The new Longines Silver Arrow makes me think we’re due for a strong comeback of the functional steel dress watch. Clean-cut with a proportionate, 38.5mm case that invokes a ’50s Mad Men vibe, it feels fresh in our niche horological world, saturated as it is with vintage divers and sports-watch largesse. The Silver Arrow achieves this through minimalism flavoured with art deco cues and a formal language far removed from dreams of being a fighter pilot.
We have a case imbued with a calm elegance and a chocolate-brown leather strap nestling between slim lugs, giving the Silver Arrow a timeless appeal. The svelte nature of the polished lugs are accentuated by the craftsmanship of the bevelling, a slim angled facet creating movement where the case side sweeps under the smooth bezel, and a touch of reflection on the inner part of the lug.
And while I often celebrate the large sports watches and diver’s tools that inspire us to get the hell out of our comfortable office chairs, there is a time for everything. Maybe this is the time to ditch the tracksuit, dress up and enjoy a slender cased classic under the crisp cuff of a freshly ironed shirt? And why not, with so many of us still confined to our homes. It’s about appreciating the good things in life, rather than frustrating yourself by yet again having your overseas flight cancelled the day before.
As in many pieces of the Heritage collection, Longines picks a decade where men’s watches were all about quiet elegance and pure time telling, an era when you suited up every day. True to its ’50s inspiration with a delicate balance of circular mid-case, sloping bezel and a slim formality, the case for elegant functionality is clear within the silk-like slightly domed dial
While quite minimal at first glance, the dial is the architectural star of this circular formality, bearing Longines’ perhaps most evocative model name. Your mind conjures up sleek aeronautical design and streamlining, underlined by the dynamic script at 6 o’clock. Polished, minimally lume-striped dauphine hands do their job, while the textured silver white dial is framed by a detailed, recessed minute track and those indices.
As clear favourites of mine on this silver stage, they take the form of miniature pieces of architecture, resembling delicately faceted edifices on a mid-century penthouse apartment, or art deco jewellery. In daylight they have superb light reflective qualities, while for evening legibility, there is a sliver of lume outside each indice, further enhancing what is, in fact, intricately detailed dial art. The vibe of formal elegance is strong enough for changing out of your t-shirt before wearing the Silver Arrow, and that’s a good thing.
Behind an evocative caseback lies the tried and tested Longines in-house L888.5 calibre, an automatic movement with the benefits of a silicon balance spring and a long 72-hour power reserve. So while you can enjoy a full weekend of sports or exploration if you must, The Silver Arrow will still be ticking while you’re dressing up for the home office on Monday. And maybe that extra effort will change an otherwise same-same Monday for the better, just don’t binge watch Mad Men and get inspired to have a stiff drink in the office before that Zoom meeting, just don’t.
The Longines Silver Arrow, price and availability:
The Longines Silver Arrow is AUD$3050 on a leather strap. For more details, visit Longines right here.
Made in partnership with Longines. However, the opinions expressed in this article are our own in accordance with our Editorial Policy.