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Longines Evidenza

James Suckling
From the Print Edition:
Gen. Tommy Franks, Nov/Dec 03

Swiss watch company Longines likes to associate the likes of late actors Humphrey Bogart and Audrey Hepburn with its new line of watches, the Longines Evidenza, due to its Art Deco look and shape that call to mind the stylishness of many of their movies. But you have to wonder if notoriously hard-boiled Bogie would have approved of the Evidenza men's stainless-steel chronograph with black dial that flashes a diamond-encrusted bezel. I think he would have wholeheartedly.

Longines says that the watch takes its inspiration from a barrel, or tonneau-shaped, watch that Bogart owned in the 1940s. That watch, first produced in 1925, was inspired by a 1911 model. After seeing the original during the World Watch and Jewelry Show in Basel, Switzerland, last spring, I confess a faint resemblance; however, the Evidenza is a much more extravagant yet elegant timepiece.

All the Evidenzas, both men's and women's, use the same self-winding mechanical movement and a 42-hour power reserve that keeps them ticking when they're set down. The men's chronograph is fitted with an L650 movement and a center chronograph hand, 30-minute and 12-hour totalizers at 9 and 6 o'clock, respectively, plus a subdial for seconds at 3 o'clock. The watch has an extra four hours of reserve power.

The diamond-encrusted chrono Evidenza comes in the stainless-steel case with either a stainless-steel bracelet ($9,200) or crocodile strap ($9,100). The watch is available without diamonds in pink or yellow gold ($5,100) or stainless steel ($2,300). A pink gold watch has been developed with diamonds, but is as yet unavailable in the United States. The face is either a flat silver or black dial.

Maybe Bogart was talking about a Longines watch when he used this line in the 1953 film Beat the Devil: "Time. Time. What is time? Swiss manufacture it. French hoard it. Italians want it. Americans say it is money."

The Longines Evidenza chrongraph set in diamonds certainly does look rich and opulent. Or as they say in Hollywood, it looks money.

Visit www.longines.com

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