Longines Avigation Type A-7 Watch

Longines Avigation Type A-7 Watch

Allow us to introduce the Longines Avigation Type A-7, a new monopusher chronograph with an offset dial design meant to recall Longines' rich history in aviation watches. This new chronograph has been released as a modern interpretation of a design from the 1930's that carried the US Army designation of "Type A-7" suggesting it has been specifically created with Army pilots in mind.

The Type A-7 employs a 47mm stainless steel case that allows for a large and legible dial design that allowed pilots to easily and quickly check the time or chronograph. Additionally, the Type A-7 features an over sized crown and integrated monopusher chronograph control which means the 30 minute chronograph is simple to use (much like a stop watch) and the crown and pusher system can easily be used even when a pilot is wearing gloves.

Inside, the Type A-7 features the same L788.2 column wheel chronograph movement used within the L27764213 Monopusher Chronograph we saw in Paris earlier this year (seen below). The L788.2 is an automatic movement produced by ETA exclusively for Longines and features a 54hr power reserve while running at 28,800 vph. The movement can be viewed through a sapphire display back that is protected by a small hinged cover.

The most obvious element of the Type A-7 is the 50 degree offset dial which is more often seen on vintage watches or perhaps the vintage-inspired Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 watches. The Type a-7 is meant to be worn on the inside of a pilot's wrist so that the watch will align with the orientation of an aircraft's instrumentation. This offset design meant that pilots would not need to cock their head to the side or remove their hands from the controls to directly view the time or the chronograph measure. While certainly not a feature that proved to have long-term popularity in everyday watches, it certainly makes the Type A-7 stand out in the crowd. Longines has priced the Type A-7 at $4900 USD, which is not considerably more than the $4550 asking price for the L27764213 shown above.

I can understand the motive behind the Type A-7 but I feel the offset dial will keep it from the kind of mass appeal that this otherwise interesting and beautiful watch likely deserves. Given that I really like the dial design of the Type A-7, I think it would have been exciting to see a second version with a conventional dial orientation and standard three o'clock crown position. I certainly understand the appeal of the Type A-7 to hardcore collectors, but I can't help but wish that Longines had also made a somewhat less eccentric version for the rest of us.

Written by James Stacey

  • arthurdavis

    this won’;t work for right handers like  me

  • WatchOtaku

    I’d wear that but even my NBA-sized self hesitates at 47mm.

  • cluedog12

    I’m digging the design. No mention of the slightly-short minute-hand?
    Longines’ new vintage collection features some really nice pieces and the rest of them are conventionally-oriented; this piece does not need mass appeal. Any chance we’ll see an updated 13zn movement? Those chronographs have a cult-like following.

  • nateb123

    Gorgeous.  2 things though.  Avigation is a stupid made up word and it makes me hate the marketing men in a Swatch Group boardroom a little bit more that they actually thought it was an acceptable name for a watch.  Second, what the heck is that tiny mini-crown at 3(?) o clock?
    Regardless, I definitely want more than any other Longines (and even those vintage B&Rs too).

    • steveal

      It opens the back cover to view the movement (see Weems and Lindberg watches).

    • perpetuelle

      nateb123 Avigation is not very common, but it is not solely a word made up by Longines.  Just google “avigation” and you’ll see how it is used beyond just this watch.  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/avigation

  • Ulysses31

    Beautiful watches.  I just can’t get over the rotated dial though – it just looks wrong.  Perhaps i’m slightly OCD but it would drive me nuts after a short while.  I saw a Longines recently in a store and I could’ve sworn it was at least 50mm.  Had the same classical beauty of many of their pieces but it was huge.  Couldn’t believe my eyes.  It wasn’t this one but i’m wondering if this is the start of a new trend for them.

  • star42

    I disagree with the author in that the off-set dial is what set this what apart from the rest of the pilot watch. If this has a traditionally orientated dial I wouldn’t give this a second look, as it will seem to be to be quite generic. Attractive, yes. But generic. But the offset dial is something different, and it makes me desire it just because it is different. I would definitely pass on this otherwise. Now I actually would want to purchase this, and the monopusher chronograph is just the icing on the cake.

  • http://www.amazingwatchesstore.com jvrinz

    I love the dial on this watch. Longines is a brand that is by far one of th brands that makes these watches at their best.

  • CG

    Very classic… In the early days of auto racing there were a few watches that were offset so the driver holding the steering wheel could read the face upright, those are very cool also… I’d buy this watch and wear it on the outside of my MC leather jacket while riding my Enfield… It would fit the period perfectly, pilots and navigators always wore watches on the outside of heavy leather fleece lined jackets…

  • TheGator

    Love the offset.

  • ZafBasha

    This is an homage watch to the original 1935 Longines A-7, pictured here, with serial# blurred:
    Since they are still calling it an “A-7”, It would make no sense for the homage to be substantially different from the original A-7, by un-tilting the dial or changing the crown position. It’s bad enough it’s automatic with a date!

  • SteveStunning

    star42 Your post would have seemed intelligent had you used the correct word “oriented” instead of the ill-educated “orientated”.

  • SteveStunning

    arthurdavis Actually it would. These angled watches were originally designed for aviators to wear on the underside of the wrist, which would give you a perfect view. Not to mention a noticeable conversation piece.

  • star42

    And you would not be seen as a pompous troll had you not replied in such a arrogant and conceited manner. At what point did you contribute to the discussion of this watch? Or do you get off on trawling the internet for typos so as to display you supposed superior grasp of the English language?

  • SteveStunning

    You seem a little upset, and slightly crazy  lol