Longines debuted a new lightweight titanium flyback chronograph watch this week — but will the design deter potential buyers?
The new Spirit Flyback Titanium features a 42 mm x 17 mm (49 mm lug-to-lug) grade 5 titanium case, with the option for a matching titanium bracelet ($5,200 – Ref. L3.822.214.171.124) or a two-tone black and gray Nato-style textile strap ($4,850 – Ref. L3.821.1.53).
Everything from the non-cluttered matte black dial to the gilded hands and applied Arabic numerals looks great. The total weight on the strap is just 93.6 grams and 124.7 grams on the bracelet, which again is good. A COSC-certified ETA-based (7750) Longines caliber L791.4 flyback chronograph movement with elaborate finishing, which is a good reliable movement, powers the watch. A bi-directional count-up bezel with a black ceramic insert completes the attractive overall look.
But the potential deterrent for a lot of consumers —read comment sections on IG and certain watch-related site that starts with an “H” — is the 17 mm thickness. The specification does include the protrusion from the slightly domed sapphire crystal, and it’s the case thickness that matters a bit more than how thick the watch is with the crystal, nonetheless, total thickness is total thickness, and 17 mm is not insignificant.
The extra millimeters come from the flyback module being added onto the ETA-based caliber that powers the Spirit Flyback Titanium, which makes me wonder if Longines should have just omitted the flyback to thin the watch out a few millimeters. Mechanical watches appeal to consumers for many different reasons but perhaps the one factor that’s universal is aesthetics and this could be a problem because a 42 mm in diameter watch that is 17 mm thick translates to sitting tall on your wrist, proportionally.
Photos by Longines.