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Hands on With the Longines Spirit Zulu Time: A History of Pioneering the Future

When it comes to history and heritage, Longines stands apart. With more than 100 years of innovation, the watchmaker has developed some of the most iconic timepieces the world has ever seen. And while a lot can change over the course of a century, some things remain ever reliable, such as Longines’ dedication to developing watches for each new generation of pioneers. The 2022 Longines Spirit Zulu Time is just such a watch.

Striking the perfect balance between timeless practicality and modern elegance, the new Longines Spirit Zulu Time carries within it the DNA of watches and instruments relied upon by some of history’s greatest adventurers. By combining this legacy with the design elements of today, Longines has created a timepiece that acknowledges the past while looking to the future.

The Swiss brand has long been the unassailable master of tracking multiple time zones. Ever since 1925, when it manufactured its first watch capable of doing so, Longines has been the aviator’s timepiece of choice. Featuring a Zulu flag on its dial, that watch started a legacy that the 2022 Longines Spirit Zulu Time carries on today.

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Z is for Zulu

The significance of this iconic Zulu branding stems from the letter Z in the phonetic alphabet, which designates a universal time for aviators and members of the armed forces. This Z refers to the Zero Meridian or zero degrees longitude, the starting point for measuring distance both east and west around the globe and providing the foundation for our Universal Time Coordinated or UTC. As accurate time is essential for good navigation, Longines’ Zulu Time watches have helped wearers know exactly where in the world they are, ever since that very first one back in 1925.

A Legacy of Adventure

Those who don the new Longines Spirit Zulu Time follow in the footsteps of iconic adventurers who have relied upon Longines to help them achieve the impossible, including renowned aviators who conquered the air and set new records with Longines’ assistance.

One such figure was “England’s wonder airwoman,” Amy Johnson, who became the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia on May 5, 1930. After taking off from Croydon (near London) she relied on her Longines instruments to guide her for 19 days across 11,000 miles before landing safely to a hero’s welcome in Darwin.

Similarly daring were Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herndon, Jr., who completed the world’s first nonstop, transpacific flight from Japan to the United States on October 5, 1931. After 41 hours, the pair landed in Wenatchee, Washington, having completed the longest flight made over water at the time, covering a distance of 5,500 miles. Later, Herndon claimed that despite encountering arctic weather that had even frozen the water in their canteens, the Longines timepieces both he and Pangborn carried had “performed faultlessly.”

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Modern Movement

This unwavering reliability lives on in the new Longines Spirit Zulu Time, which features an exclusive new Longines in-house calibre with a silicon balance-spring that drives the time zone display. An additional state-of-the-art technology allows the hour hand to be adjusted independently of the UTC indicator.

Wearers can track additional time zones by using a 24-hour hand in conjunction with a bidirectional rotating bezel graduated over 24 hours. Delivering the extreme accuracy aviators require with a power reserve of 72 hours, the new movement is chronometer-certified by the COSC (the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), nodding to the five stars stamped on the dial which, in the history of Longines, has always been a guarantee of a movement of the highest quality.

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Style That Soars

With an elegance that more than matches the remarkable technology within, Longines Spirit Zulu Time range’s Matte Black, Sandblasted Anthracite and Sunray Blue colours are modern yet timeless. The stainless steel and ceramic bezel features a Super-LumiNova triangle and houses scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass. Luminescent numerals and Longines’ winged hourglass logo provide the final touches to an instantly iconic face, while interchangeable straps facilitate everyday practicality for the modern wearer.

The history and evolution of the Longines Spirit Zulu Time is hard to ignore, and the moment you strap the watch on, you’re embracing a legacy that insists on always looking for the next great adventure. A century after it was first introduced, this watch continues to ensure you never forget where you’ve been. And while remembering the past is important, looking to the future is the Longines way. With that in mind, you can almost hear the Longines Spirit Zulu Time asking, where to next? The answer is up to you.

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