Longines first created the Type A-7 in 1935 for pilots in the US Army who wanted a watch that would be quick to read when a split second could be the difference between life and death.
The challenge was to make a watch that could be read easily by a pilot with his hands on the plane’s control yoke, and Longines’ solution was to rotate the entire watch dial 40 degrees clockwise.
Its oversized crown was relocated to 12 o’clock, making it possible to start and stop the watch’s chronograph, even while wearing gloves.
The twist has survived to the current day, including a reissue with a white lacquered dial in 2016, and is getting another turn this year with the launch of a tribute to the 1930s original, the Avigation Watch Type A-7 1935.
Today’s Avigation model has a 41mm stainless steel case housing an L788.2 column-wheel chronograph movement exclusively developed for Longines.
Its matt black dial has large Arabic numerals and oversized hands with Superluminova.
It is worn on a brown leather strap.