Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Longines travels back to the 1930s with the Avigation BigEye chronograph

The Swiss brand’s latest addition to its Heritage line stays true to the spirit of pilots’ watches.

Sep 01, 2017 | By Pameyla Cambe

The 1930s are hailed as the great age of aviation, and it’s this very era that Longines has paid a tribute to when conceptualizing its latest chronograph. Like the other watches in the Heritage collection, The Avigation Big Eye is a revival of a classic design picked from the brand’s vast, 185-year museum archive. This new offering from the Swiss brand, in particular, has been embedded with the spirit of pilot watches of the past.

Case in point: the “BigEye” (the oversized 30-minute dial at 3 o’clock) as well as the pair of impressive push buttons at the side. In the past, these features were specifically added with the needs of pilots in mind. The unusual size of the former makes the watch’s dial incredibly easy to read, while the latter allows the user to comfortably handle the watch while wearing gloves.

While the functionality of these features may be overlooked — not all of us will actually find ourselves in a cockpit in our lifetimes — the chronograph’s beautiful vintage aesthetic is hard to turn our eyes away from.

The Longines Aviation BigEye comes with a 41mm diameter stainless steel case, which houses a calibre L688 automatic column-wheel chronograph movement — exclusively produced for Longines. Its semi-glossy black dial is marked with nine Arabic numerals that are coated with SuperLuminova. The watch also features a domed sapphire crystal and a seemingly time-worn brown calf leather strap. It is these very elements that add that touch of vintage elegance to the watch, making it a covetable model for sentimental Longines fans.

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