A while ago, Longines introduced the Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935, a re-edition of a watch worn by U.S. Army pilots in the 1930’s. It was released with a white lacquer dial with oversized Arabic numerals. This year Longines has introduced a cleaner version of this monopusher chronograph with a black dial that’s closer to the original model from 1935.
Longines has consistently dipped into its century-plus archive to create its Heritage line. The brand has had a long association with aviation in the first half of the 20th century and has produced plenty of watches for defense and Air Force squadrons in the 1930’s. For this new timepiece, the brand takes inspiration from a model ordered by the U.S. Air Force in 1935.
In order to be designated with "Type A-7” by the US Army, the watch had to meet extremely rigorous specifications in terms of aesthetics, durability and precision. The most striking feature of this watch has always been its unorthodox stance – the dial and consequently the dial is shifted 40° to the right. This particular orientation was done to allow pilots to read the indices 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). The watch is priced at AED13,500.