Introducing the new Longines Silver Arrow watch
Thursday - 13 May 2021
A compact and minimalist watch that honours an original 1965 model – the new Longines Silver Arrow watch connects the brand’s links to aerodynamics and a special 1950s sports car.
Take note - in 1955 something very special happened at Longines. 450 proposals were made for a suggested name for one of the Saint Imier-based brand’s new avant-garde designs. Only one name could be chosen. It was the Silver Arrow. The name was made in reference to one of Germany’s most successful sports cars. The Mercedes-Benz Silberpfeil (AKA Silver Arrows) dominated the Formula 1 and sports car circuits, driven by pioneers like Juan Manuel Fangio and Sir Stirling Moss. The Longines Silver Arrow watch was released in 1965 and the rest is history. Well… not entirely, since Longines is still writing the history of its Silver Arrow watch legacy.
Any racing car enthusiast who has followed the sport, both past and present, will already be aware of one of the most tragic events in the entire history of motorsport racing, which goes some way to explaining why the Longines Silver Arrow watch lay in slumber for many years. The watch almost disappeared off the radar completely after the tragedy that occurred during the 24 Hours of Le Mans 1965 event. Mercedes-Benz driver, Pierre Levegh, swerved to avoid colliding with Austin Healey but instead hit him, sending Levagh into the grandstands where between 80 and 84 spectators were killed on impact. After Mercedes-Benz instantly withdrew from the race out of respect, as did its factory racing production, so did the development of any future Longines Silver Arrow watches. That was until 2009 when the Swiss watchmaker released a vintage-inspired model based on the design of the original Silver Arrow watch. Now - the year 2021 marks another iteration, with a design remarkably close to its 1965 ancestor.
Aerodynamic and automotive roots…
The first 1965 Longines Silver Arrow watch connected the famous watchmaker to the world of racing and the brand’s celestial roots. Its caseback was adorned with a supersonic plane – its dial fitted with sword-shaped hands and contemporary-style hour batons. Similarly, the 2009 iteration was equally as refined but featured a two-tone dial and striated indexes instead. Where the Longines Silver Arrow watch is concerned, its charm and dashing good looks certainly get better with age. Most importantly, it celebrates the most distinctive element of the original model – its 1950’s indexes. The gentle curves of its case are also true to the original, mirroring the profile of the racing car from which it takes inspiration from.
The new Longines Silver Arrow 2021 watch
Transporting the wearer back to the 1950s, the new Longines Silver Arrow watch for 2021 is appropriately sized for the modern gent’s wrist. Its handsome case is beautifully proportioned, measuring a 38.5mm diameter on the wrist. It also sits slim on the wrist thanks to its 10mm depth. Larger than the original but pleasingly compact, the watch can be enjoyed as an everyday timekeeper or a companion for the office thanks to its legible tapering hands and its distinct rectangular-shaped hour markers that catch and reflect the light. Despite the unimposing size of the Longines Silver Arrow 2021 watch, it certainly doesn’t lack presence. With its bezel sitting low on the case and a domed caseback and crown, it suffices as a dressy watch but remains understated enough for the simple tracking of the passing hours of each day.
The back of the 300-meter water-resistant case is once again adorned with a supersonic plane flying through the stars. It also features a thick polished bezel and angular lugs that remain faithful to the 1965 Silver Arrow watch. The dial is a classic silver-white colour with a very discreet grained texture that looks remarkably simple on first impressions. Under the boxed anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass lens, however, there are pockets of light that create metallic reflections worth admiring in the design of the dial. The Longines lettering and brand logo at 12 o’clock are balanced by the “Silver Arrow” name in a historical font. A slim line of Super-LumiNova is inserted into the faceted dauphine minute and hour hands. In addition to this, slim five-minute increments are also luminous.
Multiple improvements are brought to the Longines Silver Arrow watch in the form of the brand’s proprietary L888.5 Calibre, which provides an impressive 72-hour power reserve. Based on the ebauche ETA 2892, its high precision accuracy is courtesy of an anti-magnetic silicon balance spring and is backed by a five-year warranty. The Longines Silver Arrow is worn on a matte brown calfskin leather strap that closes with a stainless steel pin buckle to match the case material.
Technical specifications of the new Longines Silver Arrow 2021 watch
- Case: 38.5mm – stainless steel – 30-meter water resistance – box sapphire crystal glass and anti-reflective treatment – screwed stainless steel caseback engraved with a supersonic plane – polished finishing – angular lugs
- Dial: White-silver grain textured dial – faceted dauphine central hands with Super-LumiNova – 5 five-minute increments with Super-LumiNova – polished rectangular baton indexes - hour, minutes, second hand – Longines lettering and logo at 12 o’clock – “Silver Arrow” in historical typography
- Movement: Longines L888.5 Calibre – self-winding automatic – 28,800 v.p.h – 72-hour power reserve - based on the ETA 2892 – silicone balance spring
- Strap: Matte brown calfskin leather – stainless steel pin buckle
- Price: £1,650
- Reference: L2.822.214.171.124