Longines MiniDolce Vita

Longines Celebrates “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” with a New Mini DolceVita Series

In honor of the brand’s longtime partnership with the Kentucky Derby and Oaks and to celebrate their 150th running, Longines released a diamond-set, 150-piece Mini DolceVita – 150th Kentucky Derby Edition watch along with six additional non-limited models sporting colorful Nappa leather double tour straps.

By Barbara Palumbo

Since 2011, Longines has been the official timekeeper and watch of the annual Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks horseraces in Louisville, Kentucky.

This year – on the 150th running of the back-to-back races – the brand has released a limited-edition timepiece to add to the brand’s growing Mini DolceVita collection.

A Brief History of the Races

Each spring for the last nearly 150 years – long before Bob Costas, Mike Tirico, Johnny Weir, or even televised sports, in general – the residents of the state of Kentucky and its surrounding areas have donned their “Sunday Best” (even on Friday and Saturday) and showed up at Churchill Downs in Louisville to watch and bet on the finest horses in the racing world.

The Kentucky Oaks, for those unaware, is the race that occurs the day before the Derby. The Oaks race is slightly shorter than the Derby and comprises female horses (known as “fillies”) that are 3 years of age.

Over the years, the Oaks has also become associated with the color pink for two reasons: the fact that it’s a filly-only race and the introduction of the parade of breast and ovarian cancer survivors that march ahead of the race’s start. Thus, it is not unusual to see race fans of all genders arrive at the Oaks wearing pink in various forms (and I have to say, as a former attendee who once got to stand on the winner’s circle and look back at 130,000 people wearing pink, it is most certainly a remarkable sight).

The Kentucky Derby, however, likely needs no description; however, I’m going to give you one, anyway: The most attended and popular of the three “Triple Crown” races (the Preakness Stakes in Maryland and Belmont Stakes in New York being the other two), the Kentucky Derby is a televised spectacle that has been deemed the “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.”

Often held on or near Mother’s Day weekend, racegoers show up in seersucker suits and elaborately decorated hats or fascinators and drink mint juleps until they realize they’ve lost all their money betting (and then they drink some more!). It’s a grand ol’ southern experience, and it’s all timed out by the one and only Longines.

A Milestone Celebration

In honor of the brand’s longtime partnership with the two Kentucky races and to celebrate their 150th running, Longines released a 150-piece limited edition of its Mini DolceVita watch.

This timepiece, which has a stainless-steel set with thirty-eight round brilliant cut diamonds, comes on a deep pink double Nappy leather strap that has been created with holes numbering 1 through 6 as a nod to the stirrups and saddles that are such a huge part of the equestrian universe.

The color of the strap pays direct homage to the fight against health issues that impact women; thus, a portion of the sales of the 150-piece limited edition will be donated to the Horses and Hope charity, which promotes increased breast cancer screening, education, and treatment referrals among Kentucky’s horse industry workers.

Not Thinking Pink? Not a Problem.

If the brightly colored feminine hue isn’t exactly your cup of tea, Longines also partnered with longtime Ambassador of Elegance Kate Winslet to introduce the Mini DolceVita double tour strap collection in a variety of alternate colors. The newest models are available on Nappa leather straps in black, beige-gold, pink, red, orange, and green.

Each of the new models has a stainless-steel rectangular case (measuring 21.50 mm x 29.00 mm), and each is water-resistant to three bar (30 meters). The watches are equipped with the Longines high-precision L178 quartz movement, and the dial design on each consists of a rectangular Roman dial with flinqué decoration, guilloche, and painted Roman numerals with blued steel hands.

In contrast, the dial on the aforementioned limited-edition watch boasts a Cosmo dial made with sand-blasted silvered and matte white discs, Roman numeral hour markers, and black-painted indices with hands in rose gold.

In summary

Longines continues to offer a quality Swiss-made product that is affordable to the everyday watch enthusiast, but it’s also doing so while partnering with critical sporting events, notable charities, world-renowned ambassadors, and creative thinkers. The brand’s design team is top-notch and modern thinking, creating heirlooms of tomorrow for all genders.

I, for one, am looking forward to celebrating the 150th running of the Kentucky Derby, as I do each year, with my children. Since I can remember, the three of us make a family-friendly bet and select our “Win/Place/Show” horses before the contenders reach the starting gate. I’ve yet to win “place” or “show” in all the years we’ve exercised this tradition.

What I do get to do is wear one of the five Longines watches in my personal collection during the race because even if I’m unable to attend, I know that I have the memory of having been there in the past, and that memory is relived each time I check the time.

Pricing and Availability

The 150-piece Mini DolceVita – 150th Kentucky Derby Edition lists for $3,900, and the beige-gold version (which also sports 38 Top Wesselton diamonds set into its case) costs $3,800.

Meanwhile, the red, orange, black, and green-strapped models sell for $1,650. For more information, check out Longines’ website.

(Images © Longines)

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