It’s remarkable what a thoughtfully constructed wardrobe can do for you. Whether it’s the perfectly fitting black blazer, nine-to-five gold hoops, or your go-to white T-shirt, getting settled on the essentials front makes the rest of getting dressed its own reward. The same logic applies to accessory essentials. You know—the ones that make a statement without thought, inspire a compliment without fuss, and can be repositioned from office hours to evening attire with neither sacrifice nor discomfort. And in 2023, from my observations, the accessory must-have to rely on is the investment watch.
To be honest, I’ve always been more an investment-ring and everyday-statement-earring person myself. But the more I found myself surrounded by stylish women in the city and at events, the clearer it became: Women wear watches, and just as often as they wear welded bracelets and signet rings.
After an exhaustive search through a world previously unknown to me—one brimming with balance wheels, tourbillions, escapements, and lugs—I discovered the Longines Mini DolceVita. Once I did, I realized it’s that exact watch that decorates the wrists of elegant women on train platforms, at the farmer’s market, and somehow sipping cocktails in dim lighting without messing up their lipstick—a clear sign of sophistication, in my eyes.
Indeed, the watch has an impressive heritage: It was inspired by the Longines legend Mini DolceVita, created in 1927. It’s also inspired by the original DolceVita collection from 1997, which inaugurated the catchphrase “Elegance is an attitude.” Longines CEO Matthias Breschan says this ideal still lives at the core of the company’s watches: “Elegance is unique because it allows us to break from traditional aesthetic codes while revealing multiple facets of our personality.” The Mini DolceVita has updated that story for a modern generation. Designed with a dynamic woman in mind, it has a discreet yet striking profile that is contemporary and timeless—ideal for special occasions and everyday embellishment alike.
And there’s a style to fit every aesthetic, as the watches have been created in an exceptional range of configurations and color options. There’s one with a rectangular silver-colored Roman dial distinguished by flinqué enamel; there’s ivory white and mint green; there are even five versions sans diamonds that are nonetheless equally striking.
What makes a piece worthy of investment? To me, it’s wearability. And with its slender silhouette and subtle shine, this watch immediately became an everyday piece— something to adorn the wrist not just for special occasions like dinners and wedding invites, but for quiet everyday moments as well. I wore my stainless steel version with diamonds to Pilates and for a coffee date, and in both cases was met with approving glances and compliments, because it didn’t overtake the moment, or look inappropriate. It fit right in. The Mini DolceVita is made to wear, and goes hand-in-hand with my personal style ethos: Buy good things, wear them often.
I like my personal wardrobe how I like my accessories—minimal but impactful. You know, those items that can be worn time and time again without becoming boring. If anything, they become your “thing”—what you’re known for. For me, that’s a crisp cream turtleneck, stacks of rings, and now a suitable watch. The slight rectangular case, luminous dial, and bold Roman numerals create a refined aesthetic that coordinates with my wardrobe rotations.
My personal definition of elegance is a woman who stands firmly in her own shoes. Modern elegance is what I was after in my search for my first grown-up watch—and by that standard, the Mini DolceVita was the obvious choice.
Cortne Bonilla is freelance writer who occasionally dabbles in party reporting. When she’s not writing, you can find her vintage shopping, sipping iced lattes, reading on the train, and indulging in Pilates.