The Spirit collection marks a new line of performance-focused timepieces from Longines that shows off the brand’s expertise in melding form and function into an attractive package that delivers exceptional value. For CEO Matthias Breschan, who took over at the helm earlier in July, it’s also the first major launch of a collection. With just time-and-date and chronograph models currently available, there’s much room for this line to develop further. Work is well underway at Longines, and further partnerships will likely be announced too, as Breschan has hinted in his exclusive interview with AUGUSTMAN Singapore.

Longines CEO Matthias Breschan
Longines CEO Matthias Breschan
How does the Spirit collection fit into Longines’ line-up?

At Longines, the two key words are Heritage and Innovation. The Spirit perfectly illustrates this, because it links history with state-of-the art innovation: the collection takes traditional features from pilot’s watches and combines them with contemporary lines and codes. The oversized crown, the flange, the pronounced step around the crystal, the dial’s typeface and its diamond indices, even the large, luminous “baton” hands – these are all elements drawn from the early days of aviation. Reworked and updated, they blend harmoniously with the overall contemporary design, and come powered with a COSC-certified anti-magnetic movement that’s equipped with a silicon hairspring.

Longines Spirit chronograph
Longines Spirit chronograph
With its retro styling, the Spirit could be equally at home in the Heritage collection. What led to the decision to create a standalone line instead?

With this collection, we wanted to create a new channel to communicate with our consumers. It highlights pioneers who were equipped with Longines timepieces when they were performing their feats, some of them more than a century ago. In this regard, the Spirit collection is made for modern pioneers: active men and women for whom style and performance go together, who are constantly pushing ahead and unafraid of taking risks.

On the other hand, each watch in our Heritage line is a reinterpretation of a single specific model from the past. This is not the case for the Spirit collection’s timepieces, which are testimonies to the pioneering spirit of adventurers of the past.

Amelia Earhart Longines
American aviator Amelia Earhart was wearing a Longines when she made her solo non-stop transatlantic flight in 1932
What was the development process like for this collection?

When we design new watches, our archives are an invaluable source of inspiration. We started there and found numerous documents about the brand’s historical connection with pioneers, aviators, and explorers. These didn’t just include past watches, but also old advertisements that helped us to understand what Longines’ spirit meant.  Then, we analysed these historic watches thoroughly, from their designs to their movements, and identified the key elements that must be retained. Finally, we reinterpreted these elements in a contemporary way to create a modern watch.

The sporty retro-modern timepiece is a common idea that many brands are actively developing today. How do you intend to make the Spirit collection stand out from its peers in this crowded segment?

The Longines Spirit collection really meets the demands of today’s public in its quest for authenticity, while using state of the art technology such as the anti-magnetic silicon hairspring, which guarantees the highest levels of precision and reliability. To demonstrate that we are constantly raising our standards, we have introduced a five-year warranty for all models fitted with a silicon balance-spring. The result is that the Spirit collection is positioned as a robust watch that also has good value-for-money.

The idea of honouring the pioneering spirit of early adventurers is well-explored (pardon the pun) in the Spirit collection. Do you see potential in working with contemporary explorers who are physically pushing the boundaries of human knowledge?

You are right, the concept of pioneer transcends time and space. This is why these great aviators and explorers, as well as their feats, are still resonating today.  Which is also reflected in our new slogan “The Pioneer Spirit lives On”! In this regard, partnerships with modern pioneers are currently being discussed. Stay tuned!

Longines Spirit chronograph
Longines Spirit chronograph
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