The Longines Spirit Zulu Time is probably one of the best collections the brand has released in recent times, and now in 39mm, the Spirit Zulu Time’s are more wearable than ever.
Longines is one of those brands that sail a little under the radar in a sea of mid level Swiss watches. But they have a long history of watchmaking, and having attended their Heritage Conference recently, which focused on the history of Longines in aviation, you realise that they have been at the centre of many explorations and pivotal to major historical events.
Longines have the World’s oldest trademark in watchmaking, the Winged Hourglass, and aviation pioneers like Amelia Earhart and Charles A. Lindbergh wore Longines on their historic journeys. Longines were also the first brand to introduce a second time zone to a wrist watch back in 1925, helping ships convert local time to Universal World Time (UTC) or Zulu Time (hence the name) making timing and navigation easier.
The new collection comprises of 4 models, all of which are great looking watches and come in a matt black, sandblasted anthracite, or sunray blue dial with a date window centred at the 6 o’clock position and feature a bezel with a coloured ceramic insert. Adding to this, all come on either steel bracelets or leather straps in blue or brown depending on the dial colour.
The 39mm Spirit Zulu Time range adds to the already popular Spirit collection, and gives people a more wearable option compared to the existing Zulu Time models launched last year, which may have been a little large for some at 42mm. At 39mm, 13.5mm thick, these should suit most wrist sizes. The star of the show is perhaps the new colourway with an anthracite dial, chocolate brown ceramic bezel insert and 18k yellow gold bezel and crown, with vintage styled old radium Super-LumiNova®.
In order to suit most people’s style and tastes, this variant come on steel, brown leather or brown NATO for a more authentic look, all easily swapped out via Longines’ quick change system. The leather straps also have the added benefit of having a double security folding clasp with micro adjustment system, something you don’t see on leather straps often, if at all!
Inside the new 39mm Spirit Zulu Time collection is the Longines exclusive self-winding movement, L844.4. This movement is COSC certified, vibrates at 3.5Hz (25,200 vph) and has a power reserve of up to 72hrs, so plenty in the tank to last. Longines has also updated components like the silicon balance-spring, so are now anti-magnetic and resistant to magnetism of up to 600 – 800 gauss according to the ISO764 standard. Whilst 600-800 gauss sounds low, compared to some brands now resistant to 15,000 gauss, it is plenty for everyday life, given a tablet or phone gives off about a 10th of this in close proximity.
The Spirit Zulu Time has your typical GMT function across all the models, with independent setting of the GMT hand to the hour hand, and a bi-directional 24hr bezel allowing you to track a 3rd time zone if the need arises. If you’re a frequent traveller, then this is one function that can come in very handy for traversing those pesky time zones, of you have friends or relatives that live in different parts of the world and you want to avoid calling them at 2am. If you’re new to a GMT function, you can learn about it here in our Watch Education section.
The new 39mm Longines Spirit Zulu Time is a welcome addition to the Spirit and Zulu Time collections giving people a smaller alternative. Whilst the current Zulu Time models wear quite well, at 42mm, they are on the larger size for some, and now the collection will have a more broader appeal.
The Zulu Times are a good looking GMT, and with multiple colour variants, and the ability to easily swap between steel and leather, there will be a watch that appeals to most tastes. The dials are well balanced, and highly legible with the large numerals filled with Super-LumiNova® and with 100m water resistance and a well built steel case, these are as robust as they come – all at a decent price point as well, ranging from $4,575 AUD on leather, to $6,500 AUD for the two-tone on steel bracelet.
- Matt Black – Steel (L3.802.4.53.6), Leather (L3.802.4.53.2)
- Anthracite/Green Bezel – Steel (L3.802.4.63.6), Leather (L3.802.4.63.2)
- Blue Sunray – Steel (L3.802.4.93.6), Leather (L3.802.4.93.2)
- Two- Tone 18k Gold – Steel (L3.802.5.53.6), Leather (L3.802.5.53.2), NATO (L3.802.5.53.9)
- Case: 39mm, 13.5mm thick
- Case Material: Stainless Steel and Stainless Steel/18k Yellow Gold (Ref. L3.802.5.53.6, L3.802.5.53.2, L3.802.5.53.9)
- Dial: Matt Black, Sunray Blue, Sandblasted Anthracite
- Crystal: Sapphire domed glass with multi-layered anti-reflective coating on both sides
- Water resistance: 100 m (10ATM)
- Movement: Longines exclusive self-winding movement, L844.4, COSC certified with silicon balance-spring and magnetic resistant. 25,200 vph (3.5Hz), pivoting on 21 jewels
- Power reserve: 72 hours
- Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel bracelet with double safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism, and interchangeable system / Brown or Blue leather strap with folding buckle and micro adjustment and interchangeable system / Brown NATO (two-tone only)
Australian Recommended Retail Price:
- Matt Black, Anthracite with Green Bezel & Blue Sunray – Steel: $4,750, Leather: $4,575
- Two- Tone 18k Gold – Steel: AUD $6,500, Leather & NATO Strap: AUD $6,350