Sunday, January 23, 2011

Longines Comet

The Longines Comet, a short-lived mystery dial from the seventies, is an unusual watch from Longines, featuring a broad arrow for hours and an orbiting dot for minutes. Both are on revolving discs, making them appear to move without being connected to the dial, hence the term 'mystery dial'.

The indication 'T Swiss Made T' on the bottom of the dial means that the watch contains a certain quantity of tritium that emits less than 227 MBq (7,5 mCi). This particular watch still has some lume appearing on the tips of the markers when the watch is placed close to the light of a lamp; natural light does not seem to have any effect. The dot and the arrow have a tendency to discolour to a yellow colour over time.

The watch is considered to be uncommon, as the design was deemed too avant-garde for tastes at the time, so comparatively few were sold. Red is the most rare colour, followed by yellow, the most common colour being blue. It was also produced in black and white, and in brown, maroon and green variations.

Size : 35mm X 40mm (42mm including crown, 38mm lug to lug)
Movement Caliber: Cal. 702 manual wind
Crystal: Original Longines Plastic Crystal
Case Material: Stainless Steel
Case Width: 35mm
Case Thickness: 8mm
Crown: Longines Signed Crown
Caseback: Stainless Screw On Back Signed Longines
Dial : Gray Dial with Red Rotating Disks
Strap : 20mm Black Leather (Unsigned)
Clasp : Stainless Clasp (Unsigned)

Mine came on a 1970s Longines strap with original buckle. A brown punctured one. Suffice to say that it wasn't really a good look, and I wasn't comfortable with wearing it. A trip to a watch shop and a NATO whose colour scheme is pretty close to the dial's.

I think it looks pretty good. I have a soft spot for mystery dials, alternative time displays and the like, and own one or two 1970s jump hours. This Comet fits within that 1970s theme for me, and it's a fun watch to wear whose look has been lifted immeasurably by the strap. I've been enjoying this watch with its new strap so much that for the past few days, I have been close to buying a red variation, with the aim of having one in every colour.

Fortunately, two people have talked me out of it, though if one came up at a bargain price...



Anonymous said...

cool watch - v interesting!

Amanda (Fatjan) said...

Please excuse my watch ignorance, but I think this is the first watch that has made me understand the whole watch "thing". This is beautiful! I love the colours and the "clean" design.

The Sydney Tarts said...

@anonymous - Thank you.

@fatjan - Hi Amanda. Heh. I knew that I'd eventually find one that you'd like! There's something for everyone, that's the beauty of them. I am loving this one a lot. People see watches in many ways - utilitarian, accessories, little pieces of engineering genius etc, and there's literally something for everyone.

Dero said...

What a delightful piece! I am duly impressed with the avant garde design of the watch which has clearly stood the test of time...and I must find out where you got your NATO strap! Been dying to put one on a 14060M (or a 5513 if I can find one in good nick...)

The Sydney Tarts said...

@Dero - thank you. I got the NATO from Fredman SVW in the Strand Arcade, Sydney.

Bidle said...

Very nice watch. Do you happen to know in what kind of box it was sold?

Best regards, Bidle