Longines Spirit Flyback: An Aviation Pioneer

SHARP & Longines

Longines, the Swiss watchmaking brand founded in 1832, has a rich aviation history. The brand has produced a large number of pilot’s watches and chronographs, on-board equipment, and other navigation instruments that were part of the development of civil and military aviation throughout the first half of the 20th century.

American aviator and U.S. Naval officer Richard Byrd is one of the many legendary pioneers who placed their faith in Longines, utilizing the brand’s instruments to become the first man to fly over the South Pole in 1929. The 1,290 km journey took almost 19 hours. Byrd undertook three more expeditions to Antarctica, including one in 1939, during which he wore a Longines 13ZN watch with flyback function, a complication intrinsically linked to the brand. Longines equipped its first models with a flyback function in 1925 and filed a patent which was registered on June 16, 1936, the first watch brand in the world to do so.

Black Longines Flyback watch on model's wrist

Today, Longines is breathing new life into this fascinating heritage with the Longines Spirit Flyback, a chronograph watch with a flyback function. The particular advantage of flyback is that it offers pilots a practical and fast way of successively timing different flight stages. A simple press of a pusher instantly resets the chronograph’s second hand, which then immediately restarts timing from zero. A single press enables three operations — stop, reset, and restart — in contrast to conventional chronographs, which require the stop and reset functions to be activated before restarting the timing function.

The Longines Spirit Flyback features cutting-edge technology, introducing a new exclusive Longines calibre that is resistant to magnetism and equipped with a silicon balance spring. Extremely precise, with a power reserve of 68 hours, the complete watch is certified as a chronometer by COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). A transparent case back reveals all the details of the calibre, including a personalized weight engraved with the globe representing the Longines Spirit collection and the name Longines Flyback, a first for this emblematic line.

Longines Flyback watches in lineup: blue dial and blue strap in centre, black dial and brown strap on left, canvas strap and black dial on right

This new timepiece features a bi-directional bezel enhanced by a coloured ceramic insert with luminescent markers. The Longines Spirit Flyback is available in a black or blue sunray dial. Its bronze-shaded hands and numerals are coated with Super- LumiNova®, a pigment that after light exposure will glow in the dark to ensure optimal nighttime legibility. The 42 mm steel case has an interchangeable stainless-steel bracelet, a brown leather or blue fabric strap. The straps have a folding clasp fitted with a new micro-adjustment system for maximum comfort and a perfect fit. A beige NATO strap is also available.

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