TRACK­ING TIME

World of Watches (Singapore) - - Basel Report | Highlights -

Sim­ple but far from plain, the Longines Rail­road is a slice of his­tory for the wrist

Rail travel was an ab­so­lute ne­ces­sity be­fore the ad­vent of com­mer­cial avi­a­tion, and its op­er­a­tions were con­ducted in a re­li­able and safe man­ner only with the help of pre­ci­sion time­keep­ing. Sev­eral watch­mak­ers are known for pro­duc­ing highly ac­cu­rate time­pieces specif­i­cally for use by rail­road com­pa­nies and their em­ploy­ees in the past. Longines was among them, hav­ing sup­plied rail­way oper­a­tors in coun­tries as di­verse as the US, Canada, Italy, Tur­key, and China, just to name a few. The brand’s de­sign team did not have to look far­ther than its pri­vate mu­seum in Saint-imier for an ex­am­ple of such watches, with a par­tic­u­lar model from the 1960s serv­ing as the in­spi­ra­tion for the reis­sued Longines Rail­road.

In this watch, time is dis­played via lac­quered black hands which point to two con­cen­tric sets of Ara­bic num­bers on the pol­ished of­fwhite dial. A pe­cu­liar de­sign el­e­ment stands out at 12 o’clock – “0” is used in­stead of “12”. This choice is con­sis­tent with the 24-hour for­mat where 00:00 is the be­gin­ning of the first hour of the day and 23:59 is the end of the 24th hour. Com­plet­ing the util­i­tar­ian look is the nonon­sense chap­ter ring for the min­utes and sec­onds.

The “R.R” in­scrip­tion on the dial stands for Rail­road, while “888” de­notes the self-wind­ing Cal­i­bre L888.2 (ETA A31.L01, pro­duced ex­clu­sively for Longines) in­side the stain­less steel case. This ex­e­cu­tion is true to the spirit of the “R.R 280” writ­ing on the orig­i­nal watch with its Cal­i­bre 280. MOVE­MENT Self-wind­ing Cal­i­bre L888.2 with 64-hour power re­serve CASE 40mm in steel, wa­ter re­sis­tant to 30m STRAP Black al­li­ga­tor with buckle PRICE $2,700

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