It’s very common for brands to reissue watches from a past era, especially military and plunge watches. The 2019 Rado Captain Cook Limited Edition , Seiko’s Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 and Longines’ own Avigation BigEye are ongoing examples (and we should not disregard the brand’s Legend Diver ). The company’s Heritage assortment pays homage to many more vintage pieces and the Avigation Type A-7 1935 is an eccentric one with plan components to help pilots read the time and operate the chronograph snappier.
Modelled after a 1930s Type A-7 for the U.S. Army Air Corps, it appears as on the off chance that the crown were fitted at 12 o’clock with the case, rotated 40 degrees to move it away from the carries (it would clearly discourage the strap). Although the dial could just be straightened inside the case, there was a reason for this unconventional esthetic as it gave an immediate view when a pilot’s arm was outstretched to the controls (and they often wore it on the underside of the wrist). And while the Avigation BigEye had a ton of personality, this current one’s simply trickling with character. We should take a nearer look.
Longines was established in 1832 in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. The brand enlisted its logo in 1889, a winged hourglass, which remains the most established, unchanged, active trademark on the planet. Its first chronograph development (caliber 20H) appeared in 1878 and like the Avigation Type A-7 1935, it was a mono-pusher that used a solitary catch at the crown for all chronograph capacities (start, pause and reset). The initial goal was to become a major power in the realm of sports, and Longines began timing horse races and other equestrian occasions in the late 19th century. The company is presently an official watch for the French Open, FIS Alpine Ski World Cup and Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, among many other sports.
Longines partnered with Charles Lindbergh as the official watch of his memorable trip across the Atlantic in the Spirit of St. Louis and later provided pilot’s watches for the U.S. Army Air Corps during the 1930s. The brand recently released the Avigation Type A-7 Limited Edition (Avigation stands for aviation and navigation) with a large diameter and restricted check of 100 pieces, yet the latest reissue restrains things a piece with a more manageable size and standard availability. The watch is based on a model released in 1935 (thus the name) with larger than average Arabic numerals and a porcelain dial.
CASE AND DESIGN
The most current version has a restrained 41mm diameter and is 14mm in tallness (drag to haul is 49mm). The 316L stainless steel case is period right with round edges and a full-reflect clean, and a large onion crown at 12 o’clock (or about 1:30, if the dial wasn’t angled). A solitary pusher sits inside the crown and I thought that it was required sufficient strain to engage to never accidentally start the clock after setting the watch.
To keep things basic, the crown moves in just one situation to set the time with a separate (flush) pusher to set the date at 7 o’clock. A domed sapphire crystal with an anti-intelligent coating covers the dial while the caseback is strong steel. Although I favor show casebacks, especially with a decorated chronograph development, the strong cover is again period right. The outline of a plane is engraved on the back with LONGINES extended across the wings and a sunburst pattern radiating towards the edge. The case has a pleasant load to it and is water-resistant to 30 metres.
DIAL AND HANDS
The dial is cleaned white lacquer with curiously large painted Arabic numerals with a faux patina. A chronograph seconds track spans the furthest edge with numerals printed like clockwork. Two sub-dials sit at 12 and 6 o’clock, with a 30-minute counter at the top (with a vintage serif text style printed at regular intervals) and small seconds at the base. Inside the seconds sub-dial is a date window with black print on a white background, and although I appreciate its capacity, the dial would esthetically profit without it.
The blued-steel cathedral hands are loaded up with paint matching the hour numerals, while the central chronograph seconds hand is blue. The sub-dial hands contrast from each other, with a leaf-shaped hand for the counter and a straightforward baton-shaped hand for the seconds. While on the subject of contrasts, numerous text styles are utilized all through the dial, however all that remains shockingly balanced and strong. The elephant in the room, obviously, is the 40-degree touch of the dial, yet as referenced earlier, it was intended for pilots reaching for the controls.
Today’s purchasers can appreciate a similar advantage while driving. While my left hand laid on the controlling wheel, the dial completely aligned with my viewpoint. I may not be Charles Lindbergh, yet it’s a cool advantage for us terrestrial tenants and ends up being more than a gimmick.
The beating heart of the Avigation Type A-7 1935 is the Caliber L788.2 automatic, based on the ETA A08.L11. It has 27 gems, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a 54-hour power hold. Capacities incorporate central hours, minutes and chronograph seconds, sub-dial seconds and date at 6 o’clock, and a 30-minute counter at 12 o’clock. This is a section wheel development and selective to the Longines Avigation Type A-7 assortment (three altogether, two were restricted versions). A somewhat rare feature is the additional pusher at 7 o’clock to set the date, requiring a pen tip or dedicated instrument as it’s flush with the case.
The watch is fitted with a 21mm earthy colored calf leather strap with cream sewing and an alligator pattern. It has a stainless steel pin clasp and a XL variant is available for larger wrists. I discovered it to be comfortable out of the container and it fit the overall esthetic of the watch quite well. For a military-propelled piece, I would’ve favored a strap sans the alligator pattern, yet that’s a minor issue (and a strap can always be changed).
The angled dial was somewhat jarring when I originally strapped on the Avigation Type A-7 1935, however it was cool and refreshingly novel at the same time. It wasn’t hard to get acclimated and I never had an issue counseling the dial (it isn’t so angled and the Arabic numerals are tremendous). The date window bothered me a little as I felt it added some unnecessary mess, although I’m admittedly not a fan of date windows in general.
Vintage-enlivened pieces are popular all through the watch business and many brands have effectively thought out, faithful reissues of classic watches. Longines is regarded for having extravagance yet attainable throwbacks in its Heritage assortment and it’s rare to see a particularly remarkable, historically accurate piece at any value, not to mention one that most enthusiasts can aspire to.
The Longines Avigation Type A-7 1935 retails for USD 3,500 or EUR 3,010 and is available at the Longines site and participating retailers worldwide.