Longines continues to grow its Heritage collection, which consists of modern timepieces inspired by vintage classics from the Swiss brand’s long and rich history. The latest addition is the Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 — a contemporary replica of a watch Longines provided to U.S. Army pilots starting in 1935.
The watch — a successor to the original Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7, launched in 2012 with a black dial — derives its heritage from Longines’s historic ties to the world of aviation and its early-20th-century pioneers — including Charles Lindbergh, who famously helped Longines design one of its most historically significant pieces, the original Hour Angle watch, in 1931. The vintage timepiece on which this model is based needed to meet a precise set of criteria for precision, legibility, and sturdiness in order to merit the designation “Type A-7” imposed by the Army for its pilots’ watches. Like the original model, the new Avigation Type A-7 1935 has its dial angled at 40º to the right, which enabled a pilot in a cockpit — who would wear the watch on the inside rather than the outside of his wrist — to read the time without having to release his aircraft’s control yoke.
The vintage elements on the white-lacquered dial include large, legible, honey-colored Arabic numerals; “pear skeleton” hour and minute hands in blued steel, filled in with honey varnish; and a train-track chapter ring around the perimeter. The watch has a 41-mm stainless steel case with a large, vintage-style fluted crown, whose original purpose was to make it easy for a pilot to operate the watch even while wearing gloves.
The Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 (the name, by the way, is an amalgam of “aviation” and “navigation”) is equipped with an automatic movement, Caliber L788.2, which is a exclusive to Longines and based on the reliable ETA A08.L11. In addition to powering the hours and minutes, small seconds, and date (the latter two in a subdial at 6 o’clock), the movement is equipped with a chronograph, which is driven by a column wheel and operated by a monopusher embedded in the off-center crown. It stores a power reserve of 54 hours and runs at a frequency of 28,800 vph. The central chronograph counter hand ticks off the seconds, while the subdial at 12 o’clock tallies elapsed times up to 30 minutes. The watch is mounted on a brown alligator strap with a steel buckle and costs $2,050.