Flying Spirit: Introducing the New Spirit Flyback from Longines

Flying Spirit: Introducing the New Spirit Flyback from Longines

In its latest ode to the air, Longines released the Spirit Flyback earlier today. And this impressive 42mm steel chronograph captures not only the maison’s dedication to piloting but the very essence of “every second counts” aviation as well.

By Mike Espindle
Executive Editor

Longines’ connections to aviation run are well known. However, as expressed by its pilot’s watch collections, of late, we’ve seen Longines take wing by exploring a full-on heritage narrative with pieces like its cushion-cased, knurled-bezelled Pilot Majetek, the chic champagne-colored Spirit 37mm pilot’s watch for women (after all, Amelia Earhart wore a Longines), a full-line launch in 2020, and even the heritage-inspired Hour Angle jubilee model to honor the brand’s association with Charles Lindbergh.

But in terms of sheer sophistication and whiz-bang pilot-authentic functionality, the just-announced Longines Spirit Flyback plots the perfect flight plan between rugged realness, modern anti-magnetism, and signature Longines aviation back story.

Fun Fact: The watchmaker started equipping its first pilot watches with the flyback chronograph function in 1925, with a patent registered in 1936.

So, Longines obviously knows flybacks; however, the last time the brand included this function in a timepiece was 1968. That is why we are excited to explore the new Spirit Flyback released earlier today.

Flyback in Time

The flyback chronograph function is useful for any activity that requires multiple successive timings during an event (car racing often comes to mind), but for quick-reflex flying, it is downright critical.

A chronograph that lets you start and quickly count-off a short interval before making a drastic navigational change in altitude or bearing; then, after quickly resetting to zero without stopping the chronograph, holding that heading for another short interval, and then repeating the process over and over again during complex navigation? There is nothing like it.

And, even if you’re not spending a lot of time in the cockpit, a flyback offers a bit of dashing flair to more pedestrian chronograph use, to be sure.

Magnetic Resistance Advances

The new Longines COSC-certified calibre inside the Spirit Flyback not only powers the column-wheel chronograph function and provides 68 hours of power reserve, it also incorporates new components, like a silicon balance spring, which increase the self-winding movement’s anti-magnetic properties. Plus, a transparent caseback gives you an aerial view of the inner workings and shows off a large rotor decorated with a partial globe and model badging (a first for the brand).

Enticingly, at the watch’s debut, Longines Product Head Giuseppe Miccio told us, “Magnetic resistance has always been a part of Longines’ technical story, but it will take on more focus and importance in our latest releases.”

Designed for Today’s Flight

With the brand’s esteemed heritage in making aviation watches and with all the dates rolling around in this article, you might expect the overall look and feel of the new Spirit Flyback to be chock full of vintage cues. However, while it does include some apt and restrained callbacks to pilot-watch classicism (i.e., the Longines four-star and winged logos, bicompax sub-dial layout, and mushroom pushers), the Spirit Flyback’s overall presentation is clean and modern.

For example, satin, matte, and polished finishes create a touch of sophistication to balance the technicality, lumed hands, hour markers (in a simple modernist font), and dot gauging on the dial. Meanwhile, lume on the cardinal numerals, dot markers, and top triangle of the bidirectional bezel’s ceramic insert (dial-matched in either black or blue) tell a more modern story.

The new timepiece is available in a stunning blue sunray dial version with gleaming white furnishings or a classic black dial execution with a more traditional white and bronze detail color way. However, interestingly, even these tried-and-true combinations read with an unexpectedly modern level of eye appeal.

And finally, strap options include a stainless steel bracelet (with a larger format “beads of rice” approach), a stitched brown leather strap, and a beige or blue fabric strap, all with secure, easily adjustable folding clasps.

Pricing & Availability

The new Longines Spirit Flyback retails for $4,400 and should be available at boutiques, retailers, and via the brand’s website as you read this. For more information, visit the Longines website.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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