A Titanium Interpretation for 1930’s Pilot Watches

17 March 2021
A Titanium Interpretation for 1930’s Pilot Watches

Titanium Longines BigEye Avigation, which newly unveiled, is a piece of new trend about Heritage watches: Update on the original model.

Watches of the Heritage series, which brands goes into their archives and update with modern technology, are one of the agenda items of the last years of watchmaking. While these watches are faithful to original model in terms of design, they were adopted to modern innovations in terms of mechanism features and technologies.

Although Longines, born in 1832, is included in this trend, it has more special position. Brand had just announced Heritage series that is an important part of the collection in 2001. Last member of the series, which has grown stronger since then, was the Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale that was announced last year and inspired by a watch that produced for the French Navy in 1947.

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Brand has recently announced the first titanium version of Longines BigEye Avigation model which is one of the important aviation watch of brand. Name of “avigation” comes from combination of words “aviation” and “navigation”. Also, “BigEye” refers to 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock.

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Bigeye From 1930S

Although the first titanium version is based on a 1930s pilot’s chronograph, it is not an exact “remanufacturing”; black dial steel model that has same appearance with watch in the 1930, the previous version of new model, was Longines Aviation BigEye which has received “Revival” prize at GPHG in 2017. 

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New model comes with 41 mm titanium diameter, blue dial with gradient effect, engravings with an old-school plane from 1930s at the caseback. However, new watch is not based on original model, it is a completely new watch that inspired by its.

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Hence why it is a pilot watch, has legible hands that covered with SuperLuminova, a box-shaped sapphire crystal and oversized crown. Watch stands out a column wheel (L688) and a silicon balance-spring for enhanced resistance to magnetic fields. Petrol blue dial of watch features a second sub-dial at 9 o’clock, 12 hand hour counter at 6 o’clock and a large 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock. A natural brown smooth leather strap with a titanium pin buckle, complementing the Heritage look of the watch.

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The most interesting information about 1930s’ Longines Aviation BigEye is that watch, which is in the permanent collection of brand, was purchased by a collector and given to brand. Before that, there was no such an example of watch in the Longines Museum. According to sources, it is not clear that when original model was produced first time and whether it has a prototype or not. Now, there is both a re-manufactured version of this original watch and an improved titanium version. That is, Heritage series has completed BigEye model mission successfully.