How many watches do you really need? Admittedly, that’s kind of a trick question given that our omnipresent smartphones mean watches are now largely unnecessary for their original time-telling purpose. But acknowledging this truth also implies that, even if you are the nostalgic watch-wearing type, from a utility perspective you can probably edit your wrist wardrobe right down.
Consequently, when buying a timepiece, many people are looking for versatility – a jack-of-all-trades that works in multiple scenarios. What that often translates to is a watch that’s sufficiently rugged that it can handle a full-contact lifestyle and offer a reassuring level of water and shock resistance. At the same time, however, it’s also dressy enough to wear in a more formal scenario and won’t look out of place with, say, a tailored jacket. This horological unicorn is known as a “one-watch collection” and, with the Spirit Titanium, Longines present a strong contender for the role.
Like any self-respecting pilot’s watch, the Spirit Titanium offers easy legibility and decent lume alongside a decent-sized crown and – in good news for lovers of symmetry – no date window. A respectful nod to the past comes in the form of the semi-gilt colour scheme that warms up the black sandblasted dial.
So it’s a handsome watch, but its resourceful appeal is enhanced by its availability in two sizes, with both a 40mm and 42mm dial on offer. But where this pilot’s watch truly excels is its functionality. The case is titanium to ensure lightweight comfort on the wrist, but it’s still a hardy customer nonetheless. The case delivers 100m of water-resistance and comes with a screw-down crown to ensure this is a watch that you can happily swim in. Meanwhile the movement contains a silicon balance to make it anti-magnetic, while it’s also COSC-certified to guarantee accuracy of -4 to +6 seconds a day. This impressive engine is topped off with a 72-hour power reserve. In other words, it’s unusually well-equipped for the practical rigours of daily wear.
Longines may be a Swiss watch brand with a storied heritage, but where it really shines these days is in the bang-for-your-buck department. It’s unusual to get a watch with these aforementioned specifications – let alone a titanium bracelet – for under $5000. But you can snap up the 40mm version of this piece on bracelet for $4475 and if you prefer the utilitarian chic of the black NATO strap, the price slides down to $4000. Sure, that’s not dirt-cheap, but that’s because its technical chops are quietly formidable. As a daily companion, the Longines Spirit Titanium is a truly compelling proposition. longines.com