Longines Introduces the Spirit Zulu Time 39 mm

The dual time returns in 39 mm.

Originally introduced in 42 mm last year, the Longines Spirit Zulu Time now gets a more comfortable 39 mm case. The new variant retains all the appealing design elements of the original that are loosely inspired by the brand’s first dual time zone watch from 1925, including the legible dial and a vintage-style, bi-directional bezel.

Initial thoughts

The Spirit Zulu Time is a great example of how to execute a vintage-style watch. However, a significant drawback was the large, 42 mm size of the original, which was quite hefty on the wrist and not quite suited to the retro style. Longines clearly recognised this issue and responded surprisingly quickly in introducing a more wearable size.

While the 39 mm size is certainly positive, the case thickness of 13.5 mm leaves it notably thick relative to the diameter; the thickness is comparable to some automatic chronographs. As a result, it may feel clunky on the wrist for some. That said, the reason for the case height is fundamental: the watch is powered by the same movement as the original.  

Still, the Spirit Zulu Time continues to be an excellent value proposition, starting at US$3,050 in steel while the steel and gold model is US$4,200. The fact that the Zulu Time is a genuine GMT with an independent local-time hour hand makes it a standout amongst affordable dual-time zone watches.

Although it may fall short in terms of movement sophistication compared to the similarly-priced Tudor Black Bay GMT, it has the advantage of a wider range of dial and case options.

Now 39 mm

The new Zulu Time models have a reduced case of 39 mm compared to the originals that were 42 mm. Despite being smaller in size, the thickness of the watch remains relatively substantial, measuring 13.5 mm high, a mere 0.4 mm less than its larger counterparts.

Size apart, the new Zulu Time is essentially the same thing. The case thickness is explained by the fact that the watch shares the same movement as its larger brother. Moreover, the 39 mm has the same quick-release system, allowing for effortless switching between the bracelet and strap.

Visually, it sticks to the same styling as well. The dial layout remains unchanged, featuring a row of five applied stars reminiscent of the emblem found on classic Longines watches and a date indicator positioned at six o’clock. The vintage-style dial features applied Arabic numerals that have been treated with faux patina Super-Luminova, enhancing readability in low light settings. 

Like the 42 mm variant, the watch is available in three dial options: matte black, sandblasted anthracite, and sun-ray blue. The all-steel models feature a ceramic bezel insert to match the dial. An interesting addition to the collection is the two-tone version in steel with an 18k yellow gold bezel and crown that features a chocolate-brown ceramic bezel insert with a gilt-filled GMT track. 

The Zulu Time is powered by the L844.4, an ETA-based automatic movement developed exclusively for Longines. As with most modern Longines calibres, it is COSC-certified and offers a healthy power reserve of 72 hours. 

Unlike many affordable GMT watches, this is a “true GMT” as the local time hour hand can be independently adjusted. This means the movement was developed as a GMT calibre from scratch, as opposed to being a conventional movement with an additional hour hand tacked on. 

Key facts and price

Longines Spirit Zulu Time 39 mm
Ref. L3.802.4.53.2/6 (matte black)
Ref. L3.802.4.63.2/6 (anthracite)
Ref. L3.802.4.93.2/6 (sunray blue)
Ref. L3.802.5.53.2/6/9 (18k yellow gold bezel and crown)

Diameter: 39 mm
Height: 13.50 mm
Material: Steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

Movement: L844.4
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date and second time zone
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 25,200 beats per hour (3.5 Hz)
Power reserve: 72 hours

Strap: Leather strap with folding clasp or steel bracelet; with fabric strap option only for the 18k yellow gold bezel

Limited edition: No
Availability: At Longines boutique and retailers

Matte black, anthracite and sunray blue with leather strap: US$3,050 

Matte black, anthracite and sunray blue with steel bracelet: US$3,150

18k yellow gold bezel and crown with leather or fabric strap: US$4,200 

18k yellow gold bezel and crown with steel bracelet: US$4,300 

For more information, visit Longines.com.


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