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The spirit lives on

Samantha Chiew
Samantha Chiew2/5/2021 6:0 AM GMT+08  • 6 min read
The spirit lives on
The Longines Spirit collection is designed for a journey of a lifetime.
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Paying homage to some of the world’s greatest aviators and explorers, Longines Spirit collection is designed for an incredible journey

What do legendary explorers like Amelia Earhart, Paul-Emile Victor, Elinor Smith and Howard Hughes have in common?

They have all put their trust in the Longines brand of spectacular timepieces while on their incredible journeys.

Famous for its impressive legitimacy when it comes to pilot’s instruments, Longines has decided to pay tribute to these exceptional men and women who, by a record, an exploit or a display of courage, have left their mark on history — encouraging new generations to reach for the skies — with the new Longines Spirit collection.

An addition to their Sport collection and set alongside watches like the Hydroconquest dive watch, the new Longines Spirit pays tribute to this pioneering spirit and comes with state-of-the-art technology, resulting in highly accurate movements that are all Chronometer-certified.

Linking history with innovation, the new Spirit models take traditional features from the pilot’s watches and combine them with contemporary lines and codes. Borrowing some aesthetic elements from a variety of past Longines models, the new spirit collection captures the charm and functional military look of the BigEye Chrono, albeit with more a detailed and less specific execution.

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The oversized crown, the flange, the pronounced step around the crystal, the font of the dial, the diamond shaped indexes and the large, luminous “baton” hands are all elements drawn from the days of pioneering aviation. Reworked and updated, they blend harmoniously with the overall contemporary design. In addition, great care has been taken with the various finishes on the detail — be it brushed, matt, polished or in relief.

Longines has fitted this range exclusively with self-winding movements with silicon hairsprings to guarantee extreme accuracy and increased longevity. The calibres, with a power reserve of 64 and 60 hours respectively, are chronometer-certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). The advanced technology of this new collection is also complemented by the domed sapphire glass with multi-layered anti-reflective coating on both sides, screw in crown, and engraved case back secured with six screws.

To start, the collection offers three hand/calendar models in three colours — matt black, grained silver or sunray blue dial — and in two sizes (40mm and 42mm), with or without bracelets. These are also available in a “Prestige” edition with three interchangeable straps (steel, leather and NATO in brown leather).

To power this model, Longines relies on a modern and precise movement, the calibre L888.4 — a highly modified and improved ETA base. Equipped with a silicon balance spring, it has a slightly slower beat rate of 25,200 vibrations per hour, which combined with an updated barrel results in a comfortable 64-hour power reserve. This automatic movement is also chronometer-certified.

The collection also features 42mm chronographs in the same three colours, with or without bracelets. This model however is powered by the calibre L688.4, a COSC-certified column-wheel chronograph movement with silicon hairspring, which gives it a 60-hour power reserve.

The dials, regardless of colour and size, are set with Arabic numerals, diamond-shaped markets and sandblasted hands that are coated with Super-LumiNova that lights up in the dark. Also noticeable on the dials are the stamped five applied stars. In the Longines tradition, this has always signified an improvement of the quality and reliability of the brand’s movements. Five stars is the maximum number that can be achieved.

With the new Longines Spirit line, the winged hourglass brand proudly aligns itself, as its rich heritage entitles it to, with the legendary pioneers who placed their trust in it.

The collection also celebrates those heroes of the past. More importantly, their state of mind that has never dated: One of an ambition to perform well and a quest for excellence.

Trail blazers

The new Longines Spirit collection celebrates the exceptional men and women who go above and beyond to break barriers. Here are some examples.

Amelia Earhart, aviator
“I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty.”

It took American aviator Amelia Earhart 14 hours and 56 minutes to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic in 1932, wearing her Longines chronograph. Thanks to her fearless spirit, she succeeded in fighting icy winds and mechanical failures, becoming the first woman to connect the continents. In 1928, she became the first woman to ever fly over the Atlantic, as a co-pilot. Earhart is a trailblazer, paving the way for women in aviation.

Howard Huges, pilot and entrepreneur
“Do the impossible, because almost everyone has told me my ideas are merely fantasies.”

Hughes’ round-the-world flight record was timed by Longines in 1938. The eccentric American is famous for his twin passions: Aviation and the film making. He is the bestknown user of the Longines Sidérograph, an on-board device for celestial navigation that was patented by Longines. The crew in Hughes’ aircraft also relied on Longines chronometer watches, set to Greenwich Civil Time and to Greenwich Sidereal Time, and wore Longines Second-Setting watches for observation.

Elinor Smith, aviator
“Children must be allowed to dream and have a horizon to work toward. For me there was only one path: I knew from age six that I wanted to fly.”

After becoming the world’s youngest licensed pilot at 16, Smith set multiple solo endurance, speed, and altitude records in her lifetime. While flying at 30,000 feet in 1931, American aviator Smith blacked out. She was trying to break a record when her plane dropped towards the ground. Smith woke up at the last minute and managed to land safely. Ten days later, she soared even higher and set a new record at 32,576 feet, relying on her trusted Longines watch.

Paul-Emile Victor, explorer
“The only thing we are sure to fail is that which we do not attempt”

French Explorer Victor spent seven weeks crossing the Greenland ice caps in 1936 in extreme weather conditions of up to –40 degrees Celsius. Even in the harshest of conditions, his Longines chronometers continued to work accurately, helping him to calculate longitude. At the end of his expeditions, Victor said: “These watches made the difference between failure and success”.

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