Back in the 1920s, Swiss watch manufacture Longines created its first pilot’s watch with a rotating bezel. Then, in the early 1930s, the watchmaker went on to develop a wristwatch with a rotating bezel featuring a luminous index at 12 o’clock. Among other things, pilots principally used this design to calculate flight time. Five years later, Longines received an order from the Czechoslovak Air Force to produce pilot watches equipped with a rotating bezel and luminous index. These watches, which were available in a military and a commercial version, featured the inscription ‘Majetek Vojenske Spravy’ (‘Property of the Military Administration’) on the caseback. The same year as the order was received, Longines patented the pilot’s watch (Ref. 3582) with the rotating bezel in Bern. The Longines Pilot Majetek now being introduced by the brand meets modern-day requirements and features many of the same qualities.
The case of Pilot Majetek
The new Longines Pilot Majetek features a cushion-shaped stainless-steel case with a fluted bidirectional rotating bezel. Meanwhile, the side of the case integrates a commemorative plate reading ’1935’ in honour of the original patent from April 1, 1935. In addition, the plaque conceals the patented ‘Starting Time Indicator’ gear mechanism for the bezel and triangular marker, while still guaranteeing water resistance up to 100 m. Unlike the original, however, Longines’ watchmakers do not interconnect the bezel, sapphire crystal and luminous marker into a single unit.
The new design integrates a fixed sapphire crystal over the dial, while the overall case height is 13.25 mm. Although the watch is based on the original design, it has been aesthetically and technically revised. Thus, not only has the case size been increased from 40 mm to 43 mm, but the design and ergonomics have also been adjusted. The cushion-shaped case has been curved, while the lugs have been rounded.
The dial of the Pilot Majetek
In line with classic pilot watches, the new Longines Pilot Majetek showcases a matte black dial. The dial features Arabic numerals coated with ‘Old-Radium’ Super-LumiNova. This luminous coating on the faux vintage numerals glows green at night. Meanwhile, the silver baton hands with rhodium-plated tips and a luminescent coating guarantee round the clock legibility. The oversized small seconds at 6 o’clock, together with the fluted bezel, echo the original character of this pilot’s watch while still keeping things functional. There is no date display on the simplistic dial with railroad minute track, so the time indications are limited to hours, minutes and seconds.
The Movement of the Pilot Majetek
Powering the new Longines Pilot Majetek is the calibre L893.6, a manufacture movement equipped with a magnet-resistant silicon hairspring. This hairspring allows the self-winding timepiece to withstand a magnetic field of up to 600 gauss. In addition, the calibre has a power reserve of 72 hours and beats at a frequency of 3.5 hertz. The watch is also COSC certified.
Price and Availability
Last but not least, the unlimited Longines Pilot Majetek comes with either a green or brown leather strap with cream stitching. Alternatively, owners of the watch can opt for a khaki green NATO strap made of synthetic fibres using recycled materials. The watch is available for 3,950 euros or optionally as a ’Box Edition’ equipped with an extra strap and strap changing tool for 4,050 euros.
|Diameter: 43 mm
|100 m (~10 bar)
|Green calfskin strap, brown cowhide strap or Green synthetic bracelet
|3,5 Hz (25,200 vph)
|Hours, minutes, seconds