Longines has had a long and rich history with supplying Omega watches for professional pilots and the Avigation is a series that dates way back to the 1930s when they supplied to the American Air Corps. Today we’ll be reviewing one very special one. Let’s get to it, shall we?
Let’s get a close-up look at a piece of history with this review of the Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 USA limited and numbered edition.
The most noticeable feature at first glance would be the off-center dial. There is a 40-degree tilt on this Longines timepiece where the numerals are rotated slightly to the right where in which the 12 o’clock position is located between where the 1 and 2 o’clock position would normally be. This is designed this way so that pilots don’t have to take their hands off the controls to check their watches.
Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 USA Review
Another feature that stands out in a tasteful way is the monopusher or monopoussoire as the experts call it. It is probably the ornate nature of the large crown that catches the eye, but it is worth mentioning that it has a built-in single pusher to control the column-wheel chronograph’s functions.
The Chronograph uses the large central second’s hand and has a 30-minute counter sub-register located at the (tilted) 12 o’clock position. The sub-dials use a finely printed railroad track style indexes with white printed numerals. The perimeter of the dial also features a railroad-style seconds and minutes track but also has a split second’s track for up to 1/5th of a second, and white printed numerals at every 5-second interval.
In a day where the word ‘autopilot’ is a commonly used term, Longines reminds us that once there once was a time when pilots watches had to keep their hands on the controls to avoid unnecessary risks. The Avigation Watch Type A-7 USA is a re-edition of a watch they made for the United States Army Air Corps in 1935.
The next thing to catch the eye would be the smoky colored dial or as they call it; fumé. The dial has a smokey grey center and a dark gray to nearly black outer color. It also seems to have a slightly grainy texture to the color which looks great against the texture of the vintage style grey leather strap.
The watch was intended to be operated and used with the least amount of distraction possible which explains the larger vintage color numerals, the larger crown, the monopusher chronograph, the comfort of the almost pebble-shaped steel case and strap extension to fit over a flight suit. Everything was designed with the intention of keeping the pilot focused and hands-on.
The Longines Heritage Avigation Watch Type A-7 USA runs on a self-winding Longines caliber L788.2 which is based on the ETA A08.L11 ébauche movement. This 27-jewel automatic movement beats at 28,800 VpH and has an ample power reserve of approximately 54 hours. The Avigation Watch Type A-7 USA is limited to only 100 pieces worldwide and comes in a beautiful wooden presentation box.