No, that’s not a typo… the name of Longines’s newest pilot-inspired timepiece is apparently an amalgam of “aviation” and “navigation.” It’s a fitting name for a very unconventional watch, one whose large-cased, angled-dial design is based on aviators’ watches from the early 20th century.
The Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7’s retro look is based on watches developed by Longines during the 1930s for military aviators. The United States Army established strict standards of precision, quality and legibility that watches had to meet before being accepted for military use. The Longines watches that met this criteria were classified “Type A-7″; Longines has resurrected the moniker for this watch. Like these 1930s models, the new Avigation Watch has its dial angled 50 degrees to the right, ensuring that it could be quickly and easily read by a pilot, who typically wore it on the inside of his wrist. The tilted angle ensured the dial was aligned with the aircraft’s instrument panel and the pilot could read it without moving his arm or letting go of the controls. (Click on the photos to enlarge images.)
The large, stainless-steel case (49 mm in diameter) and spacious black dial with large, white, Arabic numerals are also intended to aid in legibility, particularly for a pilot dealing with low light or turbulence. The big, fluted crown makes it easy to operate the watch, even if you happen to be wearing thick aviator’s gloves. The dial also has a tachymeter scale around its outer edge. Classic Breguet hour and minute hands add another vintage touch.
The watch contains Caliber L788, a column-wheel chronograph movement developed exclusively for Longines by ETA, its sister company in the Swatch Group. The Avigation Type A-7 features a single-pushpiece chronograph whose start, stop, and return-to-zero functions are all controlled by pushing the single push-button set into the crown. The movement is visible through a sapphire exhibition caseback, which is protected by a hinged caseback cover. The watch is mounted on a black alligator leather strap. Its price: $4,900.
Click here for more historically inspired watches from Longines, which celebrates its 180th anniversary this year.
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