Longines Spirit

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MKTheVintageBloke
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Longines Spirit

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » October 14th 2021, 1:44pm

So, I finally picked up the watch that I dreamed of for a long, long time... Behold, the Longines Spirit - black dial, 40mm, ref. L3.810.4.53.6:
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The first impression... I handled a lot of Longines watches at work. This...this is way above any of them. Above any Heritage, HydroConquest, Master Collection. Even above the Record.

Anyway, here's how it's delivered - obviously, there's the beige outer box:
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Inside, there's the "type 3" box from Longines, which they dedicate to upper range collections - Record, Master Collection, and indeed the Spirit.
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Warranty card (like all non-quartz from Longines, the warranty is for 5 years) and COSC certificate...
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In the current Longines line-up, the only COSC-certified collections are the Record and the Spirit alright. The Record and the Spirit time and date models share the same movement, the L888.4. Obviously, it's an ETA 2892 base, but the L888 is a Longines-only movement. Beats at 25200 A/h, with a minimum power reserve of 64h (Longines claims 72h tops). Like the standard 2892, the L888.4 has 21 jewels, which is less than the next highly modified Swatch Group version of it - the Omega 2500. However, it's more than enough.
Oh, and thanks to the Silicium hairspring, this one is properly anti-magnetic.

In the Spirit, the case back's a closed one - while the L888.4 is a looker, I am glad they went with a tool watch aesthetic in giving this one a closed back:
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Let's get to the finishing... The crown here is just fuckin' gorgeous. Sandblasted background, makes the polished logo and Longines name stand out.
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This case is nothing short of an orgy of contrast finishing. From the top of the bezel to the case back: brushed, polished, brushed, polished, brushed... And the edges between each are razor sharp. Fuck you, Seiko, with your Sharp Edge and leftovers from someone's lunch. Now THIS is fucking sharp, watch and learn!
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The bracelet looks as if it was a 7-link design. That's also due to the uber-sharp contrast polishing there. It's a 3-link, if you have wondered, held together by cotter pins. A pity that the standard version doesn't feature the fold-over clasp that the bracelet in the Prestige version does. I mean...fuck the quick release system, but I could really use a normal fucking clasp.
Still, as far as butterfly clasps go, this one isn't bad. Doesn't mean it's good, but at least it doesn't open on its own.
Oh, and the endlinks sticking out well beyond the lugs add something like 4-5mm to the L2L, which already is over 49mm here without said endlinks. Because they curve down heavily, they're not an issue to me, they're not giving me any overhang effect.

The dial is a star of the show as much as the case. Absolutely fuckin' stellar. Literally, with the applied 5 stars, a nod to the 1960s-1970s "star rating" on Longines dials. As far as I know, the only 5-star models were from the Admiral collection.
Fuck, I wish I had a better camera. Perhaps you could then see the stepped structure of the dial a wee bit better than here:
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With the matte black finishing with applied steel features - the stars, the winged hourglass, the numerals and the edge between the two layers - this dial is just a fuckin' masterpiece.

While I don't like the low scratch resistance of the outer ARC - because this watch has ARC on both sides of the sapphire crystal - I sure like the effect it produces. The sandblasted hands also do a lot for legibility. Seems like a lot of manufacturers are guilty of using that solution these days - including IWC.

Speaking of legibility... Behold, the lume:
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Frankly... I just can't think of any other watch within the same price range that would be this good. Every comparable offering is more than double the price of the Spirit. And just one more shot to wrap it up:
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Mr. Bloke out.
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Re: Longines Spirit

Post by jason_recliner » October 14th 2021, 4:44pm

Wow.

One of the nicest watches styling around IMO and a great review. The case work is exemplary at any price point, amazing when you consider what these sell for. Very well done all round.

Congratulations!
Last edited by jason_recliner on October 14th 2021, 7:46pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Longines Spirit

Post by 3Flushes » October 15th 2021, 12:50am

Great take on a very cool watch. The dial work is indeed 'stellar'. Look forward to hearing what you think of their work on the movement.

Capital addition to a discerningly built collection.
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Re: Longines Spirit

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » October 18th 2021, 6:04pm

Thanks, folks!

As for the movement, roughly four days after I synchronized the seconds hand to my phone, it’s 8 seconds ahead. That suggests an average of +2 seconds per day, which is well within the COSC specs (-4 to +6) for it.
It also has the smoothest hand-winding action I’ve ever seen.
The rotor isn’t the most quiet when one gives the watch a slight shake, but it’s still more quiet than in a 2824.
In the setting position, it has a decent gap between the moment of starting to turn the crown to set the hands, and the hands starting to move. As it should be - when re-engaging the movement, this prevents from the minute hand changing its position.
I have seen the same movement - L888.4 - in a Record with a display back, and the finishing really is excellent. Less ornate than the Omega 2500, but waaaay above what you’d find on a Powermatic 80 in a comparably priced Rado. I’d rate it close to the non-co-axial 2892-based predecessor of the Omega 2500, the Omega 1120.
Obviously, can’t have a look at the movement in this one, although having seen the L888.4, I don’t need to.
I always hope for the best. Experience, unfortunately, has taught me to expect the worst.
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Re: Longines Spirit

Post by DoctorIvey » October 19th 2021, 8:49am

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:
October 18th 2021, 6:04pm
Thanks, folks!

As for the movement, roughly four days after I synchronized the seconds hand to my phone, it’s 8 seconds ahead. That suggests an average of +2 seconds per day, which is well within the COSC specs (-4 to +6) for it.
It also has the smoothest hand-winding action I’ve ever seen.
The rotor isn’t the most quiet when one gives the watch a slight shake, but it’s still more quiet than in a 2824.
In the setting position, it has a decent gap between the moment of starting to turn the crown to set the hands, and the hands starting to move. As it should be - when re-engaging the movement, this prevents from the minute hand changing its position.
I have seen the same movement - L888.4 - in a Record with a display back, and the finishing really is excellent. Less ornate than the Omega 2500, but waaaay above what you’d find on a Powermatic 80 in a comparably priced Rado. I’d rate it close to the non-co-axial 2892-based predecessor of the Omega 2500, the Omega 1120.
Obviously, can’t have a look at the movement in this one, although having seen the L888.4, I don’t need to.
Good info. BRW I am well ready for another installment of Musings of a Salesman.
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Re: Longines Spirit

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » October 19th 2021, 8:25pm

Alas, there won’t be another Musings of a Salesman, unless I get another job in retail. Unfortunately, at my still-current work, one person got promoted and her obnoxious behaviour became mobbing. For almost two months now, I am on sick leave - depression kicked in hard. I don’t think I will be going back there. I need a change of surroundings, and that includes the people I work with. That was also the reason I went so quiet everywhere except BDWF.
I always hope for the best. Experience, unfortunately, has taught me to expect the worst.
Elim Garak, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

No good deed ever goes unpunished.
Rule of Acquisition no.285
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Re: Longines Spirit

Post by jason_recliner » October 19th 2021, 8:27pm

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:
October 19th 2021, 8:25pm
Alas, there won’t be another Musings of a Salesman, unless I get another job in retail. Unfortunately, at my still-current work, one person got promoted and her obnoxious behaviour became mobbing. For almost two months now, I am on sick leave - depression kicked in hard. I don’t think I will be going back there. I need a change of surroundings, and that includes the people I work with. That was also the reason I went so quiet everywhere except BDWF.
Crap. That sucks mate, very sorry to hear. Take care of yourself. Jobs come and go, you'll move on to something better. You looking to get out of retail?
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Re: Longines Spirit

Post by smellody » October 19th 2021, 10:20pm

MKTheVintageBloke wrote:
October 19th 2021, 8:25pm
Alas, there won’t be another Musings of a Salesman, unless I get another job in retail. Unfortunately, at my still-current work, one person got promoted and her obnoxious behaviour became mobbing. For almost two months now, I am on sick leave - depression kicked in hard. I don’t think I will be going back there. I need a change of surroundings, and that includes the people I work with. That was also the reason I went so quiet everywhere except BDWF.
Sorry. That sucks. What industry are looking at?
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Re: Longines Spirit

Post by conjurer » October 19th 2021, 10:22pm

jason_recliner wrote:
October 19th 2021, 8:27pm
MKTheVintageBloke wrote:
October 19th 2021, 8:25pm
Alas, there won’t be another Musings of a Salesman, unless I get another job in retail. Unfortunately, at my still-current work, one person got promoted and her obnoxious behaviour became mobbing. For almost two months now, I am on sick leave - depression kicked in hard. I don’t think I will be going back there. I need a change of surroundings, and that includes the people I work with. That was also the reason I went so quiet everywhere except BDWF.
Crap. That sucks mate, very sorry to hear. Take care of yourself. Jobs come and go, you'll move on to something better. You looking to get out of retail?
Quite so. Sorry to hear, Mr. Bloke. Retail is hard enough; I have plenty of bullet-headed Russians coming into my store and breaking my balls, but to be so close to, well, fucking Russia, and having actual bullet-headed real Russians coming in must be truly terrible.

I wish you the best, Herr Bloke.
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Re: Longines Spirit

Post by MKTheVintageBloke » October 20th 2021, 6:46pm

Yeah, I guess I’m done with retail. While I’m working on starting a YouTube channel with vintage watch talk (and just general watch talk), I’m looking for some nice, quiet office work. Frankly, that’s what I need at this point - an uneventful day job and a side hustle of my own.
I always hope for the best. Experience, unfortunately, has taught me to expect the worst.
Elim Garak, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

No good deed ever goes unpunished.
Rule of Acquisition no.285
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