Just like that, we’ve leaped headlong into the new release season, as some of the big watch brands have begun to tease and present new models that are either ready to go, or will be in the near future. Longines is out of the gate with a new watch inspired by classic mid-century designs – nothing new for them. The new Silver Arrow, while it might not look it to modern eyes, is deeply rooted in automotive design of the 1950s, and has the aerodynamic but understated case lines that were a hallmark of the era.
The original Silver Arrow was released in 1956, following a contest held within Longines to name their new watch with a car inspired, avant-garde design. Silver Arrow was the winner, chosen for its link to the burgeoning car culture, specifically with respect to racing. The design of the watch, specifically the gentle curves, are easily linked to car design of the day, and give the whole package a sleek feel that would have felt almost futuristic in the late 50s. The emblem chosen to mark the original Silver Arrow line was a supersonic plane flying through a starry sky (seen on the caseback of this new release). You can plainly see the connection Longines was trying to draw between speed, technological advancement, and the individuals on the frontline of the aeronautical engineering world. This was very much a product from the dawn of the Space Age.
The new Silver Arrow seen here, transposed to the 50s, can easily be imagined on the wrist of a NASA engineer or a weekend racer, and for a watch buyer in 2021 it’s simply a handsome everyday watch with some real ties to the brand’s long history. The steel case measures 38.5mm in diameter, which should be a comfortable size for almost anyone and feels perfectly appropriate for a modern watch based on a 50s design. The silver opaline dial features rectangular, striated hour markers, which you’ll also find on the original version of the watch, and many other watches from the era (but not unfortunately not many from this one). There’s no date, which should keep purists happy, and like the Heritage Military Marine Nationale released last year, they’ve also left off any indication that an automatic movement beats away inside.
That movement, however, is indeed automatic, and a welcome modern technological touch to a watch that’s otherwise firmly planted in another time period entirely. Caliber L888.5 is built by ETA exclusively for Longines, and based on their A31.L11 caliber. It has a practical 72 hours of power reserve, and utilizes a silicon balance spring.
The new Longines Silver Arrow retails for $2,100, and is available to order right now from Longines. Longines