Update: We’ll be running a Roadshow at VivoCity Atrium (outside Watches of Switzerland #01-66, Singapore) from the 11th until the 17th of November. Stop by to see The Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 in the metal.
The Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935
There’s no date! Our Longines Commemorative Edition comes with a date-free seconds sub dial. A minor but important detail for collectors who prize symmetry over…well, having the date displayed on the dial. Not that a date window is a particularly useful feature when you consider that original Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 was designed as a cockpit instrument. Intended to be faultlessly easy to operate mid-flight. Pilots would wear the watch on the underside of their wrist, enabling them to easily read the time without taking their hands off the plane’s control yoke. View both watches here.
Longines designed the original Avigation Type A-7 for the Air Corps (predecessor to the U.S. Air Force) according to the 1934 ‘Military Specification No. 27748’. Qualifying watches had to be precise, highly legible and easy to use. Fortunately, the Avigation (a portmanteau of ‘Aerial Navigation’) fit the bill with its oversized rotated case, blocky Arabic hour markers and intuitive single push-piece chronograph.
The sunray blue dial variant features gold cathedral hands and white blocky vintage-inspired Arabic numerals, while the sunray champagne dial variant comes with blued-honey coloured cathedral hands and matching honey-coloured Arabic numerals. Not too dissimilar to those found on the original Avigation Type A-7 re-issue from Longines. White and black minute track and dial script is found on the blue and champagne dial variants, respectively. Both combinations have a 41 mm bronze case, which will develop a rich patina over time.
Unlike a traditional crown, the Avigation’s oversized fluted crown doubles as a chronograph mono-pusher. The first push starts the chronograph, the second stops it, and the third resets both the central chronograph hand and the elapsed minutes hand. Fortunately, pressing the pusher requires enough force to prevent the user from unintentionally activating the chronograph.
In the pursuit for a more symmetrical (read: balanced) dial, we killed off the date window. There’s nothing inherently wrong with displaying the date on the dial (it’s quite useful) but, our gripe – and the gripe of many collectors – is that an awkwardly placed date windows often hinders an otherwise well-balanced dial. And let’s face it, this is the sort of watch that’s designed to let the user get lost in the experience of wearing something from the 30s. A date window stops that from happening, it kills the fantasy.
Like the radiant sunray dial, the polished titanium case back of The Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 displays an engraved image of a radiant sun, partially obstructed by the silhouette of an aircraft. Towards the tail of the aircraft, there’s a commemorative engraving confirming each model’s unique identity.
Under the hood ticks the automatic self-winding Calibre L788.2 (ETA A08.L11). Ticking at 4 Hz (28,800 bph), this column-wheel chronograph movement has 27 jewels, a power reserve of 54-hours and is water-resistant to 3 bar.
Both the blue dial (L2.818.104.22.168) and the champagne dial (L2.822.214.171.124) variants are limited (and numbered) to 40 pieces. Coming on a brown leather strap equipped with an extension that allows the watch to be attached to an oversized pilot’s jacket. View both watches here.