Time sure flies is a thought that comes to mind as Longines celebrates the 90th anniversary of the first ever non-stop solo transatlantic flight, which was flown by Charles Lindbergh, while relying on a Longines timepiece for further assistance.
Video courtesy of: Longines
A historic voyage which began in New York, May 20, 1927 at 7:52 a.m., as Lindbergh lifted flight aboard the “Spirit of St. Louis” leaving the Roosevelt Airport. After around thirty-three and a half hours, the young American pilot was landing at Le Bourget airport in Paris, France. Making history with the first ever successful non-stop solo transatlantic flight. Longines as the official timekeeper for the “World Air Sports Federation” contributed by timing Lindbergh’s flight and adding it to the list of aviation records.
Afterwards the original “Longines Hour Angle” watch was designed by Charles Lindbergh himself as a navigational aid for pilots. Three of its most distinctive features are: a dial display that simultaneously shows time and longitude info; the mobile inner dial exhibiting the seconds can be rotated and synchronized with the radio time signal; and the rotating bezel allows to correct the “equation of time”. We actually still have an older Longines Lindbergh 75th anniversary (Ref#: L2.601.4.11.2) watch in stock (at least at the time this text is being written it is iN stock), if you’d like to see a different version.
Or, maybe you’d be interested in this other vintage Longines timepiece, which although its not a Lindbergh watch, it is still very rare and is also equipped with an “equation of time” complication. This “Longines Ephemerides Solaires LTD ED, 1989” (Ref#: 5234) is made out of 18k yellow gold and had a very limited production run of 200 pieces, manufactured world-wide.
While returning to this recent Longines we find a 47.5mm case made of titanium with a swing-open case back, which allows to view the inner workings of the movement. Mounted to the case is a rotating black PVD steel bezel to correct the “equation of time”.
In order to establish the “equation of time” the watch must be synchronized with the radio time signal and subtract 4 minutes and 50 seconds. This is done by moving the stud on the bezel to the left by four units (since each unit equals a minute). For the remaining 50 seconds to be precise use the small inner dial 50 is found opposite the 12 ½. Its iconic onion style crown is also made of stainless-steel, like the bezel.
Time is exhibited on a brushed silver dial with a black center and a railroad style minute ring, circling the dial with painted Roman numerals. While also including a 180° scale that allows to calculate the longitude. The Roman numerals are placed in parallel with Arabic numerals that increase with fifteen minute increments.
Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch 90th Anniversary
This “Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch 90th Anniversary” (Ref#: L2.618.104.22.168) is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber L699.2 with 24 jewels and 28,800 vph. The ETA/Valjoux 7750 served as a base for developing this Longines caliber. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 46 hours, when fully wound.
Mounted to the watch is a brown leather aviator-type strap equipped with an extension which allows the watch to be attached to an over-sized pilot’s jacket; while being secured to the wrist during regular use by a titanium pin buckle. This watch is a limited edition with only 90 pieces manufactured, one for each year Longines is now celebrating.
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