability and sizing.
While the charm of it all is alluring, there is a level of consciousness you have to have in order to pull it off. For starters, walking into the train station each day I found I needed to put my hand over the pocket the pocket longines dolcevita quartz watch rested in so that I could ensure the turnstile did not smack it. You also, at least in regard to how I wore it, need to be aware of what you lean on or brush up against as you really want to avoid shock and damage. I also, if I am being totally honest, felt less confident pulling it out while riding the train. Whether holding a sizable piece of solid gold in a closed city train car, or the threat of train turbulence throwing me around while holding it, the anxiety outweighed the charm factor in those moments on the subway.

Another aspect to consider is the wardrobe a pocket watch requires. Sure, I didn’t go full Peaky Blinder get-up. But, when the temperature is hovering close to 90 degrees, having a jacket on is not always ideal. Theoretically, I could have clipped the chain to a belt loop and put the pocket watch in my pants pocket. But, I typically have my phone in one pocket and my keys and AirPods in the other. So, short of having a bag with me, or putting the pocket watch in my back pocket (which would be incredibly risky and stupid), this was not really feasible for me to do. It also wouldn’t have conveyed the style I wanted to have while wearing it, looking more like a chain-wallet than a modern take on how a pocket watch was classically and elegantly worn.

Probably the biggest scare I had was the threat of rain/moisture. I was very vigilant about knowing the weather forecast each day, but, at times, the weather can be quite unpredictable. So, after a day at the office, when I stepped out on to the street and received an invitation to meet up for dinner with some colleagues I was excited to get an end-of-day meal. But, as I started to text to reply that I would join them I suddenly felt a rain drop hit my head. I headed back beneath an awning to stop and look at the current forecast, and when I saw rain was imminently on the way I knew I needed to rush home before I, and more importantly the pocket watch, got soaked. longines dolcevita quartz Watches of this age are not really water-resistant, so they are definitely not ideal around liquid.

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Longines Evidenza Replica

Swiss watch company Longines likes to associate the likes of late actors Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn with its new line of watches, the Longines Evidenza, due to its Art Deco look and shape that call to mind the stylishness of many of their movies. But you have to wonder if notoriously hard-boiled Bogie would have approved of the Evidenza men’s stainless-steel chronograph with black dial that flashes a diamond-encrusted bezel. I think he would have wholeheartedly.

Longines says that the watch takes its inspiration from a barrel, or tonneau-shaped, watch that Bogart owned in the 1940s. That watch, first produced in 1925, was inspired by a 1911 model. After seeing the original during the World Watch and Jewelry Show in Basel, Switzerland, last spring, I confess a faint resemblance; however, the Evidenza is a much more extravagant yet elegant timepiece.

All the Longines Evidenza chrongraph, both men’s and women’s, use the same self-winding mechanical movement and a 42-hour power reserve that keeps them ticking when they’re set down. The men’s chronograph is fitted with an L650 movement and a center chronograph hand, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers at 9 and 6 o’clock, respectively, plus a subdial for seconds at 3 o’clock. The watch has an extra four hours of reserve power.

The diamond-encrusted chrono Longines Evidenza chrongraph comes in the stainless-steel case with either a stainless-steel bracelet ($9,200) or crocodile strap ($9,100). The watch is available without diamonds in pink or yellow gold ($5,100) or stainless steel ($2,300). A pink gold watch has been developed with diamonds, but is as yet unavailable in the United States. The face is either a flat silver or black dial.

Maybe Bogart was talking about a Longines watch when he used this line in the 1953 film Beat the Devil: “Time. Time. What is time? Swiss manufacture it. French hoard it. Italians want it. Americans say it is money.”

The Longines Evidenza chrongraph set in diamonds certainly does look rich and opulent. Or as they say in Hollywood, it looks money.

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Longines Ultra-Chron Diver

Heritage revivals are all the rage right now, and the manufacture that really kicked off the trend was Longines – the entire heritage collection range is devoted to digging into their rich archives and resurrecting their historic designs. From the Heritage Military to the BigEye Avigation Chrono to the Legend Diver (among others), their heritage designs have enjoyed tremendous success over the years. Today, we have a new installment into the heritage collection: the hi-beat Longines Ultra-Chron Diver.
The dial matches the colour scheme of the bezel, with a black dial that utilises a rhodium-plated central hours hand and a red central minutes hand. The grained texture of the dial creates the time-capsule vibe that buyers love about heritage designs, creating vintage sensibilities for the modern watch. Also further driving home the heritage nature of the novelty is its applied “Ultra-Chron” logo at 6’, perfectly mimicking the style of the logo found on the original diver. Rhodium-plated applied indices convey each of the hours, and each, like the central hours and minutes hand, are filled with SuperLuminova for visibility in darkness. Now the dial purists watching this will likely have already noticed, but missing from the dial, in line with the original, is a date complication – keeping a clean, symmetrical layout and aesthetic.
There are two configurations you can purchase the Longines Ultra-Chron Diver in. The first, which would be my pick, includes a stainless-steel bracelet. The second option is a brown leather strap instead of the bracelet. A third option exists where you can purchase either the bracelet or leather strap, which comes in a special wooden presentation box along with recycled black NATO strap with a central red stripe. Personally, I am a bracelet guy and, considering it is a dive watch, don’t particularly love the idea of wearing it on leather. But if leather is your jam, considering getting the additional NATO strap so you’re covered off for any aquatic adventures you might have planned. A strap-tool comes with each of the wooden box options allowing you to switch between the respective pair of straps.
Inside the watch, underneath the engraved solid caseback, is the automatic Longines Ultra-Chron Diver calibre L836.6 – a 36,000 vph, or 5Hz, hi-beat calibre with an anti-magnetic silicon hairspring and a power reserve of 52 hours. The calibre is also highly accurate, certified by TIMELAB as a “ultra chronometer”. This means the movement is tested to run within +6/-4 seconds cased, over a 15 day period under three different temperatures: 8, 23, and 38 degrees celsius – ultimately meeting the ISO 3159 standard.

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longines legend diver watch

The Replica Longines Legend Diver collection, since its inception in 2007, has presented a strong example of heritage revivals done right. Longines, a trendsetter in this regard, has always done a great job of digging into their rich archives to take beloved designs of the brand and reinterpret them with fresh and flavourful notes that speak to modern buyers. One standout element of recent Legend Divers are their lacquered gradient dials, giving a sporty reference a dressy and playful twist. For 2022, Longines has decided to expand the menu by introducing vivid burgundy, sand beige and ash grey gradient dials into the mix.
For the 2022 refresh of the collection, the real change-up here is the new dial colours. The stainless-steel case is still 42mm in diameter, 12.7mm thick, and 52.4mm lug-to-lug, with two screw-down crowns (one to operate the inner timing bezel and the other to adjust the time and date) and a depth rating of 300 metres. Inside, beneath a solid caseback, is the self-winding Calibre L888.5 (ETA A31.L11) with an anti-magnetic silicon balance-spring and a “weekend-proof” 72 hours of power reserve. While there is much that remains familiar, two new gradient colourways for the 42mm collection, sand beige and ash grey (pictured above), bring new versatile and neutral tones into the staple collection.
When a brand releases two sizes of a particular watch model, typically more attention is paid to the larger size – the smaller, at times, is an afterthought. To date, the Longines Legend Diver 36mm was only available in black and white mother-of-pearl, so the more compact take on the classic diver had far less options to explore. Today, this is remedied, with three colours now debuting in the 36mm size. Like the 42mm, the 36mm will also be available in the new sand beige gradient configuration as well. But, exclusive to the size, Longines introduces a new vivid burgundy gradient dial to the 36mm collection. This rich glass of Bordeaux may be a day late for any Valentine’s festivities, but it’s a colour that is really distinct and would work well all year round. Longines was making stellar heritage reissues well before it was cool. Case in point is the stylish ’60s-inspired Legend Diver, first released way back in 2007. And while it’s become de rigueur for most major brands to release one or two retro pieces a year, the Longines Legend Diver (LLD) pioneered the reissue genre, and still holds its own, thanks to a well-balanced trifecta of timeless good looks, clear vintage style and cracking value. First off, let’s tackle the style. The internal rotating bezel and twin crowns of the Legend draw their inspiration from a type of dive watch that was popular in the ’60s and ’70s called the Super Compressor. Most dive watches rely on thick cases, crystals and gaskets to create an impermeable wall to keep moisture out. The Super Compressor’s approach, however, was slightly different. Developed by case-maker E. Piquerez SA (EPSA), it relied on the external pressure of the water to aid the water resistance of the watch – the deeper you went, the tighter the seal. It’s a clever system and was widely used by a range of watchmakers from the ’50s through to the ’70s – with notable examples including Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC, Hamilton and, of course, Longines. A key feature of many of these watches is the dual crowns – one to deal with the time, the other handling the internal rotating bezel.
That’s the theory. But how does the Longines Legend Diver look in reality? Well, it looks the business. At 42mm, the case is hefty and, if anything, I’d say it wears on the larger side thanks to the long, curving lugs and narrow bezel. Aside from these features, the case is quite spartan, with simple lines and a polished finish, all of which serves to let the dial shine. And what a dial. Glossy, black and surprisingly deep thanks to the internal bezel, it’s shown off to full effect under the domed sapphire crystal, with creamy printing and generously long markers that effortlessly combine legibility and vintage chic. Aside from the markers and arrowhead handset, the look is relatively sparse, with brand, hourglass logo and cursive ‘Automatic’ text the only other features. (Incidentally, Longines initially made versions of the LLD with and without a date function, but discontinued the no-date version, so obviously that’s now very much in-demand from collectors.)
The LLD is rated to 300m, achieved using screw-down crowns and caseback rather than the compression style case that inspired it. It’s powered by an ETA 2824, hidden away behind a solid caseback, replete with a handsome engraving of a skin diver. The strap is one of the more polarising elements of the watch. Made in the padded sailcloth style, it’s very stiff at first, and I know many people swap it out quite quickly, but I think it suits the overall vibe of the piece.
It’s strange to think that this heritage reissue is 10 years old – it was one of the first models that really caught my eye when I was getting into watches. For me it still stands out as one of the best examples of its type, and an important release that went a long way to popularising the vintage revival that has dominated the industry in the past decade.

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Longines Longines Spirit Zulu Time

The Queen’s House, an impressive architectural masterpiece in Greenwich, London, played host to an exceptional event organised to mark the launch of the new Longines Spirit Zulu Time. This event, focused on heritage and innovation, took its guests on a journey across time and Longines’ history. The launch was the ideal occasion for international media to discover – on site and online – the winged hourglass brand’s latest design.

The Longines Spirit Zulu Time features multiple time zones and typifies the watchmaker’s century-old expertise in timepieces of its kind. Its origins and its name come from the first Longines dual-time zone wristwatch manufactured in 1925, which featured the Zulu flag on its dial – Zulu referring to the letter “Z” which designates universal time for aviators and members of the armed forces.

Many adventurers have crossed the world’s time zones with a Longines watch on their wrist. Renowned aviators including Amy Johnson, Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon conquered the air and set new records – all with Longines’ assistance. A guarantee of safety and reliability for these early pioneers.

A link between history and innovation, the Longines Spirit Zulu Tim pays homage to the brand’s rich heritage, resulting in an exceptional timepiece to be used by all modern pioneers. An exclusive new Longines in-house calibre with a silicon balance-spring drives the time zone display. A state-of-the-art technology that allows the hour hand to be adjusted independently of the GMT indicator. Additional time zones are read using a 24-hour hand and a bidirectional rotating bezel, also graduated over 24 hours. Extremely accurate with a power reserve of 72 hours, this new movement is chronometer-certified by the COSC (the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), in a nod to the five stars stamped on the dial which, in the history of Longines, was a guarantee of a movement of the highest quality.

Aesthetically, the Longines Spirit Zulu Tim stands out with its meticulous execution and the particular care given to the various finishes on the details – whether shiny, matt, polished, in relief or embossed. This model features a bezel enhanced with a coloured ceramic insert, and is available on a matt black, sandblasted anthracite or sunray blue dial, with a date window now centred at the 6 o’clock position. Its hands and numerals, coated with Super-LumiNova®, enable the time to be read under all circumstances. The 42 mm steel case has an interchangeable stainless steel bracelet or an interchangeable brown, beige or blue leather strap. These straps all have a folding clasp fitted with a new fine adjustment system for maximum comfort and a perfect fit.

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The Longines Master

Established in the year 1832, the world renowned and most successful watch brand, the Longines has continued to advance and achieve the admiration of watch lovers from all across the world. By debuting the Longines Master Collection, the timeless watch assortment, the brand has once again claimed that it is second to none in the luxury watch manufacturing.

The elegant Longines Master collection watches drive the inspiration from past achievements and performances of the brand. Debuted in the year 2005, the Longines Master Collection timepieces skillfully fit the wrists of men as well as women watch enthusiasts.
Exuding the excellence in its designs and functions, the Longines watch brand is a highly acclaimed one. Holding a long legacy and expertise in the watch manufacturing the brand has been home to the number of iconic timepieces. The uniqueness in its timepieces incredible sophistication is all something that has distinguished the Longines from the rest of the watch brands. Incepted in the year 1832 in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, by Auguste Agassiz, the Longines stands out for its exceptional precisions, mechanics and the elegant design elements. And, indeed, Longines is one of the most sought after brands in the world.

Acknowledged for its widely popular and varied watch collections, the Longines once again claimed for the success with a debut of Longines Master collection. Released in the year 2005, the Longines Master Collection stands firm to the brand’s traditions of watch manufacturing. Well, it not just the quality of timepieces which wearers appreciate for, but even its design aesthetics are no far behind. These Longines watches from the Master Collection efficiently fulfil the desires of coveted watch lovers who desire for reliability and elegance both in a single timepiece.

Furthermore, the Longines Master Collection is believed to honour past accomplishments and performances of the brand. The popular Weems series of timepieces from the 1920s have inspired the current Master collection watches. Thus inspiration ruled out to the creation very amazing and stunning timepieces manufactured using stainless steel.

However, the Master Collection has been augmented with a number of different material watches, being available in 18-karat yellow gold and rose gold. Apart from this, the Longines Master men’s watches are so ingenious and proficient in their performance that looking at them any viewer would easily get fascinated to don them. Initially, the Longines Master Collection watches were only created for the male crowd. But looking to their increased popularity the collection has been expanded and even the elegant watches for women have been appended to the assortment. Extravagant materials used in combination with various enchanting colour hues and complex technicalities, including an admirable moon phase display all the main highlights of Longines Master women’s watches.

Ever since its launch, the Longines Master collection has been an acclaimed and much-celebrated one. Its launch was a huge success for the brand. The achievements conquered by the Longines has been possible due to its great efforts towards delivering quality in its watches. At the same time, the brand aspired to incorporate modern sophistication in its design aesthetics which is evidently visible from Longines Master collection. Along with this the Longines watches from Master Collection also embody the traditional values of a brand’s watchmaking.

However, in order to cater to the demands of a wide range of watch lovers, the Longines Master collection watches are available in 38.5, 40, 42, 44 or 47.5-mm case sizes. Also, the Longines Master collection is available with ten different calibres, being differentiated on the basis of manual and automatic winding mechanisms. Surprisingly, utilising the idea of diversity the Longines Master watches are available in various material configurations. Even their watch cases have been crafted using stainless steel, rose gold, or yellow gold material.

Moreover, the presence of transparent case backs will allow you to closely admire the sophistication of movements powering these watches. Complementing the watch case, the bracelets of these Longines dress watches are available in sleek stainless steel, classic yellow gold, or elegant rose gold. And if you want to add modern charm to your watch then it can also be adorned with a brown leather strap. Although, either it’s metallic or leather strap, the bracelets of Master collection watch would probably deliver you the utmost comfort and ease.

The Master Collection men’s watches
The most prominent models from the Longines Master collection include Longines Chronograph with a with a moon phase display (Ref. L2.673.4.78.3). This Longines Moonphase watch comes in a robust stainless steel case, featuring a circular shape and a 40 mm size. Moreover, these timepieces possess the capability of being water resistive up to 3 bars of pressure. While moving on to the technicalities of Longines Master Collection Moonphase watches, the timepieces are powered by a self-winding chronograph movement L678. And are endowed with an exceptional power reserve of 48 hours. Additionally, a superior-quality, scratch defiant, sapphire crystal takes care of the precise movement inside the watch. Featuring a silver coloured dial with a unique barley corn motifs tempted by an enamelled Arabic numerals the watch exhibits a very distinctive look. Some other notable Longines men’s watch models from this collection include: (Ref. L2.628.4.78.6), this Longines Master Mechanical Steel Silver Dial watch beats to the speed of a self-winding mechanical movement – calibre L619. Another prominent model is the classic men’s watch. Encased in a 44mm stainless steel watch case, fitted with durable alligator strap this watch looks very refined and modish in its design aesthetics.

Hence, all of the aforementioned Longines Master Collection timepieces display a timeless finesse in their characteristics. No matter what you choose, whether a moon phase, an automatic or a mechanical all the timepieces from Longines Master collection will surely steal the attention of onlookers from the crowd.

The Heritage collection from Longines has allowed a whole new generation of watch lovers to become acquainted with a number the brand’s classic designs from the middle part of the 20th century – of which, unsurprisingly, there are many. Several of these revivals have been bona fide hits: the Longines Military Watch, the Legend Diver, and the recently reviewed Heritage Classic “Sector” all come to mind. But there is another Longines collection that references timeless watchmaking codes without making specific nods to watches from the company’s archives.

Launched in 2005, the Master Collection, an example of which we are going Hands-On with today, offers a take on traditional watch designs whose inspiration appears to come mostly from the last century. Specifically, we’re looking at one that features an analog display with moonphase indicator and date: the Longines Master 40mm Moonphase Automatic.

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Longines Spirit Automatic

The pilot’s watch is one of those pieces of gear which has always conjured up sentimental and historical imagery of a bygone era. The era of flyboys, fighter pilots, and bomber jackets; the smell of leather, the rattle of gears, the look of the instrument panels, and the roar of piston engines. Things don’t look and feel that way anymore, which is why it is quite nice when a modern pilot-style watch can stir up those sentiments. Such is the case with the Longines Spirit Automatic, a simple, legible, and well-sized watch with a few little nuances that are best appreciated in the metal.

This watch was announced earlier this year, and in typical fashion, I was not sure about it from the press photos. It looked straightforward enough – large Arabic numerals, black dial, steel case, leather strap – but I would be lying if I said it did anything for me at the time, on the basis of just photos. When I finally had it in the hand, I saw a watch that I think represents tremendous value for the price, which is always a welcome combination.
The first thing that I noticed when I saw this piece was the dial and the multi-faceted aspects which make up the design. At first blush, this is a standard black dial. In some lights, it has a gloss effect. In reality, the dial is really quite matte, and in direct sunlight, the matte dial effect is accentuated, appearing almost grey from some angles. The flat effect of the matte dial is a big draw for this watch, at least to me. It adds to the vintage-leaning design and is honestly just more enjoyable to look at than a standard black dial would be.
This watch also features large, bold, applied white Arabic numerals, in a typeface that brings to mind the dial design of the Dirty Dozen watches, in some ways, but in other ways, is also sufficiently modern. Getting into the typographical weeds a bit, the flat four jumps out to me as the most vintage looking number of the bunch. There is also a subtle serif on the seven and five which are quite reminiscent of an older style of watch design. Moving outward, the minute track also sports a slew of interesting, vintage-inspired numerals. Again, you have the appearance of a flat four, but also a very cool open six. The minute track is one of those aspects of the watch that could easily be missed at first blush, but to my mind, it ties the whole dial design together.

Staying on the topic of typefaces, the date window on this watch features a font choice which is consistent with the other design elements of the watch. Sometimes, this is where a watch loses its focus, where the choice of numerals inside the date window breaks from the overall consistency of the design. Here, it bolsters the overall vintage effect of the watch. Moreover, the text on the matching black background allows the dial to – at least in some way – maintain a level of symmetry. It is, of course, not symmetrical since the number three is missing, but I forgive this because I honestly think a watch like this works better with a date complication. If I had one gripe about the date window, it would be that the numerals appear to have something of a faux-patina look to them, whereas white would have been more consistent.
Generally speaking, in the modern context, pilot’s watches have been on the larger side – i.e. 42mm and up. In recent years, and for many brands, that approach has softened a bit. In fact, I think specifically of the IWC Mark XVIII, or even the newer Spitfire Automatic, which are both in the 39-40mm range. As I was handling this watch, I felt that it shared a lot of similarities with those watches. They seem cut from the same cloth, sporting a size that is entirely of today and not rooted in any particular vintage example (though there are other obvious vintage features). The Longines Spirit gives off a bit more of a modern vibe than those other watches as well, and I think that has to do with the applied numerals. Whereas the matte dial is a decidedly vintage aesthetic, the applied numerals are almost the opposite.
The dial is split up into effectively two parts, separated by a metallic ring. Inside that ring is where we find the Arabic numerals, Longines logo, the handset, and date window. We also have – just above six o’clock – a set of five applied stars and the word chronometer, but more on that later. Overlaid on the metallic ring are white, diamond-shaped markers which are aligned with the Arabics. They are small, but they provide added contrast against the matte black dial surface and are filled with lume – a small but nice additional detail.

Moving to the second portion of the dial, on the other side of the metallic ring, we find the aforementioned minute track with minutes marked off in five-minute intervals, with long hash marks delineating the remaining minutes. There is a series of tiny hash marks between each minute hash mark as well. All of these dial features are housed inside of the 40mm case, which is mostly brushed, with a stepped polished bezel. The case has that retro tool watch look and nice curvature, which fits with the dial design quite well.
The hour and minute hands are long, narrow arrows with a sandblasted finish. The seconds hand is actually one of the most captivating aspects of this watch’s design. The outer end of the seconds hand is painted a bright red, which has an almost lacquered appearance to it. This hand reaches the outermost section of the minute track, but it is the diamond toward the end of the seconds hand that I want to mention. This diamond is the same size as the applied diamond-shaped markers referenced earlier. As the hand sweeps across the dial, the seconds hand diamond appears in the same position overtop the metallic ring as the applied markers. This is a small detail, but evidence of a watch with a design which can reveal unsuspected thoughtfulness over time.
For a watch that is 40mm in diameter, the signed crown is quite large. It is shaped in a pseudo-onion style, which in some angles is more obvious than others. I will admit, I did not notice the size of the crown relative to the size of the watch at first. But as I wore the piece a bit more, that aspect came to become more and more obvious, to the point where I almost could not un-see it. The way it tapers down, there are times when looking at it, that I was not sure if I had screwed the crown down all the way. I would not necessarily call this a deal-breaker, but just something worth noting. While it adds to the vintage ideal that this watch seems to be going for, to my mind, a more conventional crown design at a smaller size would not have taken away from the overall look of this piece.
I really like that Longines utilized a closed caseback with this watch because it works with its overall tool watch air. The caseback design features a globe engraving with the brand’s logo, as well as the wordmark below. There is also a set of six screws present around the caseback plate which appear to keep it securely affixed to the watch. One of the biggest value features of the watch is behind the caseback – beating away inside the Longines Spirit is the Longines caliber L888.4, an ETA-based design (ETA A31.L11, in turn based on the 2892-A2) featuring 64 hours of power reserve and a silicon balance spring. But what makes things more interesting is the fact that the movement has been COSC certified. For a watch priced just above $2,000, that is a pretty solid deal.

The luminescence on this watch is quite good, and of course, that is aided by the thick, applied white numerals (filled with Super-LumiNova). Generally, with pilot, or pilot-adjacent watches, the lume is either nothing to write home about, or only certain markers are given the lume treatment. Here, every numeral, every marker, and every hand are treated with lume, so you can get equal enjoyment out of the dial in both bright or lowlight environments.
I really enjoyed the 40mm sizing of this watch on the wrist. The lugs are quite long, so it does drape the entire surface area of the wrist, but not in any sort of meaningful way that would render the watch unwearable. The watch manages to give off the gravitas of a larger pilot’s watch while maintaining an eminently classic case size. Case thickness was not an issue either, and I think this watch could be worn in a whole host of situations. Aside from the leather strap option I was able to handle, this watch also comes on a steel bracelet.

The sapphire crystal features what the brand says are “several layers of anti-reflective coating on both sides.” My experience with AR coating is that, while it cuts down on reflections, it also creates an almost purple sheen on the watch when it interacts with the light. That is certainly the case here. Aside from the crown and date window, this was the only other area of the design that somewhat got in the way of my overall enjoyment of the watch. Maybe a few layers less than several would do the trick.
The Longines Spirit 40mm is a smartly executed vintage-inspired watch that is not an homage to any older model in particular. As such, it isn’t tied to any existing design. The end result is a watch that is able to give off a ton of modern flair while not taking away from the flight jacket aesthetic or old school charm. Even though the early days of flight are behind us – the romantic, wistful, and sense stirring aspects of that time but a memory – pieces like this are able to serve as vessels of a time gone by, and that’s precisely what watches should do.

The Longines Spirit 40mm Ref. L3.810.4.53.0 is a 100-meter water resistant watch. The Spirit is 40mm in diameter, featuring a screw-down crown and closed caseback. Leather strap with signed buckle. Automatic caliber L888.4 movement with a frequency of 25,200 vibrations per hour, and a power reserve of 64 hours. Matte black dial with applied markers and Super-LumiNova on hands and markers.
Earlier this week, we brought you the three-hand version of Longines’ new Spirit pilot’s watch and mentioned that the new line also included a chronograph version. Well, here it is. Carrying largely identical styling to that of its siblings, the Longines Spirit Automatic Chronometer Chronograph sticks to the same format while providing a column-wheel-equipped movement wrapped in a 42mm steel case.
As with the other models in this new collection, the styling for the for Spirit Chronograph is inoffensive and derivative of many other pilot’s watches in the market (again, think Breitling and Bremont). With a date display squeezed in at 4:30 and the appearance of both “Chronometer” and the Spirit line’s unified use of a five star design on the dial, the chronograph packs a lot into its dial layout. For those wondering, the star logo has been used by Longines in the past and, according to the brand, it signifies “an improvement of the quality and reliability of the brand’s movements.” Much like with Uber, five stars is the top rating.
Speaking of the movement, Longines has fitted their L688.4 automatic chronograph movement. Based on the ETA A08.L11, this movement offers a 12-hour chronograph with a column-wheel and a silicon hairspring. Ticking at 4 Hz with COSC certification and 64 hours of power reserve, the L688.4 is a strong value for the segment and a solid alternative to the more garden variety 7750s.

Available with a blue, black, or silver dial, the Spirit Chrono has red accents for the chronograph measure, 100-meters water resistance, and both the main crown and the date corrector crown (at 10) are of a screw-down type. Buyers get the choice of either a leather strap or a steel bracelet for the same price, and the Spirit Chronograph’s case has 22mm lugs.

For around $500 more than the lovely BigEye chronograph, the Spirit offers a more modern design and a current-gen movement that should appeal to a lot of buyers. With an MSRP of $3,100, while I am not at all a fan of the date window, the Longines Spirit 42mm Chronometer Chronograph is a nicely sized and sporty chronograph with a well-spec’d movement and a handsome design (especially with the silver dial).

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Longines New Legend Diver Watches In Blue And Brown

While vintage-inspired reissue models form the backbone of many brands across the modern watch industry, perhaps no company has embraced its back catalog as thoroughly and extensively as Longines. The Longines Heritage series is a meeting place for vintage designs of nearly every stripe from early pilot chronographs to classic naval deck watches. The super compressor style Longines Legend Diver has been the face of this eclectic series since its introduction in 2007, with a wide variety of sizes and variants over the years. Longines adds even more variety to the Legend Diver line for 2021, adding splashes of color to the classic 42mm model in deep degradè blue and brown. The new blue dial and brown dial Longines Legend Diver models give this classic design a new personality, influencing its character in dramatically different ways.
The 42mm stainless steel case of the Longines Legend Diver is instantly recognizable, with long tapering lugs, a narrow polished external bezel, and of course the twin oversized screw-down crowns topped with a distinctive crosshatch pattern. This super compressor design is markedly different from what usually comes to mind with dive watches, cutting a more elegant and refined profile with ‘50s inspired lines. Like previous iterations, the lugs of these new Legend Diver models are famously long, leading to a larger than expected presence on most wrists, but this illusion of greater scale works with the concept in interesting ways. The original Longines Super Compressor model in 1959 was a massive watch for its time at 42mm, so these longer lugs help to preserve that original sense of presence on the wrist with today’s sizing sensibilities. The Legend Diver’s signature screw-down caseback with its engraved spear-wielding diver returns here, enabling the Legend Diver to reach a robust 300 meters of water resistance.
Where these new Longines Legend Diver models diverge from their predecessors is with dial finishing. The base design remains intact, with its broad internal rotating dive bezel, distinctive spearhead hour hand, and mix of aggressive stencil numerals and printed indices. With the use of color, however, this familiar look takes on two striking new personalities. The deep blue degradè dial variant captures the feel of the ocean depths, sinking gradually from rich ocean blue at the center to deep midnight at the edge in initial images. This cooler color palette gives this midcentury design a more modern, ornamental feel, injecting the utilitarian layout with a splash of marine luxury. The brown dial model is perhaps the more handsome of the pair, capturing a warm spectrum of shades from worn leather to tobacco, chocolate, and black coffee. This warmer palette handsomely complements the khaki lume in initial images, while emulating the feel of a patinated tropical dial.
Longines powers the new blue and brown dial Legend Diver models with the ETA-based Caliber L888.5 automatic movement. The Caliber L888.5 is something of a staple in Longines’ arsenal, with a silicon balance spring and the brand’s unorthodox beat rate of 25,200 bph. Power reserve stands at a solid 64 hours.
In an unorthodox move, Longines pairs both these new Legend Diver models with leather straps. For the blue dial variant, this is a structured navy blue leather strap with a contrasting cream topstitch and a textured pattern reminiscent of woven fabric. The brown dial model opts instead for a weathered leather strap in saddle tan, adding a rugged aged feel to the tropical-esque colorway.
By emphasizing both the tropical aged and oceanic facets of the watch’s personality, these new blue and brown dial Longines Legend Diver models offer a fresh and handsome perspective on this iconic super compressor design. The new blue dial and brown dial Longines Legend Diver models are available now through authorized dealers at an MSRP of 2,260 CHF each. For more details, please visit the brand’s website.