Longines has launched significant vintage-inspired “Heritage” timepieces for years, which have helped them achieve a high level of revenue.
They’re one of the very few Swiss watchmakers who does a billion dollars of top-line revenue per year. Although, it’s unclear what part the vast Heritage collection has played in the sales growth that has gotten them to where they sit now, as the #5 Swiss watchmaker by sale revenue as of 2020, according to Morgan Stanley estimates.
What’s clear is they are willing to produce a large number of SKUs, and repeatedly refresh them with new variations. At some point, the Heritage performance has perhaps slowed down, or they’re simply looking for new areas of growth.
Nevertheless, Longines recently created a sporty collection of Pilot watches called the Spirit, and instead of tons of vintage remakes, the collection focuses on a limited number of designs, and then offers those designs in numerous styles and iterations. This strategy is not unlike Tudor, IWC, or Oris, in that they take a few styles and then reproduce them in multiple variations.
With that said, one of the hottest Longines Spirt collection releases we’ve seen so far has been the Spirit Chronograph, which came out in 2020. There are also many three-hand versions, all with date apertures, offered in popular 40 mm and 42 mm case diameters. However, until now, there was not a “no-date” option within the collection, nor was titanium offered.
That has changed with the introduction this week, of the Spirit Titanium.
Available in lightweight grade 5 titanium cases, in either 40 mm or 42 mm diameters (approximately 49 mm lug-to-lug), with both cases measuring approximately 12 mm in height — the Spirit Titanium is an accessibly priced three-hand timepiece with a clutter-free “no-date” dial and with prominent easy to read gilt hands and applied Arabic numerals. Longines’ winged emblem logo (with “AUTOMATIC” stamped below it), in a gilt finish, is visible at 12, along with five stars, and the text “CHRONOMETER” at 6 o’clock, also gilt finished.
Interestingly, in addition to the lume filled Arabic numerals, and hands, including the tip of the center seconds hand, there’s a gilt ring around the dial — separating the 0-60 graduated minutes/seconds scale of the outer ring and the Arabic numerals within the main chapter ring — and cut into the ring are 12 diamond markers that are also lume filled. These diamond-shaped markers align perfectly with the seconds hand as it continuously sweeps the dial every 60-seconds.
The Spirit Titanium has a sapphire crystal on the top, a solid titanium screw-down caseback, and a screw-down crown. The watch is rated to 100 meters of water resistance.
Driving the time-only functions of the watch is an ETA-based automatic caliber L888.4 that measures 25.6 mm, has 21 jewels, beats at 3.5Hz, and features a silicon hairspring, a 72-hour runtime, and that’s been COSC-certified as an official chronometer.
You can pick from a titanium bracelet or black textile (nylon) strap, in both 40 mm and 42 mm case sizes. (Ref. L3.810.1.53.2 – 40 mm on strap, L3.810.1.53.6 – 40 mm on bracelet, L3.8188.8.131.52 – 42 mm on strap, L3.8184.108.40.206 – 42 mm on bracelet)
Retail is $2,650 to $3,050 depending on case size and whether you go with a strap or bracelet