Introducing the Longines Mini Dolcevita


Introducing the Longines Mini Dolcevita


Longines means business with the new Mini Dolcevita. While this elegant rectangular ladies’ watch is not the smallest Dolcevita in the current collection, it is the squarest and one of the most petite, with a charmingly diminutive total footprint of just 623.5 sq. mm.

Elegance in small package

Longines CEO, Matthias Breschan states, “Elegance is unique because it allows us to break from traditional aesthetic codes while revealing multiple facets of out personality. It is an opportunity to continually reinvent ourselves, based on our desires and moods, whether serious or playful, but always in keeping with our tastes and values.”
Laboring over minute changes between watch dimensions may seem pedantic, but in an industry defined by its attention to detail, it really does matter. And it matters all the more when we get down to the smaller end of watches. While the difference between a 46 and 47mm watch may result in a greater material difference, the effect is, oddly, exponentially less impactful. Conversely, at the Longines Mini Dolce Vita’s end of the spectrum, the slightest change in proportions can mean a world of difference.
Previously, the Longines catalog contained 87 Dolcevita references, available in a host of sizes. The new Longines Mini Dolce Vita measures 21.5 × 29mm meaning it is one of the smallest and, quite obviously, the squarest model in the line-up so far.
All but one model line were bigger than the new mini in terms of total footprint. The sole exception comes in at an almost microscopic 17.7mm × 27mm, which is just 477.9 sq. mm, for the sake of easier visualization roughly 4.8cm.
And so while the mini is not the smallest watch in the Dolcevita family, its proportions make it stand out as the boxiest and, arguably, the most different model to hit the line in years. All previous models had case width-to-length ratios between 1.54 and 1.66 (rounded to two decimal places) while the new Mini has a much lower differential, way down at 1.35. For context, that means this model will wear much more like a small Cartier Tank Louis Cartier (which has measurements of 22mm × 29.5mm for a ratio of 1.34) than it will its on-brand range mates.
Therefore, while the Longines Mini Dolcevita clearly sits within the Dolcevita family when compared to the wider brand offering, it is, quite excitingly, something very new for the brand in terms of wearing proposition.

Beyond the numbers

Now I’ve gotten my audition for A Beautiful Mind 2 out of way it’s worth mentioning that in addition to the all-new wearing experience of the Mini, Longines has brought in some novel aesthetic wrinkles to the line.
Three of the 11 new references feature a rectangular silver sun-ray dial with a circular hour track. While all 11 references including these three employ Roman numerals, this effect of a shape within a shape is striking. It is a strong visual departure from previous Dolcevita models and is a welcome addition to a line that has used “pure” numberless dials, stick indexes, as well as Roman and Arabic numerals. The effect is one of having a very (very) small clock on your wrist and, in my opinion, works particularly well on the black leather strap and plain steel case (reference L5.
The same model is available on an interesting 5-block bracelet (reference 21.50 × 29.00 mm) for around $300 more. It’s a strong look and, given the case’s dimensions, has an almost “cuff” look to it. While I do commend the strong Deco styling of the block bracelet, it must be noted that it makes the watch a little less elegant than its forebears, but, by doing so, perhaps increases its versatility.
For a little bit of extra sparkle, this same dial is available in a case flanked with 38 diamonds in total. Although it may seem a small aesthetic change, the price of reference L5. (which only comes on the bracelet) leaps up by around $2,000.

Keeping it traditional

For fans of the more traditional Dolcevita dial layout that sees Roman numerals lining the edge of the display, there are four references. The version with the diamond-flanked case and accompanying bracelet can be found under reference L5., while the plain steel case on the bracelet can is filed as L5. The humblest (and, in my opinion, nicest) models to be found in this release pair the traditional number layout with leather straps which come in either black (reference L5. and red (reference L5., which I happen to think is the most striking of the bunch, with the glossy red alligator leather bringing out the blue of the hands, which are set against a silver flinqué dial, nicely.

Something for the summer

The final four references are easily the most ambitious additions to the collection thus far. All four models follow the same format, with golden hands and numerals set against a pastel hour track, which is paired with a color-matched alligator leather strap. The pastel pieces all have diamond-flanked cases and a price tag around $300 below their stainless steel bracelet-boasting counterparts.
These are fashionable, summer-styled watches. I believe they do a good job of delivering seriousness with a smile. They may not be particularly versatile from a chromatic perspective, but they are at once sufficiently sophisticated (thanks to the diamonds, numeral style, and brand heritage) and youthful (almost entirely because of their self-confident squareness and eye-catching colorways) to perform in a variety of roles.
If this brighter execution of the Longines Mini Dolcevita works for you, you can choose between sage green (reference L5., baby pink (L5., sky blue (L5., and ivory (L5.

Tech Specs

Longines Mini Dolce Vita

Movement: Quartz
Functions: Time only (small seconds)
Cases: 21.5mm × 29mm stainless steel (options with 38 diamonds), 30 meters water resistance
Dials: silver sun-ray/silver flinqué/green/blue/pink/ivory
Straps: Alligator leather or stainless steel five-block bracelet depending on model
Price: Starting from USD 1,600