With more and more watch brands creating increasingly compact versions of their flagship models, it is evident that such products are meant for individuals with thinner wrists. Call it rebranding or refocusing perception, the strategy has worked well for some brands. Longines too seems to be adopting this approach. It has now launched, in a compact form, the Spirit Zulu Time, a collection that was released in 42 mm cases in 2022. Maintaining the vintage aesthetics, the new collection now comes in 39 mm cases, making this one of the most desirable GMT series available in the market.
So, what exactly is Zulu Time? This is a term coined by military forces to indicate the time as per Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), now referred to as Universal Coordinated Time. The origins of Zulu can be traced back to 1925 when Longines created its first dual-time zone wristwatch that featured the Zulu flag on its dial. The brand is offering the latest Spirit Zulu Time collection with three dial options — black matte, anthracite, and blue sunray. The new 39 mm models come with bidirectional ceramic bezels. The anthracite dial version gets a green ceramic bezel with a 24-hour scale with lacquered numerals.
The main function of these watches is to provide clear reading of time. The Arabic hour markers and the hour, minute, seconds hands are treated with Super-LumiNova. The black matte dial timepiece gets a blue-tipped GMT hand, the anthracite variant gets a gold GMT hand, and the blue sunray dial model gets an orange-tipped GMT hand. Each of the models comes with a diamond-shaped tip for the central seconds hand, matching the shape of the hour markers, and a date window at 6 o’clock.
The brand’s winged hourglass logo is placed at 12 o’clock on each watch and the five stars are applied to the dial at 6 o’clock. Beneath the sealed caseback is the automatic, self-winding Calibre L844.4 that features an anti-magnetic silicone balance spring, in compliance with the COSC certification; it delivers 72 hours of power reserve. The movement is based on ETA A31.L01.
There are nine references in total — steel with black dial and bezel, leather strap (Ref. L3.802.4.53.2), steel with black dial and bezel, steel bracelet (Ref. L3.802.4.53.6), steel with anthracite dial and green bezel, leather strap (Ref. L3.802.4.63.2), steel with anthracite dial and green bezel, steel bracelet (Ref. L3.802.4.63.6), steel with blue dial and bezel, leather strap (Ref. L3.802.4.93.2), steel with blue dial and bezel, steel bracelet (Ref. L3.802.4.93.6), steel and gold with anthracite dial, leather strap (Ref. L3.802.5.53.2), steel and gold with anthracite dial, steel bracelet (Ref. L3.802.5.53.6), and steel and gold with anthracite dial, NATO-style strap (Ref. L3.802.5.53.9). In other words, there are options galore for the wearer.