Announced as a new addition to their Sport collection, alongside watches like the current-gen Hydroconquest dive watch, this is the new Longines Spirit line. While the new line also includes a matching 42mm chronograph, this post will focus on the time and date models that are available in both 40 and 42mm. Blending Longines’ usual ability to make handsome everyday sports watches with classic styling – and a chronometer-certified movement to boot – these pilot’s watches are new, but the format is far from unfamiliar.
Borrowing some aesthetic elements from a variety of past Longines models, the new spirit collection captures a bit of the charm and functional military-adjacent look of the BigEye chrono, albeit with more a detailed and less specific execution. Available in 40mm or 42mm, the three-hander Spirit models are offered in three dial versions (matte black, grained silver, and sunray blue), and buyers will get to choose from either a matching leather bracelet as seen above or a full steel bracelet as shown below. Remarkably, the price for either version is the same ($ 2,150 for 40mm or $ 2,250 for 42mm). If you want more strap options, Longines is also offering a “Prestige Edition” for any iteration of the Spirit, and it includes the quick-release version of the steel bracelet, a leather strap, and a leather NATO while adding $ 500 to the base price for any model.
Those who like a high-value chronometer will be pleased to note that both sizes of the Spirit use a COSC-certified movement by way of Longines’ L888.4. Based on ETA’s A31.L11, this is an automatic movement with a silicon hairspring that offers a date display at three and a power reserve of 64 hours while ticking at 25,200 vph. Given the price point and the aesthetic comparisons that will be drawn with more expensive options from brands like Breitling and Bremont, these three-hand Spirit models look like a great mix of style, function, and a modern well-regulated movement.
Thickness and lug-to-lug are as yet unstated, but the 40mm spirit uses 21mm straps while the 42mm model ups the lug distance to 22mm. While we have yet to see these in person, the off-standard lug size for the 40mm version makes the Prestige Edition package all the more interesting providing you feel you’d get use out of all three straps. If you’re a resolute bracelet wearer, the lug distance won’t matter all that much (assuming the watch sits well on wrist). Given the brand, the price, and the spec, this is one we are keen to see in person once the new Spirit models hit the market later this fall.
As part of the Swatch family, it can be hard to stand out, especially for a brand like Longines that typically excels at making subtle but thoughtful watches at price points well below those established by the more prominent luxury players. That being said, there is always room in the market for another nicely made, realistically-sized, and well-positioned pilot’s watch, and the Spirit hits those marks and adds chronometer certification just to keep things interesting.
Reference Number: L3.810 (40mm, several iterations) and L3.811 (42mm, several iterations).
Diameter: 40mm or 42mm
Case Material: Steel
Dial Color: Matte black, grained silver, sunray blue
Water Resistance: 100 meters
Strap/Bracelet: Leather strap or steel bracelet, “Prestige Edition” includes bracelet, strap, and a leather NATO – all with quick-release hardware.
Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds, date
Power Reserve: 64 hours
Frequency: 25,200 vph
Chronometer Certified: COSC certified
Additional Details: Silicon balance-spring
Pricing & Availability
Price: $ 2,150 (40mm, leather or steel), $ 2,250 (42mm, leather or steel), $ 2,650 (40mm, Prestige Edition), $ 2,750 (42mm, Prestige Edition).
Availability: Fall 2020