BLAST FROM THE PAST. Longines revives three timepieces inspired by important decades of the 20th century
The Swiss have long enjoyed one of the most timely train services in the world. This, of course, goes hand-in-hand with their watchmaking heritage. Longines embraced both worlds with the distinct-looking Railroad watch.
While the original design from the 1960s bears the inscription “R.R 280” (referencing Rail Road” and “280” for the movement caliber), this new edition features the updated automatic movement caliber L888.2, hence the new “888” inscription. Complemented with a black alligator leather strap, the modern 40mm stainless steel Railroad watch looks every bit the timeless vintage.
Longines’ original Heritage Military watch, which debuted in 1918, is still kept at the brand’s headquarters in Saint-Imier, Switzerland.
Today, Longines reissues the watch with a matte black dial in a 44mm case. The extra space allows the dial to accommodate 12 easy-to-read Arabic numerals. Legibility remains crucial on any utility watch, and this transposes clearly in the Heritage Military where the matte black dial base helps accentuate the indexes and hands that are coated with white Super-LumiNova. This Heritage Military runs on an automatic movement caliber L615.3 with a 42-hour power reserve.
AVIGATION TYPE A-7 1935
Crown: The oversized and fluted crown allows seamless adjustment for pilots who normally wear gloves when flying
Dial: Given the custom of pilots in the past to wear watches on the inside of the wrist, the dial is angled at 40 degrees to the right so that the time can be read easily even when the hands are at a plane’s control yoke
The rise of aviation in the early 20th century prompted the global transition from pocket watches to wristwatches. The allure of practical time reading on the wrist was inevitable, and was further reinforced by accuracy and elegant styles. Packing all those three at once was Longines’ Type A-7, which was notably ordered by the United States Army Air Corps back in 1935.
This year, the beautiful watch is brought back to life with an interesting color composition. The 41mm stainless steel timepiece sports unique honey-hued indexes and hands on the dial. The angled dial becomes incredibly useful when the watch is worn on the inside of the wrist while, say, driving or reading a newspaper. The same dial also comprises a small seconds counter with a date display at 6 o’clock. Chronograph functionalities can be activated easily through a single pusher on the classic crown. A tasteful brown alligator leather strap matches the honey-colored touches. Finally, the Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 runs on an automatic movement caliber L.788.2 with 52 hours of power reserve.