The hourglass is a reminder of early timekeeping and just how long humans have been using tools to monitor the passing of time. But the slower means of observing time and the passing of the seasons are rare now. Instead, we are geared to monitor every heartbeat and nanosecond of our manic contemporary lives. The huge interest in mechanical and vintage watches, particularly among younger collectors, is a trend largely started in reaction to this.
The winged hourglass logo of Longines will no doubt be familiar, with the company being the headline sponsor of the French Open, as well as the official timekeeper for numerous equestrian and horse racing events, where perfect timing counts just as much as the synergy between rider and horse.
Their collections offer some pretty decent value across the board as an accessible luxury brand. Backed by their history and some significant pieces, such as the Lindbergh Hour Angle pilot’s watch and Nonius Flyback Chronograph, not to mention the legendary 13ZN chronograph movement, the company was among the leaders of the trend of bringing vintage-inspired sports timepieces to market. Among the Heritage collection are the gorgeous Legend Diver pieces first revealed in 2007, the 2017 GPHG “Revival” prize-winning Avigation BigEye, the 1945 re-issue of the Lindbergh Hour Angle and, most recently, the elegant 38.5mm Heritage Classic with its graphic sector dial.
Much like the rules and dress codes of “classic” sporting events, Longines is known for the timeless elegance of its designs. The pieces in its Elegance collection are the embodiment of the company’s motto that “elegance is an attitude”, not only in dress but in your behaviour.
The recent additions to its Elegance DolceVita range, first launched in 1997, are perfectly timed for the summer holidays. Inspired by a model from the 1920s and “the Italian sweet life”, the time-only range, with its characteristic rectangular case, is joined by new dials, interchangeable colour straps and an “XL” model for men with a date window.
Two new white dial models come in options with extended hour markers or a combination of hour-markers and Arabic numerals. Seasonal gatherings or quiet evening strolls on the promenade are complemented by the blue starry night dial and matching leather strap.
For a change of mood, wardrobe or attitude, personalisation is an important aspect of the new offering with the introduction of a range of easily interchangeable straps and a metal bracelet. Spice things up with eight new colours, including bright yellow, radiant coral and fresh lime green.
Smaller references L5.255 and L5.512, with stainless steel case sizes 20.8 x 32mm and 23.3 x 37mm, respectively, feature ETA quartz movements and are priced at R16,900.
The larger 28.2 x 47mm reference L5.767, with its silver “flinque” dial and painted Roman numerals, features the Calibre L592 automatic mechanical movement, and is presented on a blue alligator strap or stainless steel bracelet. Priced at R21,200.
• For more information visit Longines website or call the Swatch Group for stockists on (011) 911-1200.