It is not the first time that Longines brushes off some dust of its vintage-styled Charles Lindbergh chronograph model. First introduced in 1933 to mark its collaboration with the famous aviator, the Lindbergh’s Atlantic Voyage (L2.7126.96.36.199) was re-issued several times with some minor tweaking to its vintage-style dial layout.
This new sequel to the “historic” model comes in the same oversized 47.5 mm case housing a humbly decorated automatic movement that can be seen via a transparent case back. The latter is protected from occasional dents with a stainless steel “hunter-back” cover.
Longines says nothing about the movement’s specs but I can make an educated guess that this is some kind of a pocket watch caliber.*
Like a genuine “aviator”, the new edition sports a high-contrast dial layout with bold Arabic numerals and a tachymetric scale, which is usable.
I mean, the Longines Lindbergh’s Atlantic Voyage is so large that the Swiss brand has even managed to make the numerals on the scale big enough to be seen with a naked eye.
* UPDATE ON CALIBER: Okay, I was wrong about the caliber. I have just learned that the chronograph is powered by the self-winding Caliber L705, which is based on the relatively new ETA Valgranges A07.231 blank movement.
Designed to power modern oversized watches, the caliber is built on 27 jewels and is whopping 37.22 millimeters in diameter easily dwarfing the most common automatic movements from ETA S.A. and their numerous clones. Of course, the idea behind the caliber was not (only) to intimidate competitors who still have to use older ETA movements of more “standard” dimensions, but also to make the dial look a lot more proportionate with the pair of sub-dial sitting where you expect them to sit: close to the chapter ring, not somewhere between the geometric center and outer edges of the face.
Regrettably, notwithstanding its huge rotor and impressive bridges and plates, the movement comes almost undecorated (besides some pretty basic Geneva stripes) making it boring to look at. What a waste. Also, the guaranteed power reserve of at least 46 hours doesn’t make me particularly enthusiastic about the mechanism’s list of features.
* UPDATE ON PRICE: The Lindbergh’s Atlantic Voyage is now offered at a minimum recommended street price of $4700. While not “affordable”, the MSRP still seems to be justified mainly thanks to its use of the aforementioned Valgranges caliber that, even despite the lack of meticulous finish you normally expect in this price range, still offers a great blend of reliability and accuracy with a guaranteed accuracy of -5/+15 seconds per day. Also, the timekeeper itself looks classy in its usual deliberately humble kind of way even despite its deliberately oversized case. While most XXL-size watches usually tend to also look sort of blingy, this one makes a good impression and would probably look great if worn by a big person.
Longines Lindbergh’s Atlantic Voyage (L2.7188.8.131.52) specification
Price: $4700 (MSRP)
Movement: Caliber L705 (base Valgranges A07.231), 27 rubies, 28,800 vph, 36.60 mm x 7.90 mm, automatic, Swiss Made
Complications: Chronograph, tachymeter
Power reserve: 46 hours
Case: Stainless steel (pictured) or rose gold
Transparent back: Yes, sapphire glass with a flip cover
Size: 47.50 mm
Strap: Brown leather with a steel pin buckle, 25 mm
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective