The American aviation pioneer Charles A. Lindbergh, who in 1927 had been the first to cross the Atlantic from New York to Paris with a single-engine airplane (“Spirit of St. Louis”), because of his experience with the problem of rapid position detection consulted the watch company Longines at the development of a special watch, by which the determination of the longitude could be made possible easily and quickly. This watch is also known as the „Hour angle watch“ because the most important part in determining the longitude, the hour angle from Greenwich, can be directly read from the watch. In August 1931 this watch was launched under the name “Lindbergh” simultaneously in Europe and overseas.
The brilliant design idea, how one could quickly synchronize the watch with the time signal on the radio by a central, rotating auxiliary dial, incidentally came, not by Lindbergh, but from the American commander and navigation instructor Philip van Horn Weems, after whose patent Longines had alread produced an appropriate watch in 1927. (See Longines Weems).
1987, after Longines was acquired by the SMH Group, after a gap of several decades, again a collection of the hour angle watch was released to celebrate the 60th anniverary of Lindbergh's landing at Le Bourget. The watch was much smaller than the original, but provided with a mineral glass back that allowed a good view of the movement. Even a chronograph variant was presented the Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle Chronograph. Since then the watch, now equipped with a movement by ETA, counts to the vital classics in the model range of the brand.
Due to the great interest in the original model, Longines in 1990 also published a limited re-edition of the original, which again had the same over-sized case format of Ø 47.5 mm.