Living La (Mini) DolceVita with Longines and Jennifer Lawrence

Living La (Mini) DolceVita with Longines and Jennifer Lawrence

A mini version of the Swiss brand’s iconic women’s watch was introduced last Friday at a star-studded soiree under the elaborate dome of New York’s historic Gotham Hall.

By Barbara Palumbo

Look, I’m not going to lie: There are, shall we say, “perks” to being a watch journalist that other forms of journalism don’t have. After all, can you imagine the writers who cover table linens or barbecue grills hanging out with A-listers or attending some of the world’s biggest sporting events? Neither can I. And yet, here I am – a kid from the projects of South Philly – and that’s a not insignificant part of what I get to do FOR A LIVING.

It almost doesn’t seem fair, frankly, and it’s something I think about a lot. I mean, A LOT. But hell, who knows what the future looks like for any of us, right? So, when there’s an opportunity to live La Dolce Vita (in this case, while wearing a Mini DolceVita from Longines), I’ll always jump at that opportunity. (I mean, really, who out there reading this would turn down a chance to hang with Jennifer Lawrence and sip champagne?)

So, here’s hoping you’ll come along for the ride with me as I tell the tale that happened (and also never happened).

Difficult Lessons to Learn

I learned that big things can come in small packages the hard way, but now, it feels truer than ever before. See, for the last two years, I’d been trying my hand at the ((gulp)) dating apps. But at 50 and with two teenage kids, let’s just say that the experience had been nothing short of a disaster. Then I realized something about myself: I, by all accounts, was a “heightest.”

Yes, I said, a heightest. I was dismissing men in my searches because of their size. You see, I’m 5’10,” which is pretty tall for a woman; as a result, I was turning up my nose to men who weren’t at least two inches taller than me. And you know what that got me? About 20 first dates and no second, that’s what.

It wasn’t until I realized I’d been turning up my nose to other opportunities and missing out on what could potentially be something special. And that is how I feel smaller-cased watches have been treated writ large by the community in the past decade or so.

Collectors and enthusiasts – both male and female – have, for years, perused local websites, Reddit threads, popular blogs, and Instagram accounts of OG influencers and concluded that small watches weren’t “in.” Women, especially! Women were consistently getting the message that wearing their boyfriend’s or father’s watch was the cool thing to do. And while I’m a true believer in the “to each their own” mentality, that kind of style was just never my gig.

So, though I may be Amazonian in stature, I love me a small watch. Always have. In fact, out of the over fifty timepieces in my collection, there aren’t more than eight that are over 38mm in diameter. In fact, the first legitimate wristwatch I ever owned was a 1950s Longines, which, as you could imagine, wasn’t anywhere near 42mm.

All of this is part of the reason I’ve always loved the Longines DolceVita collection and why I was thrilled to hear they’d be releasing the Mini DolceVita at an event in New York in September.

Elegance Taking Several Forms

In 1999, Longines officially adopted the mantra, “Elegance is an Attitude.” And over the last twenty-four years, the brand has stood by those words in more ways than one. Then, in November of 2022, Longines introduced Academy Award Winning actress Jennifer Lawrence as a brand ambassador, and “elegance” took on a whole new meaning.

I recently asked Longines CEO Matthias Breschan what one characteristic of Ms. Lawrence’s he felt most resonated with the brand. “Elegance, of course,” he exclaimed but chose to elaborate on his answer: “Jennifer Lawrence embodies a rare blend of elegance, authenticity, and timeless grace that is seamlessly in line with the values of Longines. She is much more than a movie star. Jennifer has the ability to bring reality and authenticity to every character she plays, reflecting her own easy charisma, sharp intelligence, and humanity. Off-screen, this translates into an elegance that is both natural and relatable. She is an inspiration to women of all ages and backgrounds.”

Ms. Lawrence met with the press at the September 22nd Mini DolceVita launch event at Gotham Hall and gave her own take on what the word “elegance” means. “Being confident is elegant,” she stated. “Not trying too hard. Elegance always looks better when it’s a little more effortless. Like, a quiet luxury.”

With regard to what she feels about the newest Longines releases, and as a relatively new mother, how she thinks about time itself, Ms. Lawrence said, “Time is so precious, especially after you have a child. And being on time is important to me because I think nobody expects me to be on time. The Mini DolceVita is the perfect watch for day-to-night wear.”

The Launch, The Watch, and a Dream Interrupted

When the folks at Longines asked if I would like to attend the launch party for the Mini DolceVita, I naturally replied boisterously with a “YES,” especially when I found out I’d be able to ask Jennifer Lawrence interview questions. I made it clear to my Longines colleagues that I was OBSESSED (but not in a Single White Female way) with her as a person and an actress and that it would be a total dream come true to ask her questions in person.

Unfortunately, however, due to an unforeseen circumstance, my dream of laughing it up with one of the most talented actresses of this generation would have to wait. But, overall, the event at Gotham Hall was hailed as a huge success, and the watches were very well-received.

The newest addition to the Longines DolceVita collection (which first launched in 1997), the Mini DolceVita line was introduced last Friday night in a variety of references and colorways and comes with stainless steel, slightly rectangular cases measuring 21.5mm X 29mm with some of those cases will feature round brilliant cut diamonds set into their eastern and western borders.

Meanwhile, four of these diamond-set references are offered in what the brand calls ivory white, mint green, blossom pink, and serene blue (all of which cost $3,700) and feature leather straps color-matched to the outer square of the rectangular dial upon which these models’ Roman numeral indices rest.

Alongside the diamond editions, five stainless steel references do not have diamond accents, with each of these models being offered on a newly designed stainless steel bracelet ($1,850) or a stylish black ($1,600) or red leather strap ($1,600).

Lastly, the final reference in Longines’ latest collection features the same stainless steel case as the other, but this one is framed by 38 IF-VVS clarity “Top Wesselton” diamonds ($3,950).

On this model, the inner dial is circular rather than rectangular (although that option is available), and it offers a refreshing contrast to the rectangular case. Called the “Cosmo” dial by the brand, it is characterized by a silver sunray background, a matte-white hour track, a silver sunray inner circle, and a round matte-white small seconds sub-dial, all of which are accompanied by a newly designed stainless steel bracelet. (The “Cosmo” dial is also an option on the other references at no extra cost.)

All Mini DolceVita references are powered by the brand’s L178 quartz movement, which CEO Matthias Breschan feels was the perfect movement for this latest offering. “Our quartz movements offer precision and reliability, making them a practical choice for everyday wear,” he stated. “This allows Longines to provide a range of options, meeting the preferences and lifestyles of a wider clientele.”

For more information about the new Mini DolceVita line, visit the Longines website.

(Photography by Liam O'Donnell)

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