Longines equipped its chronographs with a flyback function for the first time in 1925 and then filed a patent in 1935. In 1936, the patent was registered. So, why is a flyback needed in the first place? Well, simply put, a flyback provides pilots with a practical and fast way of successively timing different flight stages, thus facilitating navigation. Needless to say, flybacks have a rich history in the world of horology. This year, as part of its contribution to the flyback legacy, Longines has unveiled new Spirit Flyback chronographs, honouring the brand’s past, present and future.
The new calibre uses an exclusive column wheel with a silicon balance spring and has been certified as a chronometer by COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres). The new Longines Spirit Flyback Chronograph collection is also distinguished by its refined aesthetics and meticulous finishes, which range between satin, matte, polished and engraved details.
There are five 42 mm stainless steel variants in the collection. Ref. L3.8220.127.116.11, Ref. L3.818.104.22.168 and Ref. L3.822.214.171.124 come with a calf leather strap, a stainless steel bracelet and a synthetic strap respectively; all sport sunray black dials. Ref. L3.8126.96.36.199 and Ref. L3.8188.8.131.52 with sunray blue dials are accompanied by a blue synthetic strap and a stainless steel bracelet respectively.
Common to the Longines Spirit Flyback chronographs is a single press that has 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 watches come with 60-minute bi-directional bezels, enhanced by black ceramic inserts with luminescent markers.
Each dial gets a dual chronograph layout with a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a 60-second counter at 9 o’clock with the background matching the colour of the respective dial. There are Arabic hour markers and PVD bronze-colour hour, minute and central second hands with Super-LumiNova®. Each chronograph also comes with two pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock to start and to bring the central chronograph back to its original position.
Powering the collection is the self-winding, automatic Calibre L791 with a monocrystalline silicon balance spring, offering a power reserve of approximately 68 hours. Turning each watch over reveals six visible screws, a skeleton caseback and a stainless oscillating weight with the Longines Flyback logo and engraving.
All novelties boast an easy interchangeable system, to switch from the bracelet to the strap. Water resistance of all watches measures 100 metres.