Aviation tugs at our heartstrings on several levels, not least the freedom promised by open skies, the romance of adventure and also the heart-stopping pace with which this field of endeavour has blitz from balloons and dirigibles of bygone eras to jets and rockets that have shrugged off the sound barrier and gravitational pull to extend our reach to the stars.
Running parallel to the changing nature and capabilities of aviation are pilot’s watches of varied characteristics engineered to serve the evolving demands of aviation practice through its rapid evolution. What hasn’t changed is the need for accurate timekeeping, high reliability, and intuitive reading of timing information within the tight confines and fevered activity in the cockpit. It is for these reasons that pilot’s watches are esteemed on a technical level, in addition to the emotive connection that we feel through its dramatic history.
One of the most distinctive pilot’s watches that have been created over the span of a century is the Longines Type A-7 chronograph that the company supplied to the US Army Air Corps in 1930s (the USAAC would go on to become the US Air Force a decade later, in 1947). The Type A-7 was a huge watch even by today’s standards, in a 51mm case with large numerals for maximum legibility. Uniquely, its dial was also canted by 40 degrees to the right, with its crown and integrated chronograph pusher at ‘12’ on the dial. It looked like a pocket watch on the wrist, and the orientation of the dial allowed the pilot to read the time intuitively without taking his hands off the yoke.
Longines issued a remake of the Type A-7 in 49mm case in 2012, adding self-winding and a date display to the small seconds at ‘6’. This was followed by another re-issue in 2016, in a more wearable 41mm stainless steel case, dubbed the “Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935”.
To celebrate its 40th anniversary, The Hour Glass has partnered with Longines to release the “Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 The Hour Glass Limited Edition”. Building upon the 2016 version’s classically elegant looks, The Hour Glass Limited Edition piles on the glamor with dazzling dial choices, of either champagne gold or deep blue in sunray finish. In addition, both versions are cased in 41mm bronze which will develop unique patina over time, with engraved titanium casebacks for lasting comfort. Inside, the L788.2 self-winding chronograph caliber developed exclusively for Longines features column wheel control and 54 hours of power reserve. All chronograph functions are operated from the single button integrated with the crown, while a pusher discreetly flush with the case at ‘7’ sets the date.
The quaint cant of the dial sets the Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 The Hour Glass Limited Edition apart from other classically styled chronographs; the vivid colour and character of dial and bronze case lends it dressy charisma that is all its own. In limited editions of 40 pieces for each dial color.
More information: TheHourGlass.com
Automatic cal L788.2 single push-piece chronograph; date; column wheel; 4Hz; 54 hours power reserve
41mm bronze case with titanium caseback; 30m water resistance
Calf leather strap