Longines CEO Matthias Breschan looks to a bold future founded on the legendary history of the manufacture.

Longines CEO, Matthias Breschan PHOTO COURTESY OF LONGINES
Longines CEO, Matthias Breschan

Watches International had the pleasure of speaking with Longines CEO Matthias Breschan about the current collection, his favorite timepiece, and the future of watchmaking.

The Longines Spirit Flyback Chronograph. PHOTO COURTESY OF LONGINES
The Longines Spirit Flyback Chronograph.

Watches International: The new releases for 2023, the Longines Pilot Majetek and the Longines Spirit Flyback, are super contemporary with smart touches of vintage. How does Longines honor the past while designing something modern for today?

Matthias Breschan: The Longines Pilot Majetek and the Longines Spirit Flyback have been a great success with watch enthusiasts around the world. Both models bear witness to Longines’ pioneering role in the development of tool watches. For example, not everyone knows that Longines was the first to develop the flyback movement in the 1920s to facilitate navigation in the air. Nor that the rotating bezel, a key feature of the Longines Pilot Majetek, was first designed for aviation and then used in diving watches and was also introduced by the brand in the 1920s. The purpose of those pieces is not to create exact copies but rather to pay tribute to some of the most emblematic patents and designs of the brand, enriched with modern, state-of-the-art technologies.


WI: What is your current personal favorite Longines watch, and why?

MB: Today, I like to wear the Longines Spirit Flyback model because of its daring style, its history (Longines was the first brand to introduce the flyback complication in the 1920s), but also because of my personal affinity for the world of aviation.

A vintage ad for Longines first waterproof chronograph. PHOTO COURTESY OF LONGINES
A vintage ad for Longines first waterproof chronograph.

WI: How does Longines attract a new generation to the concept of wearing watches?

MB: The idea of a watch as an object has changed profoundly. For the newer generations, it is seen as a symbol, an emotion, rather than a practical object. They are also looking for a durable and authentic timepiece that reflects their personal taste, style, and identity. In short, wearing a Longines Spirit Flyback does not make you a pilot, but it does convey a sporty and dynamic image, and the message is clear: My watch has a story to tell, just as I have something to tell you!

Versions of the Spirit Flyback with steel bracelet
Versions of the Spirit Flyback with steel bracelet and NATO strap options

WI: Where do you think the watch world is headed? Have any predictions for the future?

MB: In recent years we have seen a huge and growing demand for vintage watches. For these customers, the most important thing is that the relationship with heritage and history is authentic and that you do not just launch a product by inventing a story. The legitimacy of Longines is proof of this.

At the same time, people have discovered that watches are one of the most sustainable products there are. I mean, nobody buys a watch to throw it away aft er six or twelve months. You buy it for a lifetime, or even for the next generation, and there’s a good chance that the watch you buy today will outlive you and that new generations will enjoy wearing a wristwatch.

I think these two trends will continue and even increase in the coming years. And that can only be good news for a brand such as Longines!