The New Longines Spirit 37 — Hitting The Sweet Spot In The Way We’ve Been Waiting For
The question in that subtitle is directed at Longines. It’s not that I don’t think 40mm is a good size, but this is just so much better. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of folks out there who are still uncertain about wearing any sub-40mm wristwear. But just don’t use the term “unisex” or even mention the fact that it works on both men and women. In the face of #watchfemme and the new wave of 36-38mm sweetness, does that make the new Longines Spirit 37 perfectly pitched at everyone?
Just the other day, I had a client meeting in which a woman was wearing a 42mm Explorer II while I was wearing my 37.7mm Serica 4512. Did I feel emasculated? Nope. This is reality, and the fact that brands still make 34mm versions of watches for women is passé. The need for mother-of-pearl dials and diamond-set bezels to entice women is gone, as the truth is androgynous. The new Longines Spirit is not unisex. It is simply a very good 37mm watch for everyone, as well as the pearl of the Spirit lineup.
Is the new Longines Spirit 37 exactly what we wanted in the first place?
It is. Look at the impossibility of buying a 36mm Rolex Oyster Perpetual at retail in what only five years ago was a female size and colorway. The runaway success of releases like the 38mm Furlan Marri, the 37.7mm Serica 4512, and the 39mm hypebeast Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight proves it. So, Longines, this is what we wanted in the first place — what took you so long? The 42mm Spirit collection is fine, and the chronograph, in particular, is a superb alternative to the 41mm IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph. This takes care of the lovers of larger watches and is just right for a large and legible tool with an aviation theme. Alongside last year’s titanium Spirit, this 37mm model will likely be one of the biggest successes Longines has had in years. Let’s start with the case, which gets a lot of details just right. This is personal, but I do enjoy a good steel case, the mark of a refined tool watch.
Lugs of desire
The sweep of the case side is emphasized by a broad polished bevel, contrasted by a sharp, cut-off end. Yes, there are echoes of IWC, but I prefer this eloquent language. It’s less tool-like but still tough, and the layers of brushed and polished 316L steel make for a refined image. Now, Longines does have a penchant for stretched lugs. This means a 42mm Spirit wears like a 43-44mm watch, while the 40mm version has a lug-to-lug of 49.6mm. This is rather (well, very) long and makes it feel like 42. So what’s my advice? Quietly phase out the 40mm range. If you want a large piece of refined pilot cool, get the 42mm. This 37mm has a lug-to-lug of closer to 47mm, which is still long for its diameter, but perfect overall. The fêted 39mm Black Bay Fifty-Eight has a 39mm case and a 47mm lug-to-lug span. See what I’m talking about?
For the love of a date window
So, the case is perfect, while wearing more like a 38-39mm, suiting me pretty much to a tee. What else is new with this release? The textured black-dial model is the safe choice and a great example of the mélange of styles that went into the Spirit range. And this is what makes it such a success. There are influences of military field watch, pilot’s tool, and it’s even a good alternative to the Rolex Explorer 36mm. Plus, it has a touch of imagination. The flashier blue sunray dial is also part of this new range, looking particularly handsome on the bracelet. And there is just one small change to the dial, but it makes a world of difference. The date window is now absolutely perfectly placed at 6 o’clock above the diamond-shaped index.
But a Rolex alternative?
What a difference to the vertical balance of the dial the date window makes. It’s a good reason to skip the 40mm version and go straight to the Spirit 37. Unless, of course, you want the crisp white dial, which is not available in this new range. But what about champagne? I will go out on a limb here and proclaim it to be an excellent Rolex alternative, while a lot dressier than the blue and black. Rolex? Well, if you’ve seen the 36mm Oyster Perpetual with the silver dial and gold details, you’ll know. This is an accessible and cool alternative at a great price. The sandy champagne color blings up the Spirit 37, as does the choice to leave off the red tip of the seconds hand. Whether you like the slinky bracelet or the matte brown leather, this dial is a chameleon with its sunburst finish.
Longines Spirit 37 — A good alternative, or just a perfect blend?
From the shots I’ve seen, the champagne dial will segue from a bright almost-silver to a sandy beige at night — “suave” is the word. I know, the OP is much more of a minimalist, with sharp stick indices and no detailed minute track. But these details along with the thick, lume-filled numerals make the Longines Spirit 37 a great mid-point between the OP and Explorer. Add the charming five stars designating a COSC chronometer spec and the L888.4 caliber boasting a 72-hour power reserve and well, what are you waiting for? This has no waiting list, buddy. Considering the price of CHF 2,000 on leather and CHF 2,250 on the bracelet, it’s an easy choice. And it’s one that speaks of a deeply considered taste for a resurgent Longines that deserves the success of the Spirit range.
What do you think? Is my Rolex comparison taking it too far, or has Longines really hit the spot with the Spirit 37? Let us know in the comments.
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