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 Longines Lindbergh’s Atlantic Voyage chronograph watch (ref. L2.718.104.22.168) was re-issued several times with some minor tweaking to its 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 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’s watch, the new edition sports a high-contrast dial layout with bold Arabic numerals and a tachometric scale, which is actually 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 watch is in fact powered by the Caliber L705 self-winding movement, which is based on the relatively new ETA Valgranges A07.231 ebauche.
Designed to power modern oversized watches, the caliber is built on 27 jewels and is whopping 37.22 millimeters in diameter easily dwarfing 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 actually expect them to sit: close to the chapter ring, not somewhere between the geometric center of the dial 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 quite 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 really affordable, the MSRP still seems to be quite 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 very good blend of reliability and accuracy with guaranteed accuracy of -5/+15 seconds per day. Also, the timekeeper itself looks quite 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 very good impression and would probably look great if worn by a big person.
Longines Lindbergh’s Atlantic Voyage (ref. L2.722.214.171.124) aviator’s watch specification
Price range: $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 material: Stainless steel (pictured) or rose gold
Bezel material: Stainless steel (pictured) or rose gold
Case shape: Round
Transparent case back: Yes, sapphire glass with a flip cover
Case size: 47.50 mm
Case height: No data
Strap: Brown leather with steel pin buckle, 25 mm
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective