Longines has had much success dipping into its century-plus archive to create retro-styled watches. From its association with aviator Charles Lindbergh to the timepieces it made for pilots in the years leading up to World War II, Longines can claim a legitimate link with flying. The brand from Saint-Imier now presents a monopusher-chronograph inspired by a watch made for the U.S. Army pilots in 1935.
Meet the new Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935. The name “Avigation” is mash-up of aviation and navigation. Early aviators could plot an aircraft’s position by calculating speed, course, time and previous known position – it was a form of navigation known as Dead Reckoning (or Deduced Reckoning) and was first used by mariners to find their way across the oceans.
The most striking feature of this watch has always been its unorthodox stance – the dial is shifted 40° to the right to allow pilots to read time without having to release the plane's control yoke. The watch uses a 41 mm stainless steel case, the fluted crown has a built-in pusher for the chronograph functions: start, stop, and reset, by simply pressing the single push-piece.
The solid steel caseback is adorned with a suitably aeronautic image of an airplane, its wingspan etched with a Longines logo, surrounded by a radiating sunburst motif. The black dial matt black dial has Arabic numerals in an Art-Deco font and railroad minute markers. The cathedral-type hands and numerals have a Super-LumiNova coating for optimum legibility.
The watch is powered by Caliber L788.2, which is based on the ETA Valgranges A08.L11 movement. It has a column wheel mechanism to drive the chronograph functions, along with a vertical clutch and an oscillating pinion. A self-winding movement, it has a power reserve of 54 hours and a balance frequency of 4 Hz (28,800 vph). We don’t know the price of this timepiece yet, but the previous version with a white lacquer dial was priced at $3,500.