The famous Longines Majetek watch, a cushion-shaped tool from the 1930s that once supported Czech pilots, has returned as the Swiss watchmaker’s first modern reissue of 2023. The Longines Pilot Majetek watch honours its predecessor with a fairly faithful design, recreating the matte black dial and fluted rotating bezel and pairing it with new proportions and an excellent chronometer certified movement.
A Brief History of the Longines Majetek Watch
During the early 1930’s, Longines was asked by the Czech military to create a durable, accurate and functional pilot’s watch for their military aviators. So in 1935, the Swiss watchmaker launched the original Longines Majetek, nicknamed as such after “Majetek Vojenské Správy” which translates to “Property of the Military” in Czech. The Czech Air Force utilised the design from the mid-1930’s through to the beginning of the World War II, enjoying its 40mm cushion-shaped case, black porcelain dial with easily legible white Arabic numerals and unique fluted rotating bezel with an internal marker. The bezel and marker turned in unison with the crystal, allowing pilots to make useful timing functions in the cockpit.
The original Longines Majetek watch was considered a large watch for its time at 40mm, but it was designed as such to fit the pocketwatch calibre 15-94 and to be easily manipulated while wearing thick pilot’s gloves. It’s popularity in the past is still reflected now, with original references sought after by collectors at a hefty price. Longines did appease said collectors back in 2014 with the release of the Longines Heritage 1935 watch which revived much of the aesthetic of the Majetek minus the rotating bezel and the inclusion of a date window. Now we have the new 2023 Longines Pilot Majetek watch which appears to repair those two oversights to create an even more faithful reinterpretation.
The new 2023 Longines Pilot Majetek Watch
Like so many vintage watch reinterpretations nowadays, the Longines Pilot Majetek watch is almost entirely faithful to the original other than its case size. While the original measured in at 40mm in diameter, the new reissue measures to 43mm wide and 13.25mm thick. There’s the same iconic cushion-shape for the stainless steel case and similar sloped lugs which together allow the wider diameter to sit surprisingly compact on the wrist. The case is brushed and polished and there’s two new crown guards for protection of the knurled crown at 3 o’clock. On the side of the case is a special plaque engraved with the year 1935 to celebrate the release of the original Longines Majetek. The case back is also screwed down and engraved with lettering to mark its chronometer certification, 100 metre water resistance and magnetic resistance.
One of the most defining features of the 1935 Longines Majetek watch was its fluted rotating bezel, something that was missed in the Longines Heritage 1935 watch from 2014. Thankfully, the new Longines Pilot Majetek watch includes one of the same with a bi-directional rotating bezel equipped with a unique internal pointer. The sapphire crystal glass is no longer joined together with these elements, instead a new smooth inner bezel ring sits in-between to guarantee the 100-metre water resistance. The glass is treated to several layers of anti-reflective coating for effortless legibility of the dial beneath.
The dial of the Longines Pilot Majetek watch is also relatively faithful to the original, sticking to the same grained matte black backdrop, large printed Arabic numerals, white railroad minutes track and sunken small seconds subsidiary dial at 6 o’clock. There’s also no date window in sight. The only real change to the dial can be spotted on the hour and minute hands, which on the original were in cathedral-style but now elect more contemporary sword-shaped profiles. All of the hardware, Arabic numerals and hands included, are coated in “old radium” Superluminova.
Of course the Longines Pilot Majetek watch isn’t going to host the same old-school pocketwatch movement as before and instead trumps its predecessor with a chronometer certified automatic winding movement. The L893.6 is an in-house developed movement based on the ETA A31.L91 with a silicon balance spring for magnetic resistance and a 72 hour power reserve. There’s also a frequency of 25,200vph and a total of 27 jewels. Completing the Longines Pilot Majetek watch is a choice of three straps: a NATO-style band crafted from recycled polyester fibre in military green, a dark brown leather strap or a dark green leather strap. You can order the watch on each of these straps separately or choose the Longines Pilot Majetek Box Edition which presents the watch in a special presentation box with both the brown leather band and NATO-style strap.
If you’d like to learn more about the Longines Pilot Majetek watch and shop the collection for yourself, head over to the Jura Watches website here. Alternatively, get in touch with the team by calling 01335 453453 or send us a message at email@example.com.
- Case Size: 43mm
- Case Material: Stainless steel
- Bezel: Fluted and rotating
- Glass: Sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment
- Crown: Screw in
- Case Back: Screwed and engraved
- Water Resistance: 100 metres
- Movement: Calibre L893.6 automatic winding, silicon hairspring
- COSC: Yes
- Functions: Hours, minutes and small seconds
- Power Reserve: 72 hours
- Jewels: 27
- Frequency: 25,200vph
- Dial: Matte black with “old radium” Superluminova numerals and hands
- Strap: NATO-style khaki, brown calfskin leather or green calfskin leather
- Limited: No
- RRP: Starts from £3,400