Longines Introduces the Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935

Now in black and still great value.

One of Longines’ longest-lived vintage remakes, the Type A-7 was inspired by a 1930s aviator’s chronograph made for the US Army Air Corps. Having been offered with a white dial, and also a bronze-case limited edition, the Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935 now makes its debut in a guise closest to the vintage original.

Initial thoughts

The earlier version of the Type A-7 was already a likeable watch. Affordably priced and well designed, the Type A-7 managed to much convey the look of the original without being a one-for-one remake. And in contrast to the first-generation remake that was 49 mm in diameter – essentially the same size as the vintage original – the Type A-7 was a wearable 41 mm. But the faux-vintage “lume” was a bit much, and the white lacquer finish of the dial took away some of the military-instrument aesthetic.

The Type A-7 with a white dial that was introduced in 2016

The new Type A-7 remedies all of that with a black dial and less-pronounced colour for the Super-Luminova. Though it still has a date window that gets in the way of the design, the new Type A-7 still works well and remains a strong value buy.

As an aside, Longines did make a similar-looking, limited edition Type A-7 for the American market two years ago that did away with the date display.

Off the vertical

The vintage original had a dial rotated 40 degrees from the vertical, in order to allow pilots to read the time or operate the chronograph without taking their hands off the control yoke. This has becoming a defining feature of the watch, along with the single button for the chronograph that’s co-axial with the crown.

The vintage Type A-7 in the Longines Museum

A negative image of the US Army specification for the Type A-7, which was also supplied by Meylan and Gallet

In the modern Type A-7, all of that has been reproduced, albeit in a smaller, 41 mm case in polished steel. The dial is a flat black with large Arabic numerals and cathedral hands.

Under the snap-on case back is the L7882. movement, which is actually an ETA A08.L11. It’s part of ETA’s Valgranges family of extra-large movements derived from the Valjoux 7750. But the A08.L11 has been substantially upgraded over the 7750, with a mono-pusher mechanism and a column wheel replacing the standard cam.

Key facts and price

Longines Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935
Ref. L2.812.4.53.2

Case diameter: 41 mm
Height: Unavailable
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: L788.2 (ETA A08.L11)
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and chronograph
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 54 hours

Strap: Alligator with pin buckle

Availability: From Longines boutiques and retailers; delivery date to be determined
Price: US$3,450; or S$5,170

For more, visit Longines.com

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