Based on a Longines model produced in the 1920s, the new Longines Avigation Oversize Crown lineup will be offered in time-only ($2,400), 24 hour ($3,100), and chronograph ($3,500) versions. These pieces are great additions to Longines’ growing line of military remakes in the Heritage collection (did you see my review of the off-axis Longines Avigation A-7, by the way?). All models are 41mm steel case with the fine fluted bezel (bidirectional), black dials and gilt hands (a nice touch). Note also the great lug design. The oversized crown (not it is also on an elongated stem) is a functional element in a throwback to practical aviation use — easier for a pilot to handle with gloves on. I would like to have seen the time-only and GMT models done without date windows, but others might appreciate having this feature. I’d certainly be happy wearing the bi-compax chronograph, though.
The movement in this piece is the automatic mechanical ETA 2895. The manner in which the date aperture cuts-off the “6″ is bothersome to me.
The GMT is powered by the ETA Valgranges A07.17 (based on the Valjoux 7750). Again the date aperture — sitting next to the “3″ — bothersome to me.
The third and last model is my favorite — a monopusher chronograph powered by Longines’ Calibre L788 (i.e. a rebranded ETA A08.L11 which is itself derived from the Valjoux 7750 with an added column wheel chronograph function).