For two years now, Longines has concentrated a lot of efforts on developing its Spirit collection, a range of modernly executed, slightly retro-styled pilot’s watches. Available in different sizes (37mm, 40mm and 42mm), with various displays, many different colours and materials, the Spirit lineup is growing fast. Apart from the classic range, there are some special editions that have been specifically well received, such as the green dial models and, recently, the titanium time-only version. Now, it’s time for the chronograph to come in a new version, with the Longines Spirit Pioneer Edition. Titanium case, bold neon green accents and a no-date display…
The Longines Spirit is, as of now, an entire collection with a specific position in the brand’s portfolio. While it surely has some design cues that refer to past models of the brand, it isn’t shaped after an existing watch from the heritage lineup. Contrary to the vintage-oriented collection, with relatively faithful re-editions, the Spirit is a watch that mixes modern features – enhanced movements, antimagnetic parts, robust architecture and boldness in the design and colours – with classic elements of old-school pilot’s watches. The result, whether for the time-and-date, chronograph or GMT version, is certainly appealing. As of now, we’ve seen multiple evolutions, with smaller cases, new bright colours and even a titanium time-only version that is, according to us, the version you should go for… But now there’s a new star of the show, named the Longines Spirit Pioneer Edition.
In short, what you’re looking at here with the Longines Spirit Pioneer Edition is an evolution of the classic steel chronograph version, which was part of the inaugural collection, with different colours, new materials and something quite cool regarding the display. The case, overall, remains identical in shape and proportions. But now, it is made of grade 5 titanium, which results in a watch with a different weight-and-feel on the wrist. The case retains the same dimensions, with a respectable 42mm diameter and a height of 16.5mm… not the thinnest watch, if I’m honest. The comfort is acceptable since the watch is nicely shaped, but don’t expect this to be your daily, business-oriented timepiece.
Being made of titanium, the colour of this Longines Spirit Pioneer Edition is also different from stainless steel, being a bit darker. Yet, the multiple polished accents are still present, giving it a luxurious feel and an undeniable sense of quality. The case retains its antireflective sapphire crystal, a screwed caseback with dedicated engravings and a comfortable 100m water-resistance. The large crown is screwed. One major change compared to the classic steel model can be seen on the left side of the case; the date correction pusher is now absent… And that changes the look quite drastically, and in a good way.
Also new to this Longines Spirit Pioneer Edition is the dial. The base is here matte black, still with the same stepped inner flange with a polished bevel on its periphery and nicely executed cutouts that frame the diamond-shaped markers. The signature applied Arabic numerals and the large hands of the collection are also retained, but now these are filled with neon green luminous material, for a bold and modern look. The tips of the chronograph hands are also using this bright colour. And as you can see, the date window that used to be placed at 4:30 is now gone, for a more instrumental no-date display. The 5 stars, which are there to remind the precision of the movement, are still positioned below the winged-hourglass logo.
Complementing this modern dial, the Longines Spirit Pioneer Edition is worn on a synthetic fabric strap in black with neon green stitching. It is closed by a titanium pin buckle and features an interchangeability system. Under the screwed caseback is the Calibre L688.4 (ETA A08.L01), a strong evolution over the Valjoux architecture. This automatic chronograph movement now features a column wheel and the power reserve has been beefed up to 66 hours. Also, it comes equipped with an antimagnetic silicon hairspring and is certified chronometer by the COSC.
Availability & Price
The Longines Spirit Pioneer Edition (reference L3.8220.127.116.11) is released as part of the permanent collection, with a 5-year warranty. It is now available from the brand’s website and also is intended “for the brand’s most popular outlets” (with no more details on what this statement exactly means). It is priced at EUR 3,740, USD 3,900, GBP 3,200 or CHF 3,700.
For more details and online orders, please visit www.longines.com.