Flash News: Longines The Longines Avigation

By Thierry Ané on July 16, 2014

The trend for vintage timepieces seems stronger than ever and Longines, like many other brands, has jumped on this past-inspired bandwagon. The Heritage collection seeks inspiration from important watches in the brand’s history with a particular weakness for military-styled models. With the The Longines Avigation, the brand unveils its latest tribute to the good old days. The watch bears a very evocative name, reminiscent of the aircraft navigation system invented during the 1920’s, obtained as the contraction of “aviation” and “navigation”.

More specifically, the design of The Longines Avigation is based on a model produced for the British Army during the 1950’s. With a diameter of 44 mm, this stainless steel timepiece maintains the proportions of the original and uses the same kind of soft-iron inner case to protect the movement from the harmful effects of magnetic fields. Unfortunately, though, this protection is not paired with a water resistance sufficient enough for the watch to be worn in all occasions: it is indeed only resistant to a depth of 30 meters.

To go on with the technical specifications of this model, let me tell you it is equipped with Longines’ L 704 movement. This self-winding movement based on the ETA A07 171 beats at the frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour and offers 48 hours of energy when fully-wound. In addition to the usual three-hand time indication, this calibre showcases a date indication by window as well as a second time zone on a 24-hour scale by a central hand.

Aesthetically, this Longines Avigation model features the black lacquered dial typical of the military timepieces of this era. With the white and red numerals coated with SuperLuminova, it allows for optimal legibility. The only decorative element is the presence of a white broad arrow sign under the brand’s name: historically, it was used in the United Kingdom to denote government property, like the equipment used by the British Army. This practical watch is mounted on a black alligator strap with elegant white stitches, secured by a stainless steel pin buckle.

This great-looking model follows the now well-established vintage trend on which so many brands are surfing at the moment. Thanks to its modern size inherited from its military origins, it remains extremely contemporary and easy to wear for watch aficionados with contemporary tastes. The second time zone is a very useful complication nowadays and the central execution is very appealing. I also appreciate the fact that Longines opted for an alligator strap instead of, say, thick brown calfskin leather that would have been suitable for the aviation theme but would have made the watch much less refined. My only real disappointment here is the absurdly weak water resistance: this is not a frail gold watch to be worn for a night out at the Opera. It is a sturdy all-purpose timepiece that should boast an appropriate water resistance.

For more information please visit the Longines web site.

For a technical description of the timepiece and additional pictures: