There’s a new Tank in town: The Longines DolceVita adds sector dials to its rangeSean Roberts
Earlier this year, Longines added two new Art Deco sector dialled automatic watches to their DolceVita Collection. The collection is the brand’s answer to a classically styled Tank-shaped watch. These new iterations translated the design of their Heritage Classic Sector Dial into the more dressy confines of a DolceVita. As the watches have started to hit boutiques and authorized dealers, I decided to take closer look at what Longines is offering here.
After a few calls, I tracked down the new references to the Westfield World Trade Center Mall in New York City. Within its confines exists the Longines Boutique, which currently is the only location in the city that had the four references I was interested in viewing. Once inside, I got to spend a few minutes with each, trying to get a better sense of wearability and sizing.
First came the smaller version. L5.722.214.171.124 on a black leather strap and L5.7126.96.36.199 on a bracelet. Coming in at a width of 27.7 mm and a lug-to-lug of 43.8 mm, I immediately realised the the watch wears closer to a long rectangle than a tank. Furthermore, when viewed from its side, you can see a continuous curve from the tip of one lug over a beautifully curved sapphire crystal to the tip of the other lug. When you take this shape into account, I completely understood how the watch could be listed at a thickness of 10.1mm. The high polished case continues the curvy theme as I couldn’t find any sharply finished edges. This adds a softness to the case that really comes across in hand.
The larger versions, L5.7188.8.131.52 on strap and L5.7184.108.40.206 on bracelet, come in at 28.2 mm by 47 mm. The thickness gets bumped up to 10.3 mm and the lug width increases from 19 to 21 mm. The same design elements exist here yet the difference in size is noticeable.
From the case, I went straight to the main attraction; the dial. Here Longines gives us a sector dial, something we have rarely seen on modern rectangular watch releases. The sector dial here is represented by the connecting lines flowing from the center of the dial as hour markers and ending as five minute markers on the minute track.
Longines also uses multiple finishes on the dial. A cream colour for the centre and edges with brushed steel surfaces sandwiched between. This is a long way away from the Roman numerals normally seen in the DolceVita collection. In person, these design choices give the watch a sporty and more everyday look, even when you take into account the dressier blued hands.
On all versions, the date is located above the six. Here, there is a design element that can immediately tell whether you are holding the smaller or larger sized version. If there is a small vertical line directly below the date window, that is the larger version. If not, you’re dealing with the smaller reference.
As for the movement inside, the same is used in all the references mentioned. The Longines Calibre L592. Listed as providing a 45 hour power reserve and beating at 28,800 bph, the movement is commonly used by Longines. Here, the level of finishing is unknown as the watch comes with a solid caseback.
The bracelet here is also the same, as both it and the case have been used before on past DolceVita models. Five links across, highly polished, with a butterfly clasp that closes securely; alleviating any worries one might have of it randomly opening while on the wrist. The bracelets taper from 19 mm to 16 mm and from 21 mm to 18 mm.
Before my visit came to an end, I tried all four references on. They wore a bit large on my 7.5 inch wrist, less so on the smaller version. This was a reminder that dimensions that may seem small when thought in terms of a round watch appear larger with a rectangular shape. However, when you take into account the rectangular shaped watch offerings out there, the sizes here are actually on par or smaller.
Overall, this watch is a welcomed addition to the DolceVita line. It presents an aesthetic that I hope Longines continues and could even bring down to their smaller quartz cases. The sector dial is something this author has been waiting quite some time for in a watch like this. In a sea of Roman numerals and guilloche, it’s nice to have another option and one that I no longer have to go vintage to enjoy.
Longines DolceVita pricing & availability:
The Longines DolceVita collection is available here for purchase. Price: $2,400 AUD