The Replica Longines UK Avigation Oversize Crown, launched last year, is modeled on a Longines pilots’ watch from the 1920s. Its most salient feature is, as its name suggests, its crown, which is prominent not just because it’s huge but because it protrudes very far from the case. In the chronograph version of the watch, the one we tested, a chronograph button is integrated into the crown. The watch is a monopoussoir: the same button is used to start, stop and reset the chronograph.
Thanks at least in part to the column wheel, the chronograph is easy to operate: little pressure is needed to trigger the start, stop and reset functions. The column wheel is invisible, though, because the watch has a steel caseback, which is pressure-fit rather than screwed in place. It is rather unexcitingly engraved with the model’s long name, “The Longines Replica Watches UK Avigation Oversize Crown Single Push-Piece Chronograph,” and with its serial production number. Historically, pilots’ watches from Longines and other brands had opaque metal backs with nothing on them but engraved lettering; this watch is upholding that tradition. Purists will laud that fact but movement voyeurs will lament it.
We have a few caveats for a potential buyer, though. First, he should know that the lone button in the crown won’t allow him to restart the chronograph from its stopped position: pushing the button triggers the chronograph’s three functions (start, stop and return to zero) in unchangeable COPY WATCHES succession. Second, the bezel’s bearing is not firm – in fact, the slightest touch will move it, so the wearer should definitely not rely on it for timing intervals, and instead use the chronograph.