This is why everyone is going crazy about the Longines Titanium SpiritRicardo Sime
Don’t adjust your browsers. There is nothing wrong with them. You are, in fact, seeing multiple watch websites and blogs speaking highly of this latest release from the valleys of Saint-Imier. In one bold and, I must admit, unexpected move, Longines has added two new watches to the Spec-tacular Spirit collection. Here is why they matter…
Though Longines has been making watches with titanium for a while, their recent use of the material in the blue dialled, Avigation Big Eye marked a turning point. The overwhelming success of that model meant the material was a viable and appreciated alternative to stainless steel. With that in mind, the Spirit collection presented a perfect opportunity to expand its use.
In both cases of the Avigation and the Spirit line, one must note that titanium is used to supplement the collection and not as a replacement, as there are still many people who enjoy the weight of steel. Yet, at nearly half the density, a titanium watch presents a great solution for those who would wear their watch on a daily basis and do not want such heft on their wrist.
The new titanium Spirit models continue Longines focus on providing two standard sizes when introducing a new model. We saw this with the sector dialled Dolce Vita I reviewed a while back and it was already standard within the Spirit collection. It would have been easy for the brand to use the introduction of a new material to keep them from continuing this trend but I’m happy they didn’t. Having a 40 and 42mm option opens this watch up to a larger range of wrist sizes and thus, more buyers.
Furthermore, the 49 (40mm version) and 52 (42mm version) millimetre lug-to-lug that has kept some from purchasing the watch, is aided somewhat by the addition of a stock nylon strap, that also has titanium hardware.
Though not everyone may not fall in love with the aesthetics, it’s hard to argue that the watches within the Spirit collection have some of the best specs on the market. That continues with these new titanium pieces, where the movement remains COSC-certified; meaning accuracy will be -4 to +6 seconds a day. It still has a silicon balance spring, so magnetic fields be damned. The case once again is rated to 100 metres of water resistance, with a screw down crown, which means it should stand up pretty nicely to daily wear. And if it not being worn daily, once topped off, the 72 hours of power reserve gets it through a weekend without needing to be wound on Monday.
We love a no-date dial. There is a symmetry to it that just completes the overall aesthetic and keeps the design uninterrupted. Longines gives us this special treat with these titanium pieces. By not including a date, the watch features a classic pilots watch layout.
We also get a semi-gilt dial (the minute track, which has circular brushing, is printed in white). The reason I call it semi-gilt is because unlike the anthracite sandblasted surface of the center of the dial, the satin-finished black flange with its white text almost disappears in most lighting. This causes the gilt part of the dial to truly stand out.
With everything I’ve mentioned thus far, these new watches would have presented a competitive option anywhere between $3000 to $5000. However, Longines manages to keep the retail price below $3000 USD, with both sizes. It’s rare for a major Swiss brand to present such value at such a low price point. Especially when you consider the brand didn’t skimp out on providing a full titanium bracelet. Longines is making it really hard to ignore what they are bringing to the table.
Longines Spirit Titanium Collection Pricing and Availability:
The Longines Spirit Collection comes in a 40mm (Reference L3.810.1.53.2/6) and a 42mm (Reference L3.8188.8.131.52/6) version. For either watch on the woven nylon strap, price will be $2650 USD. On the Titanium Bracelet, $2950 USD. Availability will be at the end of September.