New Watch Alert: Longines, Vostok, Grand Seiko

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Longines Dolcevita – $1800

Longines Dolcevita - new watch alert

“The Longines DolceVita has never been the most appealing watch of the brand.” New watch alert! When monochrome-watches.com slates a watch, you know Longines has a problem. Needless to say, monochrome softens the blow; Brice Goulard predicts that the model’s new Art Decor Sector dial “might change the situation.” Well, The Situation has changed (he’s been sober for five years). Meanwhile, the SweetLife’s new dial is unlikely to transform the fortunes of the mid-market brand’s Cartier Tank Americaine-a-Like. Especially when you compare the DolceVita to . . .

Longine DolceVita sector dial caseback

the 1995 Must de Cartier Art Deco LE, a watch with genuine fake Deco style [sic] and brand cachet. That said, the Longines is bigger (47mm tall), box fresh and runs on their ETA based L592 mechanical movement. You also get the winged hourglass logo on the caseback with a reminder that the watch is water resistant to 3 bar – perfectly adequate should someone spill a bit of Suze on your timepiece before dinner. And you get a date! On the watch I mean.

Vostok-Europe Gaz-Limousine Tritium Chrono – $489

Vostok-Europe Gaz-Limousine Tritium Chrono - new watch alert

“Inspired by the best in Russian motoring . . . the GAZ Limo watch collection from Vostok-Europe is the only true line of dress watches produced by the Lithuanian-based brand today,” watches.com proclaims. Huh. Well, if Vilnius‘ finest do produce another line, I’m hoping it’s a little more ZIL-111. Russia’s Gaz-Chaika limo was one step down from the vehicle ferrying around Russia’s top commies. Then again, the “GAZ Limo [watch] is equally fitting in jeans and casual shirt all the way up to a black-tie affair.” So there is that.

As there’s no image of the caseback on Vostok’s website (which threatens to install malware), there’s a GAZ-13 limo doing its thing. The new watch alert among you are probably [boy] wondering if the Vostok-Europe Gaz-Limousine watch is as reliable as the vehicle from which it takes its name. Holy unholy Russian – Japanese alliance Batman! There’s a Miyota 6S21 Quartz spinning those tritium-filled hands! That circumnavigate a not-insubstantial 45mm stainless steel case. Take that panda-faced Rolex!

Grand Seiko SLGH005 – $9100

Grand Seiko SLGH005 - new watch alert

New watch alert! Shhh! Grand Seiko’s latest nature-inspired watch was inspired by Shirakaba (birch trees). “Shira meaning ‘white’ while kaba is the combined kanji for ‘wood’ and ‘beauty’, giving white birch trees the poetic meaning of pure elegant beauty.” Well no wonder GS named it the SLGH005. Anyway, you can be sure the watch doesn’t have any birch defects. “Knows by the brand as the Series 9 design,” ablogtowatch.com typos, “the lines of the case are shared with 2020’s limited edition SLGH002, but the SLGH005 presents the case concept for the first time in a regular production stainless steel guise.”

Grand-Seiko SLGH005 closeup

For $33,900 less, I might add. Yes, well, the SLGH002 LE is as gold as you wanna be while the SLGH005 is fashioned from stainless steel, brushed and Sallaz Bros. polished to a micromillimeter of its life. The blue second hand offers a welcome splash of color, while [ABTW reckons] the date window is an unwelcome intruder. The Shirakaba (sue me) is powered by GS’s Caliber 9S85, that somehow manages at 80-hour power reserve at 36,000 bph with +5/-3 seconds per day accuracy. As a Monty Python fan, I’m waiting for the GS larch. It’s going to be a long wait, but I’ve got time on my hands. Wrists too.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Although generally in favor of date complications, rectangular watches may be too narrow to fit a reasonably legible date wheel. The Longines indices also look a bit arachnid although in real use the silver sector will likely minimize that. GTFO with the 21mm lugs!

    Wait, Vostok-Europe has no relationship to the Russian maker of the Amphibia and Komandirskie?

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