The New Longines Silver Arrow
Another solid offer in the brand's Heritage collection, bringing back a 1950s design.
With a continuous production of almost 200 years (founded 1832), Longines is one of the Swiss watch brands with the richest history. No wonder by its Heritage collection is filled with some of the coolest vintage-inspired watches currently on the market. The brand is a specialist of the genre, bringing retro-styled watches with modern features and mechanics. Today, the brand revives (again) one of its signature 1950s futuristic designs, a watch that was built when race cars and supersonic aeroplanes appealed to the imagination. Here’s the 2021 edition of the Longines Silver Arrow.
The story of the Longines Silver Arrow goes back to 1955 when the brand held an in-house contest to find the name for a new timepiece with an avant-garde design. A name emerged that was based on one of the 450 proposals: Silver Arrow – a reference to the famous German sports cars that dominated the racing circuits of the era. The first Silver Arrow was released by Longines in 1956. Back then, each of the brand’s collections bore an emblem. And this futuristic model was no exception to the rule.
To symbolize its connection between racing circuits and celestial paths, the caseback of the Silver Arrow was decorated with a supersonic plane flying through the stars. While being a simple time-only watch, the dial was adorned with contemporary elements, such as the sharp sword-shaped hands and the cool texture of its striated indexes. It isn’t the first time that Longines brings back the Silver Arrow concept, as in 2009, the brand already launched a watch inspired by this 1955 model – back then with a two-tone dial and a date window, but without the emblematic applied indexes.
Today, as part of the 2021 collection, the Longines Silver Arrow, with its distinctive sporty elegance and its retro-futuristic silhouette, makes a comeback, with the brand’s traditional Heritage strategy; faithful design, updated proportions and modern watchmaking.
For its newest Heritage model, Longines relies on an enlarged case, which now measures 38.50mm (to be compared to the approx. 35mm of the original 1950s model). Traditionally for the brand, the design retains most of the distinctive elements of the original watch, which includes here the smooth stainless steel bezel and the angled lugs, with bevels on the external side but also on the inner face. Modernized, yet compact, the new Silver Arrow thus continues the strategy seen with the Tuxedo or the Sector Dial models. Classic style, enlarged but still compact proportions. The height of the case isn’t yet specified by should be around 10mm.
The rest of the specifications are pretty classic, with a mix of modern elements and vintage inspirations. The watch is thus protected by a box sapphire crystal, which mimics the look of a vintage plexiglas. Water-resistance is 30m, which makes this model more of a dressy/casual option than a sports watch. It is worn on a 19mm matte brown leather strap with minimalistic look, closed by a steel pin buckle.
The caseback of the Longines Silver Arrow, faithful to the original 1950s version, is decorated with an engraved “Silver Arrow” emblem, once again a supersonic plane flying through the stars.
Recent Heritage models by Longines have shown great attention to details on their dials, both in terms of execution and styling. This is once again true for the Silver Arrow, with its domed dial finished with an elegant, slightly metallic silver opaline finish. Also, the chapter ring is circled by a polished metallic element and discreet inclusions of Super-LumiNova provide nighttime legibility. A cool feature, the emblematic indexes with a striated texture of the earliest Silver Arrow watches are back, here paired with luminous sword-shaped hands. The winged hourglass logo is applied and the stylized name of the watch is printed at 6 o’clock. And vintage enthusiasts will certainly appreciate the absence of a date display and of the “automatic” or “selfwinding” mentions.
Inside the case, the new Longines Silver Arrow doesn’t look at the past and features the brand’s proprietary calibre L888.5. This automatic movement, based on an ETA 2892 ébauche, brings multiple improvements. The power reserve, for instance, is now 72 hours. Also, it is equipped with a silicon balance-spring to ensure high-precision accuracy and enhanced resistance to magnetic fields. Finally, it has been developed to be reliable, proven by the 5-year warranty delivered with the watch.
Availability & Price
The 2021 Longines Silver Arrow (ref. L2.8184.108.40.206) is released as part of the permanent collection and will be priced at USD 2,100. It should be available from the brand’s online boutique and retailers later this month. More details at www.longines.com.
It’s real pretty but personally I would have preferred a classic size.
Thankfully it’s not 40.5 mm with an horribly placed date window (Longines Spirit anyone?)
Virtually no water resistance. For that price I`d rather have a Rado Red Horse/Cook…
Nice looking watch, for $2000 on a leather strap you have to really love the look because there are countless cheaper alternatives offering more
The constant recycling of “vintage” models is getting a bit boring.
These models were once taken out of production for a reason!
Bringing these back with bigger cases and new movements is neither creative nor appealing.
It is not just Longines, it’s a broader trend in the watch industry.
Give the design departments a bit more freedom to create exiting new designs.
2mm too large. The price is silly. Charging prices like their is a line out the door and their is no supply is just wishful thinking. If I charged my fantasy price to my customers ….I would also have to fantasies some customers that would pay it. The Swiss have not just lost their minds but my business.
So close and would be a nice supplement to my Omega AT in blue… Really good looking and what a nice color, the right movement and a fair price… but please give us 100m water resistance and screw down crown, even for dress watches please… I really want to add a Longines dress watch.
I’m surprised at all the criticism of this watch from people who want it half the price, half the size, and the WR of a dive watch when it’s clearly not a sport piece. Sub 39mm no date window solid non-base level movement with silicone and a very competitive power reserve, classic look made for business casual, from a (semi) blue chip marque for “$2,000” aka ask and ye shall receive at least 15% off (push and you might get 20) at the AD cause its a swatch product, good grief what more do you people want?? No, everything can’t be a steel bracelet 100m sport piece, and sorry but no one buys 36mm men’s watches anymore. I know it’s frustrating, I like smaller sizes too, but these days 38.5 is a win. If it’s not for you than it’s not for you but frankly, they got so much right on this one, it’s just about beyond reproach.