Longines Avigation BigEye Chronograph

Longines Avigation BigEye Chronograph

2017 GPHG Chronograph Category Finalist

For Longines with the timeless Avigation BigEye chronograph, modern vintage cannot get much more authentic than a reissue of a 1930s classic, lifted straight out of their own museum. Do its handsome period pilot aesthetics and accessible everyman affordability give it an advantage in the contest?

So what have we got?

Whilst far from being alone in revisiting their archives Longines have really tapped into something special in their Heritage collection, and their Avigation BigEye is an almost irresistible reproduction inspired by a long lost classic, with the faithfully replicated style from the era when aviation had begun to change our world. A black dial with green Super LumiNova coated hands and numerals, and crisp white detail guarantee exceptional legibility, which was a key consideration for the oversized elapsed minutes chronograph display on which the aviator would have depended for his navigation. Larger than the other two subdials for the 12 hours and constant seconds, hence the title BigEye.

How does it stack up/competition

Among the six finalists in the 2017 GPHG Chronograph category it is the least expensive, at only CHF 2,300; a factor which is unlikely to carry much weight in the jury decision. However, it's almost sure to be a popular seller, and that might do. It's driven by an ETA Valgranges ETA A08.L01, 7750-based chronograph movement, which, while it has more than stood the test of time, is not uncommon, so the Avigator BigEye's principal strengths in this important category are likely to be its sheer good looks, reliability and to a lesser extent, its price.

So it's going to win then?

The Watch Press Prediction

No. I'd be tempted to buy it, but this year's winner is going to be something very different.

The pertinents

REFERENCE: L2.816.4.53.2
CASE: Steel
BUCKLE: Pin buckle
MOVEMENT: Self winding mechanical. Power reserve: 54 h, 28'800 vph
FUNCTIONS: Hours, Minutes, Seconds, Chronograph
SIZE: ø 41 mm
THICKNESS: 14.45 mm