Longines: Bright And Bold

by Jamie Tan

A palette of summer-ready hues takes over the Longines DolceVita and La Grande Classique de Longines lines.

Longines’ line-up today encompasses a startlingly wide range of timepieces, with each collection being a world unto itself. Vintage-inspired timepieces like the Heritage Classic, which traces its origins to the interbellum, hark back to eras long past, while modern ones such as the Hydroconquest offer watchmaking at its most contemporary. These varied creations don’t just reflect the brand’s long history, but also the changing zeitgeist with the passage of time.

Along the way, some Longines timepieces have established themselves as classics. Far from resting on its laurels, however, the brand has continually iterated on them, and explored various stylistic and technical ideas with these watches. The latest releases from Longines sees the manufacture giving two of its iconic models a monochromatic makeover to, quite literally, cast them in an entirely different light.

Colour Theory

The monochromatic treatment has been applied to the DolceVita and La Grande Classique de Longines lines, with a palette of vibrant hues making the new references perfect for the coming summer. These two models will each be available in five different colourways. The lustrous carmine red comes with just a touch of blue in its mix to offer a richer, more sophisticated variation of the perennially popular red colour. In the same vein, spring green here is a rich, organic tone that differentiates itself from the myriad shades of green that have sprung up in the world of watches over the past two years. Meanwhile, burnt orange presents timeless warmth and familiarity, even as cobalt blue alludes to quiet and introspection with a touch of relaxed cool. Finally, for connoisseurs who prefer something eminently versatile, there’s always classic black at its deepest and most mysterious.

To achieve the monochromatic look while rendering these colours with the necessary depth and richness, Longines started with the watch dials, which are lacquered and polished. Doing so gives each respective dial its appropriate hue and saturation, while also creating a surface that plays with the light for added visual interest. The coloured dials are, in turn, paired with matching straps. For the DolceVita, tone-on-tone stitching maintains the overall visual harmony. Similarly, the La Grande Classique de Longines uses a stitchless construction for its straps to create the same effect.

Two Sides of a Coin

Deciding on a timepiece here takes more than just choosing a colour though – one must also pick the model that it’s executed in, after all. On that note, Longines is offering two contrasting takes, with the DolceVita being the more contemporary option. Introduced in 1997, the DolceVita’s design was inspired by a 1920s watch created at the height of the Art Deco movement, which explains its stylistic roots. The collection’s revamp in 2015, however, saw its lines being curved, softened, and flared. This tempered its overt architectural influences for an updated silhouette that exudes modern elegance – which the DolceVita continues to embody today. Sizes comfortably at 23.3mm by 37mm, the DolceVita’s monochromatic references are simple yet bold statements on the wrist.

The La Grande Classique de Longines, on the other hand, speaks a more traditional design language with its round case. First unveiled in 1992, the collection quickly established itself as the ultra-thin watch in Longines’ line-up. Part of its appeal stemmed from its slim profile. The watch’s system of attaching the lugs to the case back instead of the case middle was also unique, as it “floated” the timepiece above its strap/bracelet. In the monochromatic references, this delicate design is further accentuated by the diamond-set bezels that lend a touch of luxury and scintillating contrast, for an overall effect of timeless elegance.

The new monochromatic timepieces from Longines may seem fairly straightforward at first sight, but their simplicity belies the work behind their creation.

These aren’t merely palette updates to existing watches, but an exercise in stripping away the superfluous details from beloved classics to offer them in their purest forms – with a dash of colour for good measure.

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