A Closer Look at the Longines Avigation BigEye

Swiss watchmaker Longines has been around since 1832, and has been crafting quality pieces since. Any piece adorned with their winged hourglass logo – the oldest registered trademark in the business – is sure to be a perfect timekeeper with a stylish design. The newest watch from Longines, the Avigation BigEye, is no exception. Hearkening to the aviation chronographs of the mid-to-late 20th century, the watch is designed to be easily readable and adjustable. It uses a large register – hence the name BigEye – and large knobs for simple adjusting of the dials.

This retro-looking watch is a great addition to any watch collection, but particularly for those who enjoy collecting aviation-style watches. Of course, this watch has a 21st-century edge that keeps it relevant today, and it could be worn on any occasion. The understated elegance and basic utility of the watch are highly-desirable traits that any aficionado would appreciate.

The Case and Crystal

The first thing that will catch your eye when looking at the watch is the brushed stainless-steel case. It is a great choice of material for this watch, giving it the sleek but indestructible look that forms a massive part of its appeal. The crystal on this chronograph is made of sapphire, and boasts several layers of anti-reflective coating to ensure the original goal of easy readability. Of course, the size of the watch – 41mm diameter, and 14.5mm overall thickness – also complements the design, promoting telling of the time at a quick glance. The case also has a good weight to it, speaking to the solid overall construction of the watch. Plus, many of the aviation watches from the era this watch is based on had a similar weight to them – further cementing the inspiration evident in this Longines timepiece.

The Dials and Hands

The dial of the Avigation BigEye is gloss-black, contrasting very well with the stainless-steel construction of the rest of the watch. The black dial behind the large silver numbers definitely helps them to pop. However, not all of the numbers are fully present. At 3, 6, and 9 the numbers have been replaced by sub-dials. Plus, the 10, 4, and 2 positions have been slightly cut-off by the sub-dials. Though Longines pulls of this look decently, it might not be appealing to some.

The sub-dials themselves consist of a 60-second counter, a 12-hour counter, and a 30-minute counter at the 9-, 6-, and 3-o’clock positions, respectively. Having all of these dials allows the wearer to get the exact time at a quick glance, especially as you get used to simultaneously reading the main dial and the sub-dials. The hands on each of the dials differ in their particular design. However, they have all been coated with green-toned Super-LumiNova paint. This type of paint drastically improves readability in low-light situations, and is yet another step toward the overall goal of this watch – quick and easy telling of time.

The Movement

The Avigation BigEye includes Longines’ L688.2 calibre movement. It is based on a movement that was first created in the 1960s, the ETA 7750. However, it has been updated with a more-efficient column wheel arrangement. In addition, the power reserve has been increased to 54 hours. This means less winding – this watch is purely mechanical and requires no outside source of energy to run. Unfortunately, you can’t look at the movement while it is in action as Longines has elected to continue their tradition of closed, engraved cases. On the other hand, this does keep out any dirt or dust that could affect the operation of the watch, ensuring a reading that is always accurate.

The Price

For the reasonable price of $2,625, the Longines Avigation BigEye can be yours. This price is actually pretty low for the luxury watch world, and could help someone looking to get serious about collecting watches – particularly aviation watches – a solid start to their collection. This particular watch comes with an authentic brown leather strap, which meshes quite nicely with its overall aesthetic feel.

The Verdict

The Longines Avigation BigEye is a nice new update to an old watch style. It has beautiful aesthetics, a design speaking to easy-readability and indestructability, and a tried-and-true action that will ensure that you get the right time whenever you look at it. The BigEye is a good choice for anyone who collects aviation-style watches, or even just watches in general. At the price, you don’t have to worry as much about bringing it out on the town. And it will definitely draw some looks – it is a high-quality timepiece with a timeless design.


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