We can all get caught up in the latest news about Nautilus or the next unobtainable Rolex. But for the majority of watch buyers, the most important timepieces are those that are accessibly priced and offer a ton of value. One brand that constantly delivers in this regard is Longines, a manufacture of longstanding heritage that provides quality Swiss watches with competitive specifications and pricing. The most recent entry into their catalogue is the new Longines Silver Arrow, a watch that at $3050 AUD offers a level of quality usually found at a much higher price point.
The watch is a modern revival of the Silver Arrow originally released in 1956 by Longines. The name stemmed from a contest within the company to name the watch, and among 450 proposals “Silver Arrow” was the winning moniker with the name deriving from the dominant German racing cars of the era.
The case diameter has been increased from approximately 35mm to 38.5mm to cater to modern sizing tastes, but in terms of it shape and form the Longines Silver Arrow faithfully echoes the original design. The real difference to the case is its 3mm increase in width, which has resulted in slightly more dramatic curves as you follow the lines of the watch from the middle caseband to the the twisted bevelled lugs. The angled lugs have a nice taper and the polished bevel really ties the watch into its vintage theme. To maintain the retro feel of the watch, Longines has outfitted it with a boxed sapphire crystal to provide modern robustness while also simulating the acrylic crystals of the past. As a dressier style watch, it also has a water resistance of 30 metres – a fair level given this watch design is hardly what comes to mind when you think of watersports.
The dial is also remarkably close to the original and really takes us back to a more elegant era – a time where people still wore formal attire when boarding a plane. If Don Draper visited the race track, I could see this getting time on his wrist. The applied indices maintain the ridged texture of the original with luminous rectangular pips behind each index. The spear-like shape of the hands also remains, with a luminous slit in the centre for added legibility. It also retains the signature “Silver Arrow” dial text in script above the 6′ index. Where it differs from the original is that the outer ring of the minute hashes is framed, at its base, with a silver ring that runs around the dial. That being said, it is a nice addition – introducing a little more light play to the dial.
The watch is paired with a 19mm wide brown leather strap that pairs well with the watch and its design. Assuming you can find straps in 19mm widths, there would definitely be a lot of leather straps that would compliment the watch due to the neutral tone of the opaline dial. The caseback is engraved with a supersonic plane and surrounding stars as it climbs the atmosphere. Beneath it is a caliber that is anything but vintage. The manufacture caliber L888.5 is the brand’s proprietary configuration based on the well-known ETA 2892. It builds upon the 2892 with a host of new features, including a silicon hairspring for anti-magnetism and an extended 72-hour power reserve (thanks, in part, to its slower beat rate of 25,200 vph).
Longines Silver Arrow pricing and availability:
The Longines Silver Arrow is $3050AUD and will be available later this month via Longines Authorised Dealers and the Longines website.