While we don’t often think about Longines outside of news that pops up around their involvement in equestrian events, they do have a number of watches on offer. Some of them we may not give a second glance to, but others certainly do pop out. One we wrote about a in 2019, and another is the one that we’re covering today – the Longines Spirit Titanium.
As I’ve come into contact with more of them, I’ve really become a fan of watches that use titanium for their case, particularly if it also comes paired with a titanium bracelet. Though it often looks like steel, you know you’ve got something different with how light it is. Anecdotally (read: my own experience) it also warms up a good deal faster than steel, which is appreciated in the cooler temps. And given that it’s right there in the name, the Longines Spirit Titanium features a whole mess of titanium.
The Longines Spirit collection is their aviation one, and they manage to do it in a way that doesn’t smack you in the face that “Hey! This is an airplane-inspired watch!” With the Longines Spirit Titanium that reviewed, it definitely carried a bit of a vintage feel with it’s gilt dial. The black dial (ok, anthracite) is crisp and not covered up by text, against which the gold-rimmed applied numerals stand out in stark relief. Even the five stars right about the “Chronometer” verbiage are applied. For the numerals, this means we can have a thicker bit of luminous paint in there, improving nighttime visibility. It also helps in daylight visibility, in my experience, as raised numerals catch the light rather than just reflecting it as a pad-printed dial can sometimes do.
Over the top of that, the Longines Spirit Titanium has standard sword hands, albeit in sizing that I rather like. As you would see on, say, a Flieger, the hour hand just grazes the inner ring that the numerals transcribe, while the minute hand reaches all the way out to the track running around the edge of the dial. I mean, other than the small bits that are printed on the dial, most everything stands off from the dial, and I really came to appreciate that look.
It’s that design on the dial of the Longines Spirit Titanium that makes it more than “just another three-hander”. I mean, sure, the titanium (and it’s varied finishes) does that too, but it’s that dial that you’re going to notice every day as you wear this watch. It’s an understated way of elevating a basic design while still keeping things perfectly functional and usable.
Powering the Longines Spirit Titanium is the chronometer-grade L888.4, which shows up in quite a number of their watches these days. That chronometer spec means it should keep highly accurate time, helped no doubt by the silicon balance spring that isn’t effected by magnetic fields. And hey, when you throw in a 72-hour power reserve as well, there’s a lot to like with this three-hander movement.
Now, while I found a lot to like about the Longines Spirit Titanium, I’m not going to pull the wool over your eyes and try to say that this is a particularly affordable watch. I mean, at $2,950 for the 40mm version reviewed here (the 42mm version comes in at $100 more), there isn’t anyone who’s going to say it’s a budget-friendly watch. Within the range of what the Swatch Group has to offer, though, it certainly has it’s place. Think of it as, say, mid-level luxury. The materials and fit/finish are what make this particular piece interesting, and the fact it comes in at a more compact 40mm is another benefit to the design. Worn on the bracelet, it should be fit for just about anything, but it could also be quite the “strap monster” once you’ve got some on-hand to fit those 21mm lugs. longines.com
Tech Specs from Longines
- SHAPE: Round
- MATERIAL: Titanium
- GLASS: Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, with several layers of anti-reflective coating on both sides
- DIMENSION: Ø 40.00 mm
- LUG DISTANCE: 21 mm
- THICKNESS: 12.20 mm
- WATER RESISTANCE: Water-resistant to 10 bar
- CASE SPECIFICITIES: Screw-in crown
- WEIGHT: 93.800 g
- Dial and Hands
- DIAL COLOUR: Anthracite
- HOUR MARKERS: Applied Arabic numerals
- HANDS: Gilt hands
- SPECIFICITIES: Swiss Super-LumiNova®
- Movement and Functions
- MOVEMENT TYPE: Automatic
- CALIBER: L888.4
- MOVEMENT DESCRIPTION: Self-winding mechanical movement beating at 25’200 vibrations per hour, with a monocrystalline silicon balance-spring power reserve of approximately 72 hours
- FUNCTIONS: Hours, minutes, seconds
- SPECIAL FUNCTIONS: Chronometer certified by the COSC
- MATERIAL: Titanium
- BUCKLE: With triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism
- INTERCHANGEABILITY: Easily change your bracelet/strap thanks to the Longines interchangeable system