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Par Alex Doak - 3 mn

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Time machine

The incredibly rich Longines archive means that annually we’re treated to a reissue of admirable fidelity. This year’s Heritage 1918 is one such success, inspired by the instruments of the era’s pioneering aviators.

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In May 1927, when American aviation pioneer Charles A Lindbergh set his double record, in the Spirit of St Louis – the first and longest nonstop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris, taking 33 hours and 30 minutes – Switzerland’s nonpareil horologer of the day, Longines, was there to time his exploit: at Long Island, New York, to see him off and at Le Bourget airfield, Paris, to record his arrival.

And this was just the start. By the early 1930s, with both aviation and Longines itself hitting their strides, Lindbergh and the watchmaker had collaborated on a revolutionary navigational instrument, which allowed aviators and navigators to calculate their longitude during long-distance flights. Used in conjunction with a sextant and a nautical almana...

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