Hands-On Longines Spirit L3.810.4.53.0 Review
We introduced to you the Longines Spirit collection last June, an important new collection for the brand from Saint-Imier. Today, we go hands-on with the three-handed Longines Spirit L3.810.4.53.0.
If you’d like some more background information on the Longines Spirit collection, please click here for a recap. This review is about the watch itself, how it looks on the wrist, and basically what you’ll get for your hard-earned money. Without further ado, let’s have a closer look at the “Flieger” from Saint-Imier.
Longines Spirit L3.810.4.53.0
The new Longines Spirit collection consists of a number of variations. Besides a Longines Spirit version with a chronograph, the three-hander comes in both 40mm and 42mm. I have the 40mm version on my wrist for this review, on a leather strap. And, I picked the model with the matte black dial. Other dial colors to choose from are sun-ray blue and grained silver, but I chose the matte black because it is, to me, the most classic “Flieger” look.
Although Longines is keen to remind us of aviation pioneers when introducing this watch (e.g. Amelia Earhart), the inspiration for the design is clear. The Longines Spirit is a pilot’s watch. Or, at least, it is based on the pilot watches of the past. Large Arabic numerals, a central second hand, and an oversized case all feature. Also useful for pilots who use gloves and still use their watch as the most important instrument onboard (take this with a grain of salt, please), a big crown. And that’s the first thing I noticed when putting this Longines Spirit L3.810.4.53.0 on my wrist. The crown doesn’t have a huge diameter per se, but it sticks out quite a bit. Also for non-pilots without gloves, it is easy to grip when setting the watch.
Matte black dial
If you really want to go full pilot with this watch, I would suggest opting for the matte black dial on a leather strap. But if you just like the look of the pilot’s watches and want something more modern and versatile, the sun-ray blue dial version is not a bad choice at all.
The dial has two levels. One is the larger central part, but you will also find a raised outer part with “minuterie” (minute track) printed on there. Then, there’s a little rim between the two layers and at every hour marker, you will find a diamond-shaped lume plot. Looking close, you will find that the upper half of the diamond shape has been cut-out of the raised minute track. That’s a nice touch. Details of this nature add depth and nuance to an otherwise simple design. If you spot them, it is likely your appreciation for this piece will instantly soar.
Applied and Super-LumiNova filled Arabic hour markers are on the center dial. There are clean, crisp, and no-nonsense. The lume ensures great legibility in low-light conditions. Additionally, the numerals, wordmark, logo, and “automatic” text are nicely balanced by the “five-star” chronometer rating occupying the lower half of the dial.
The five applied stars on the dial of the Longines Spirit are quite a special touch. This is something from Longines’ heritage, as these five stars indicated the high quality and reliability of its movements. I will get back to that later. Below the five stars, the certified proof that the movement is indeed reliable and accurate. “Chronometer” can only be used if a movement has indeed been certified by COSC, which gives the guarantee that it performs between -4 and +6 seconds on average, per day.
The chronometer certified movement inside the Longines Spirit is the caliber L888.4. This is an ETA base movement (caliber A31.L11) but exclusively done for Longines. Caliber A31.L11 derived from the famous caliber 2892-A2, which has been used in so many watches from big brands.
Longines increased the warranty to 5 years for watches with a silicon balance spring
This particular version has a beat rate of 25,200vph (increasing the power reserve to 64 hours) and is equipped with a silicon balance spring. Longines caliber L888.4 is also used for their Record collection. The time and date is operated by the large crown, which you’ll need to unscrew first.
Longines Spirit on the wrist
A watch can have interesting specifications and an attractive price tag, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. So when putting the Longines Spirit watches on the wrist, there are a few things that came to mind.
If you have large wrists, there’s the 42mm diameter version
Longines accomplished a very clean design, true to a pilot’s watch. It has a beautiful sleek 40mm case with long and pointy lugs and a thickness of 12.2mm. Consequently, it was very wearable on my 19cm wrist. If you have large wrists, there’s the 42mm diameter version for you. As said before, the dial has a lot of subtle design details, yet remains very readable. Large hands, large Arabic numerals, and a central seconds hand with a red tip to make it a bit playful are the standout features. I could have lived without a date (as always), and the Arabic “3” has unfortunately been sacrificed for the date aperture. That said, I would rather have it this way than seeing the date squeezed between 3 and 4 o’clock.
The version of the Longines Spirit that I have here, comes with the brown calf leather strap. The lug-width is 21mm, so you can also swap with another leather strap (when you prefer a different color) or NATO strap without problems. The leather strap is thick but comfortable. A signed buckle ensures it stays put during the day. For the Prestige version, there is a leather Nato strap in addition to the bracelet and leather strap.
Price and availability of the Longines Spirit
I happen to find this Longines Spirit a great looking pilot’s watch, and the Spirit has quickly become one of my favorite collections. I also love their Heritage models, but in their modern range, the Spirit is the one for me.
The price of the Longines Spirit L3.810.4.53.0 is €2,040, including sales tax. There’s also a “prestige edition” (€2,650) which includes both a strap and bracelet, with the Longines interchangeable system, so you can easily swap them. It is very easy to remove it yourself, without risking damage to the case or bracelet. Also, Longines announced yesterday that all watches equipped with the silicon balance spring will come with an international warranty of five years.