On this sunny late March morning, the brand new Longines Spirit Zulu Time collection was presented at the London’s National Maritime Museum overlooking the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
These steel models, intrinsically linked to the brand’s pioneering spirit, are the materialization of the watchmaker’s century-old expertise in this type of timepiece.
To understand the importance of this relationship between present and past, these owners of the manufacture’s heritage based in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, in the historic workshops, presented in the salons of the famous London building, the first dual time zone wristwatch made by Longines in 1925. This historic rectangular timepiece – the trendy shape at the time – was painted on the dial of the Zulu pavilion. Heiresses of these values of surpassing oneself, the pieces of this collection with a 42mm steel case take on the name Zulu, which refers to the letter Z that stands for universal time in aviation and the armed forces.
A link between history and innovation, the instruments in this Longines Spirit Zulu Time collection pay tribute to a rich heritage to offer an exceptional timepiece to all explorers and intercontinental travelers. As Matthias Breschan, Longines CEO, said, these timepieces, emblematic of a certain art of living life with elegance, echo the aeronautical adventure that Longines has accompanied by inventing some of the most exceptional timepieces dedicated to pilots such as Amy Johnson (a British aviatrix who pioneered powered flight) or Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon (pilots who made the first non-stop crossing of the Pacific Ocean in 1931).
Aesthetically, the Spirit Zulu time references are distinguished by the careful execution of their finishes. The slim (13.9 mm) and water-resistant to 100 metres cases, which make us forget the rather large diameter of 42 mm, have alternating matte, polished and satin-finished treatments to great effect. They feature a bi-directional rotating steel bezel with a colored ceramic insert and are available with matte black, bead-blasted anthracite or blue dials. Finished carefully, they feature a date window discreetly placed at 6 o’clock, applied indexes with luminescent material for optimal reading in the dark. And the famous 5 stars guarantee the extreme quality of their calibre.
To bring this collection to life, Longines has used an exclusive self-winding mechanical movement (L844.4 (A31.L411) developed for the brand by the Swatch Group with a silicon balance spring and the addition of an integrated function board designed to provide a specific GMT display that can be set intuitively by the screw-down crown. Efficient with its 72-hour power reserve and COSC-certified chronometer, each of these timepieces, offered on a leather strap with a micrometrically adjustable folding clasp or on an easily removable steel bracelet, is a watchmaking symbol of the most refined self-expression anywhere in the world.