The Longines Weems Second Setting watch, Hour Angle, and Greenlander were each initially made exclusively for military use. Today, these original models from the era are incredibly rare and highly collectible. However, the brand has produced modern editions of each iconic model as part of their Heritage collection.One of the brand’s latest military-inspired watches debuted at Baselworld in 2018. The model has a simple name: the Longines Military watch. It echoes the design of the early 1940’s watches supplied to RAF pilots during the war. Longines has taken the utmost care in attention to detail with this model. It’s hard to distinguish it from a vintage piece until you look under the hood. Inside the watch is the modern L888 automatic caliber, which offers a 65-hour power reserve. Even if you’re a vintage enthusiast, this model is a worthy alternative to an authentic vintage piece.
Throughout the brand’s history, Longines has shared a close relationship with various military organizations. During WWII, their timepieces served as indispensable tools for military forces. They most notably supplied watches to the British Royal Air Force and the British Army. Today, Longines continues to honor their military heritage in the watches they produce. Let’s look at the impact of their military past and its continued influence on their design approach
Soon after in 1929, Captain Philip Van Horn Weems of the U.S. Naval Academy helped build on this technology. Together with Longines, they manufactured the Longines Weems Second Setting watch. The model allowed the pilot to synchronize the watch with a precise source of time, typically a radio signal. With the rotating bezel technology or a central subdial, the pilot had a 60-second scale for the synchronization process. The Longines Weems Second Setting watch measured a whopping 48mm for maximum legibility during flight. Allied pilots received most of the models created during WWII. However, a very small number ended up with the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service.