The new Longines Spirit Flyback Titanium is a really attractive watch. It shows how Longines, with each release, is becoming more of a force to be reckoned with. As prices from Omega and others have moved upmarket, Longines is seemingly positioned to take on the likes of Tudor, and the brand has started bringing the goods. Will today’s chronograph keep the string of hits going, or will it let us down?

If you’re a fan of any television series, you’ll likely encounter slight disappointment at some point. Whether it’s a whole episode or just a part, it happens. As part of my English immersion, I’m watching the sketch comedy series The Fast Show, and I love it. But there are some unfunny points, and it makes me wonder, with all that brilliance (brilliant!), how does a dud sneak by the editing room? Let’s return to watches. I am not going to call the new Longines Spirit Flyback Titanium an outright dud, but I have my qualms about one particular part of the “episode.”

The Longines Spirit Flyback Titanium

Just this past March, Longines rolled out the Spirit Flyback chronograph in stainless steel as seen above. Robert-Jan went hands-on with the watch, and his impressions were positive. Just looking at it, it’s hard to deny that this is a damn-good-looking chronograph. The design is clean and legible, and it manages to avoid prior Longines blunders like the addition of a clumsy date window or skimping on materials.

Now we have a new Spirit Flyback Titanium model. For fans of the grayer and much lighter material, this could be the ticket. Happily, Longines employed Grade 5 titanium, so the durability should be decent. Once again, Longines uses a ceramic bezel insert and combines it with a sunburst anthracite dial. Perhaps in an attempt to warm up the overall look, the brand chose to use gold elements on the dial for the font, hands, and index surrounds. Then, there are flashes of red on the central chronograph hand and the “Flyback” wording. On one hand, the gold adds an air of class, while the red and titanium keep it sporty.

Familiar specs

Let’s start with the movement because it’s the reason for at least part of the name of the watch. The Spirit Flyback Titanium uses the Longines-exclusive L791.4 automatic caliber. This is a modified ETA 7753 with a column wheel, flyback module, and chronometer certification. It runs at a 28,800vph frequency and has a power reserve of 68 hours. All in all, the specs are rather impressive, and the movement is viewable via the display back.

Longines Spirit Flyback Titanium NATO

Dimensions that sound good except for one

Other details also carry over from the steel models, and that, unfortunately, means the dimensions. The Spirit Flyback Titanium comes in at 42mm wide by 49mm long, which should work for a large number of potential buyers. The watch is available on either a 22mm bracelet with a push-button clasp or a black and gray NATO with a titanium pin buckle. The thickness is where the record player abruptly skids across the disc because it comes in at 17mm. I’ll return to this in my final thoughts, but suffice it to say, it’s a very chunky watch.

Longines Spirit Flyback Titanium

Other details on the Spirit Flyback Titanium

I really like the fact that this watch has a 100m water resistance rating. Also, the case shows varying finishes, which look expensive. The signed crown is large and utile, and the pushers are nicely sized. Even the bracelet looks good, although the end links are, sadly, the “male” style and make the effective lug-to-lug even greater than the numbers imply. The watch contains a domed sapphire crystal and a bidirectional 60-minute bezel.

Longines Spirit Flyback Titanium

Final thoughts and pricing

If I return to my television analogy, the 17mm thickness is where this watch lacks comedy. It makes me wonder how a watch with a 17mm thickness makes it out of the drawing room. Honestly, my index finger tried to recoil as it typed the “7” in this article because it was in disbelief. To play devil’s advocate, it should wear better in titanium than steel due to less heft, but it’s still a seriously thick watch. This is one that most certainly needs to be tried on before buying. For comparison’s sake, let’s consider this watch’s most natural competitor, the Tudor Black Bay Chronograph. That one comes in at 14.6mm thick, which many people already think is too chunky. Please don’t take this as hating on the Longines. See it as a disappointment because this watch is so close to being great.

In the end, the culprit at work is the chunky ETA 7753. The specs and robustness aren’t in question, but I do think that the Swatch Group will need to get to work on a modern replacement that can serve its middle-upper-tier brand. The watches are available now and are priced at €5,450 on the NATO and €5,800 on the bracelet. When comparing the bracelet models, the Spirit Flyback Titanium is €700 dearer than its steel counterpart. That’s not small money, but in the world of watches today, it’s a high-specced watch with a chronometer certification from a well-known brand. It’s a fantastic-looking watch and will certainly find homes on the right wrists. I’d simply like it to be thinner.

For more information on the new Spirit Flyback Titanium, visit the official Longines site.

Watch specifications

Spirit Flyback Titanium
L3.821.1.53.6 (bracelet) / L3.821.1.53.2 (NATO strap)
Sunray anthracite, applied Arabic numerals, with Super-LumiNova
Case Material
Grade 5 titanium with brushed and polished finishes, ceramic bezel insert
Case Dimensions
42mm (diameter) × 49mm (lug-to-lug) × 17mm (thickness)
Sapphire with antireflective coating on both sides
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire display window
Longines L791.4 — exclusive chronograph caliber, certified chronometer, automatic and hand winding, 28,800vph frequency, 68-hour power reserve, column wheel, silicon balance spring, and antimagnetic alloys
Water Resistance
10 ATM (100 meters)
NATO strap or titanium three-row bracelet
Time (hours, minutes, small seconds), 30-minute chronograph with flyback function, 60-minute timing bezel
€5,450 (strap) / €5,800 (bracelet)
Five years