Thanks to its watches’ high-performance reliability, Longines has contributed to numerous pioneering exploits, accompanied explorers to the last unknown lands, defied extreme weather, navigated wild oceans and played a part in opening up new air routes and establishing aviation records. Among the adventurers whom the brand had the privilege of outfitting were Amelia Earhart, Paul-Emile Victor, Elinor Smith and Howard Hughes.
Inspired by their spirit of exploration, Longines has brought this rich heritage back to life in the form of the new Spirit collection. Linking history with innovation, the new models take traditional features from pilot watches and combine them with contemporary lines and codes. The over-sized crown, the flange, the pronounced step around the crystal, the font of the dial, the diamond-shaped indexes and the large, luminous baton-shaped 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 details, whether brushed, matte, polished or in relief.
As elegant as it is technologically sophisticated, the collection is powered by self-winding movements, equipped with silicon hairsprings that guarantee extreme precision and increased longevity and a power reserve of 60 and 64 hours, respectively. All this is complemented by a domed sapphire glass with multi-layered anti-reflective coating on both sides and engraved case-back.
Available in three-hand/calendar models (40mm and 42mm) and a chronograph (42mm), the Longines Spirit collection comes with a matte black, grained silver or sunray blue dial, all stamped with five applied stars. In the Longines tradition, this has always signified an improvement of quality and reliability of the brand’s movements, five stars being the maximum number that can be achieved.
The case is adorned with a steel bracelet, or a leather strap in dark brown, light brown or blue. The three-hand/calendar model is also available in a “Prestige” edition with three interchangeable straps (steel, leather and NATO in brown leather).
the pioneers behind longines spirit
The new Longines Spirit collection evokes the pioneering spirit of historical high-flyers who have continuously inspired us to explore beyond our limits, pursue new ambitions and believe in the impossible. Their stories are closely entwined with Longines. Here are the legends who inspired the Longines Spirit collection.
Amelia Earhart, Aviator
Wearing her Longines chronograph timepiece, Amelia Earhart flew solo non-stop across the Atlantic in 1932. Thanks to her intrepid spirit, she succeeded in fighting icy winds and mechanical failures, becoming the first woman to connect the continents. Prior to that, in 1928, she had already become the first woman to ever fly over the Atlantic, as a co-pilot.
“I have often said that the lure of flying is the lure of beauty.”
Paul-Emile Victor, Explorer
Victor spent seven weeks crossing the Greenland ice cap in 1936. Even in the harshest weather conditions, his Longines chronometers continued to work uninterrupted, allowing him to calculate longitude accurately. “These watches made the difference between failure and success,” said the explorer who devoted his whole life to polar expeditions.
“The only thing we are sure to fail is that which we do not attempt.”
Elinor Smith, Aviator
While flying at 30,000ft in 1931, American aviator Elinor 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 over 32,000ft, relying on her trusted Longines watch. After becoming the youngest licensed pilot in the world at just 16, Smith set multiple solo endurance, speed and altitude records in her lifetime.
“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.”
Howard Hughes, Pilot and Entrepreneur
Hughes’ round-the-world flight record was timed by Longines in 1938. The eccentric American was famous for his twin passions: aviation and film. He is the best-known user of the Longines Siderograph, an on-board device for celestial navigation that was patented by Longines. The crew in Howard Hughes’ aircraft relied on Longines chronometer watches, set to Greenwich Civil Time and to Greenwich Sidereal Time, and wore Longines Second-Setting watches for observation.
“Do the impossible, because almost everyone has told me my ideas are merely fantasies.”