LONGINES ON TRACK

GQ (Australia) - - TASTE & TRAVEL -

THE BRAND

With solid Swiss cre­den­tials stretch­ing back to 1832, Longines has moved on from its avi­a­tion as­so­ci­a­tions to be­come a reg­u­lar time­keeper at eques­trian events such as The Mel­bourne Cup and Royal As­cot. Am­bas­sadors such as Si­mon Baker and An­dre Agassi, along with ac­ces­si­ble pric­ing, keep the watches in the pub­lic eye.

THE IN­SPI­RA­TION

Any­one who has suf­fered the in­dig­nity of the South Mo­rang line in Mel­bourne, or queued at Syd­ney’s Wyn­yard sta­tion, knows that sex­i­ness and train travel hasn’t been seen since Sean Con­nery’s James Bond boarded the Ori­ent Ex­press with un­der­rated Bond Girl Daniela Bianchi in From Rus­sia With Love. Still, that hasn’t de­terred Longines from draw­ing in­spi­ra­tion from a piece made for ’60s rail work­ers. Rather than tap into the by­gone glam­our of train travel, the ‘Rail­road’ harks back to when ef­fi­cient tim­ing was re­quired to avoid dis­as­ters on sin­gle lines, when Longines sup­plied watches to rail work­ers in Ro­ma­nia, Ser­bia, Iran, Italy, Chile, Canada, United States, Turkey and China.

THE UP­GRADE

The ‘Rail­road’ checks in at 40mm, com­pared to the 35mm of its orig­i­nal in­car­na­tion. The move­ment has also been up­dated to the Eta-pro­duced Longines cal­i­bre L888.2, with a 64-hour power re­serve, which should be enough to cover even the length­i­est com­mute.

THE DE­TAILS

The off-white dial, 24 and 12-hour time scales, ta­pered hands and sec­ond hand with a curved tip re­sult in a piece that’s true to the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of its ori­gins while de­liv­er­ing a con­tem­po­rary, un­der­stated de­sign. The last stop: flip the watch over for a quick nos­tal­gia fix, with an en­grav­ing of a steam train on the case back.

GQ.COM.AU 83 RIGHT: STAIN­LESS STEEL ‘RAIL­ROAD’ WATCH, $2350, BY LONGINES. LEFT: MAG­NE­SIUM/ POLY­MER ‘DI­AGONO MAG­NE­SIUM CHRONO­GRAPH’ WATCH, $7100, BY BVL­GARI.

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