Style / World of Watches (WOW)

Tracking Time: Longines RailRoad Watch

Simple but far from plain, the Longines RailRoad is a slice of history for the wrist

Jul 25, 2016 | By Staff Writer

Rail travel was an absolute necessity before the advent of commercial aviation, and its operations were conducted in a reliable and safe manner only with the help of precision timekeeping. Several watchmakers are known for producing highly accurate timepieces specifically for use by railroad companies and their employees in the past. Longines was among them, having supplied railway operators in countries as diverse as the US, Canada, Italy, Turkey, and China, just to name a few. The brand’s design team did not have to look farther than its private museum in Saint-Imier for an example of such watches, with a particular model from the 1960s serving as the inspiration for the reissued Longines RailRoad.

In this watch, time is displayed via lacquered black hands which point to two concentric sets of Arabic numbers on the polished off-white dial. A peculiar design element stands out at 12 o’clock – “0” is used instead of “12”. This choice is consistent with the 24-hour format where 00:00 is the beginning of the first hour of the day and 23:59 is the end of the 24th hour. Completing the utilitarian look is the no-nonsense chapter ring for the minutes and seconds.

The “R.R” inscription on the dial stands for RailRoad, while “888” denotes the self-winding Calibre L888.2 (ETA A31.L01, produced exclusively for Longines) inside the stainless steel case. This execution is true to the spirit of the “R.R 280” writing on the original watch with its Calibre 280.


  • Dimensions: 40mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds
  • Power Reserve: 64 hours
  • Movement:  Self-winding Calibre L888.2
  • Materials: Steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Black Alligator with buckle

Story Credits

Text by  Ruckdee Chotjinda

This story was first published in WOW.

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