Here’s some interesting news for all Longines lovers. This year, the brand celebrated the 90th anniversary of the first ever non-stop solo transatlantic flight which was flown by Charles Lindbergh and timed by the Swiss watchmaker. So in the spirit of celebration, Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing, presented a limited edition of its hour angle watch in l’Oiseau blanc in Paris, which was designed in partnership with the famed aviator following his historic flight.
For all those who are unaware, here’s the interesting story behind the great feat that never ceases to fascinate everyone, even after several decades.
It was 7:52 a.m. on May 20th, 1927 (New York) when the “Spirit of St. Louis” left the Roosevelt Airport towards its destination, the Le Bourget airport (near Paris). A young American pilot named Charles A. Lindbergh was at the controls. Thirty-three and a half hours later, Lindbergh landed at Le Bourget after completing the first ever non-stop solo transatlantic flight which was a historic feat. As the official timekeeper for the World Air Sports Federation, Longines contributed to the homologation of this prowess by timing Lindbergh’s flight and adding it to the list of aviation records.
Later, Charles Lindbergh contacted Longines to develop a watch designed to meet his aviator’s needs. And the Longines Hour Angle watch, a veritable icon in the history of the Swiss watchmaker, was born. Designed by Lindbergh himself in partnership with Longines, this watch allows for accurate determination of the longitude during long-distance flights. As a result, pilots and navigators can find their geographic location quickly and efficiently and with greater accuracy. This extraordinary timepiece was reissued by the brand in 2002 and it is still one of its iconic Heritage models.
Lindbergh also received a $25,000 prize in New York from Raymond Orteig for the achievement on June 16, 1927. And so 90 years later, Longines decided to celebrate this achievement by creating a $25,000 prize, which will be awarded each year to an adventurer or pioneer who has achieved a feat in his field, all in the spirit of elegance and performance which is dear to the brand. This award will be presented for the first time in New York on May 21, 2018.
During their special anniversary reception (mentioned earlier) in l’Oiseau Blanc, Juan-Carlos Capelli with Catherine Maunoury, President of the l’Aéro-Club de France and double world champion of aerobatics, and Colonel Jack Aalborg, from the US Embassy, presented the new edition of the legendary timepiece, The Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch 90th Anniversary, in a numbered series limited to 90 watches.
This exceptional titanium and steel timepiece is intended for those who are passionate about history, adventure and watchmaking. The understated brushed silver dial displays the time on a “railtrack” minute circle with painted Roman numerals and features a 180° scale for calculating the longitude. A galvanic black rotating central dial and a black PVD steel rotating bezel complete the system.
Equally impressive as the original timepiece, this model measures 47.5 mm, which makes it easier to read and manipulate in the dark and when subjected to the vibrations that were common to aircraft of that era.