My alternative for the highest beneath the radar launch of 2021 might doubtlessly meet the required standards for such a designation in a number of other ways. The Longines Spirit assortment as an entire flies a bit beneath the radar for causes I’ll theorize about in a second, however the brand new titanium entrant into the collection which was launched in September is especially stealthy not simply in the way it appears to be like, however in the way it was acquired. Right here we now have a light-weight, pilot’s type watch that doesn’t commerce too closely in hitting you over the top with classic cues, in a no-date execution, with a chronometer spec motion and a price ticket properly beneath $3,000, all from a model with a ton of official heritage that’s just about assured to be round for the lengthy haul. It’s the type of watch that appears to verify each field for the presumably hypothetical watch purchaser searching for one thing that may confidently be worn day in and time out in an infinite number of conditions. However because the group strikes from one hype watch to the subsequent, the Spirit recedes farther from the dialog, if it was ever actually in it to start with.
It’s curious to me why this occurs, as a result of Longines just isn’t an beneath the radar model. They’re an enormous identify, a part of the Swatch group, and have the flexibility to launch a watch that dominates the watch world dialog for a time frame (their collaboration with Hodinkee final 12 months is an efficient instance). However identical to Tudor can’t get out from beneath the Black Bay, and Zenith appears to be eternally held at gunpoint by the El Primero, Longines has actually turn into a model that does considerate, correct, and extremely properly made classic reissues, and seemingly nothing else. Really, they’ve one of the best eye within the recreation in the case of raiding their very own archives, and the watches that come out the opposite finish are at all times spot on. However we not often discuss in regards to the HydroConquest, their fashionable diver, and the Spirit assortment, which was a daring play for the model when it was unveiled as a brand new product line in 2020, doesn’t appear to have caught on with the fanatic group.