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 : Cal. 702 manual wind
Crystal: Original Longines plastic crystal
Case material: Stainless steel
Case thickness: 8mm
Crown: Longines signed
Caseback: Stainless screw-on. Signed.
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 variant, 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…