“Hi, Barbie!” is the first thing I said when I opened the Longines box that landed on my doorstep last week. Hot pink, horses, and sparkles; how could I not think of last year’s blockbuster movie that’s permeated the zeitgeist? But enough about plastic dolls and cinema, we’re here to discuss the brand new Longines Mini DolceVita Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks 150th Anniversary limited-edition watch, which I had the chance to spend some time with for a hands-on review.

2024 marks the 150th anniversary of the Kentucky Derby and the Kentucky Oaks — the premier race for three-year-old fillies held each year on the day before the Derby. A committed supporter of equestrian events, Longines has been the Official Partner, Official Timekeeper, and Official Watch of both these world-famous horse races since 2011. Therefore, to celebrate the 150th time that “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” will take place, Longines has created a commemorative edition of the Mini DolceVita watch, limited to 150 pieces.

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The vivid strap is the first thing that catches your eye; it’s an entirely new double strap in pink nappa leather inspired by the Kentucky Oaks. Pink symbolizes both the Kentucky Oaks official color and the fundraising efforts of Churchill Downs (the home of the Derby and Oaks) in support of women’s health issues. In addition to the color, Longines borrowed details from the equestrian world to create the design. For instance, similar to the leathers that connect the saddle to the horse’s stirrups, the watch strap holes are numbered from 1 to 6. Although wide and long, the double strap is comfortable and lightweight. The combination of the double-wrap design and striking shade makes for a super bold statement on the wrist; it’s not a look for everyone, but for fans of flashier wrist candy, this one fits the bill.

Identical to the original Mini DolceVita watch I reviewed last year, this limited edition features a rectangular stainless steel case that measures 21.50mm wide by 29.00mm high, 29mm lug-to-lug, and 6.75mm thick. These petite proportions are easy to wear and the compact case nestles effortlessly between its pink leather borders when on the wrist. Longines also opted to decorate the case bezel with 38 Top Wesselton diamonds, split evenly across two rows. The dash of diamonds is a pretty, yet subtle touch; the precious gems are by no means the loudest element on this watch.

The “Cosmo” sector dial includes a combination of sand-blasted silvered and matte white disks, punctuated with a mix of Roman numerals and batons for the hours. I appreciate the restrained use of Roman numerals; dials can get too busy if a full set is used, especially on smaller ones like this. Accompanying the rose gold hour and minute hands at the center is a matching small seconds hand in the subdial at 6 o’clock.

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The back of the watch is engraved with the Kentucky Derby’s 150th-anniversary logo, along with the “ONE OF 150” inscription referring to the model’s limited edition run. Beneath the steel caseback sits the high-precision L178 quartz movement that powers the Mini DolceVita watch. The case is water resistant to 30 meters.

The Mini DolceVita Kentucky Derby 150th Anniversary model is a fresh and fun interpretation of the otherwise classically styled Longines women’s watch. In contrast to the other models in the collection, this isn’t a watch destined for everyday wear but rather, one to put on when you want a touch of drama on your wrist — not unlike the over-the-top fascinators and hats integral to the atmosphere of Oaks Day and Derby. However, thanks to the interchangeable strap system, it’s easy to switch out the strap for something more subtle. For reference, the lug width is 16mm.

The Longines Mini DolceVita Kentucky Derby 150th Anniversary limited edition watch will retail for $3,900 USD, available to purchase from Longines’ online store and at the Kentucky Derby. A portion of the sales will go to the Horses and Hope charity, established to increase breast cancer screening, education, and treatment referral among Kentucky’s horse industry workers. For more information, please visit Longines’ website

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