Being a cousin of the gorgeous Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph 180th Anniversary model that was revealed last March, the new Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 automatic watch speaks the same design language, but is significantly, impressively larger looking like those pocket watch-based pilot’s watches of the pre-WWII era.
If you compare the two models, you will immediately see that the Longines Avigation Type A-7 gains weight quite gracefully (it now measures whole 49 millimeters in diameter!) without looking stupid. The extra available space on the dial is filled with an easily-readable tachymetric scale and the whole layout is nicely balanced with a slightly thicker bezel.
The other difference is, of course, the dial, which is angled around 60° to the right and the setting crown with a built-in chronograph push-piece, which is moved about the same 50° to the left now standing at the timekeeper’s ‘real’ 12 o’clock position.
As a result, the watch becomes more readable and the dramatically oversized, onion-shaped crown won’t bite you in the back of your hand. The crown’s position makes it easier to use the single push-piece that is used to start, stop and reset the integrated column-wheel chronograph unit although I don’t think that setting time and date would be as comfortable task without getting the timepiece off your wrist.
Like many recent “historic” models from Longines, the new Avigation Watch Type A-7 comes equipped with Breguet-style hands and italicized Arabic numerals that look very contrast on the matte-black background of the dial.
Just like the aforementioned 180th Anniversary model, the new timepiece is powered by the Longines Caliber L788.2 automatic movement. Being a fine-tuned version of the ETA A08.261 ebauche, this column-wheel chronograph unit beats at a standard pace of 28,800 vph and sports a power reserve of 54 hours: around 10 hours more than an average ETA Valjoux 7750 will offer.
Very impressive watch, that. I just wonder how much Longines will charge for this beast.*
UPDATE ON PRICE: The Avigation Watch Type A-7 ref. L2.722.214.171.124 will be available at a list price of €4100. Although I can’t really call it “affordable”, I must admit that the MSRP looks fine if you consider the timekeeper’s unique styling and factor in the new self-winding high-grade caliber that not only has a good reputation when it comes to reliability, but is also quite accurate for a mechanical movement.
Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 automatic watch specification
Price: €4100 (MSRP, ref. L2.7126.96.36.199)
Movement: Automatic, Longines caliber L788 (base ETA A08.261), monopusher column-wheel chronograph, Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 27
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 54 hours
Movement decoration: No data
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 49.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Hour markers: White
Hands: Steel, silvered
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Black alligator leather strap with contrast stitching, on a steel buckle
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective on the inside
Case back: Transparent