Longines embraced its heritage as a provider of watches to pioneering aviators and other adventurers of the early 20th century with the launch of its Spirit collection in 2020. Like the majority of timepieces in Longines’s portfolio, the first batch of Spirit models all had steel cases. This year, the Swiss watchmaker has introduced the first Spirit in a titanium case, a move that both speaks to the collection’s dedication to utilitarian cockpit design and indicates the brand is leaning into a growing trend in the watch world.
Longines describes the Spirit Titanium as a “new step forward” and a “homage to the world of aviation,” owing to the case being forged from grade 5 titanium (an alloy of titanium, aluminum, and vanadium), which is lighter and more durable than steel, with a darker and more matte surface that’s ideal for avoiding glare in a cockpit. The use of titanium in one of its major collections is significant for Longines, which has used the metal only sparingly in its collections in the past. Longines offers the Spirit Titanium in both 40-mm and 42-mm sizes, equipped with both a black NATO-type strap and a stylish, interchangeable titanium bracelet with the same satin-polished finish as the case. The strap was developed in a special weaving technique that replicates the tones of the sandblasted anthracite dial.
The dial itself subtly contrasts with those of previous Spirit collection watches. The hands, applied hour numerals, applied Longines winged hourglass logo, and five stars above the “Chronometer” inscription at 6 o’clock, are all enhanced with a 1N “mellow gold” coating and treated with “Blue Line” Super-LumiNova for an optimal contrast with the dial’s dusky surface. (The five stars are a historical Longines emblem representing the highest level of quality and reliability for the movement inside.) Notably, unlike its steel predecessors, the Spirit Titanium does not feature a date window at 3 o’clock, opting instead for cleaner, symmetrical look.
The case features a screw-down crown that helps to secure a water resistance of 100 meters and a domed sapphire crystal with multi-layered nonreflective coating on both sides. Behind a caseback fastened by six screws is Longines’s automatic Caliber L.888.4, based on the ETA A31.L11, the COSC chronometer-certified movement that has been installed in the steel, three-hand-date versions of this watch that debuted last year. Interestingly, Longines has opted not to rename the caliber after removing its date function; also, the stated power reserve for this version is 72 hours rather than the 64 hours claimed previously, which is likely due to this extra complication being absent. The movement is also notable for its use of a light, antimagnetic silicon balance spring.
The Longines Spirit Titanium, in both its 40-mm and 42-mm iterations, retails for $2,650 on the woven nylon strap with a titanium buckle, and for $2,950 on the titanium bracelet with triple-folding safety clasp and push-piece opening mechanism. Both the case and bracelet are made of titanium.