Longines

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'I have used the Longines for navigation on the round the world trip and I found it to be most satisfactory'Hans von Schiller, Zeppelin Pilot, 1929

Founded in 1832, Longines are one of the oldest Swiss watchmakers and an early pioneer of machine manufacturing in the early 19th Century. Such was the popularity of Longines that they became one of the first brands to be registered with the World Intellectual Property Organisation to prevent copies being made.

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Longines History

The History of Longines Watches

The Longines brand is not one to be overlooked - its history and pedigree are up there with the best of them. The company started way back in 1832 under Auguste Agassiz, who formed a partnership with a watch workshop in Saint-Imier. Originally called 'Agassiz and Compagnie,' it wasn't until 1866, when the nephew of Agassiz, Ernest Francillon, took over the business and moved it to an old amalgam mill on the banks of the river Suze on a patch of land known as, 'Les Longines,' that the company was re-named 'Longines'.

Francillon was one of the first pioneers of machine-manufacturing in watchmaking, producing movement blanks, or ébauches, in the Longines workshop. In 1867, because of this development, he was able to entirely design his own calibre, the Longines 20A, a mechanical movement with pendant winding. Francillon and his engineers took this movement to the 1876 Philadelphia Universal Exhibition, where they discovered just how far ahead the Americans were with their machine-manufacturing. Despite resistance from the Swiss workers, Longines continued developing their manufacturing processes in an effort to keep Switzerland at the forefront of watchmaking technology.

The product of their hard work earned Francillon and the Longines team numerous awards and distinctions in watchmaking, and such was their recognition and success that it became necessary to manufacture authenticity markings onto their movements. For this, the Longines winged hourglass logo was created. All the Longines names and logos were registered with the various intellectual property registrations during the 1890's, making Longines the oldest brand name to be registered with WIPO, the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

When Longines increased its market to the Americas, it continued to improve its manufacturing processes, earning it the 1900 Paris Universal Exhibition Grand Prize. The development of quality control and production recording made Longines one of the first watchmakers to step into the mechanical age. By the start of the twentieth century, the Longines factory employed 1200 people in a village of barely 8000.

Despite a serious lull through the First World War, and again through the great depression in the 1930's, Longines managed to pull themselves back out of the mire and begin developing calibres again. They followed the technological advancements of the era closely, producing their own chronographs, automatic movements and chronometer grade movements with good levels of success. The accuracy and robustness of the movements gave them a reputation as the professional go-to equipment, and although the Rolex Deep-Sea Special gains all the credit in the bathyscaphe Trieste dives in the 50's and 60's, it is little known that the bathyscaphe itself was fitted with Longines equipment.

Rather than fighting technical development, Longines embraced it, and the quartz revolution that knocked out so many watchmakers heralded an era of invention for them. In a collaboration with Paillard-Bolex, the Longines quartz-clock was combined with a high-speed camera to create a device that could record and time sport to within one-hundredth of a second.

Many other collaborations were founded with sporting manufacturers, including Ferrari's F1 team, and Longines have continued to provide timing equipment for a variety of sports, as well as also producing elegant and robust wrist watches consistently through the years.

Longines Series

Longines BelleArti

Based on a historic watch from the early 20th century, the Longines BelleArti is a tribute to the work of the feminist movement that eventually... read more

Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph

The column-wheel is the reserve of high end chronograph movements, and is regarded as a 'must-have' for many watch enthusiasts. Longines... read more

Longines DolceVita

The contemporary elegance of the Longines DolceVita collection has secured its popularity right from its launch in 1997. The range embraces... read more

Longines Evidenza

The 1920's marked a turning point in history for style, fashion and art - freedom of expression grew, the desire for nonessential consumer goods... read more

Longines Expeditions Polaires Francaises

In 1947, a team of French scientists, led by Paul-Emile Victor, took to the frozen tundra of the Arctic, equipped with special Longines watches... read more

Longines Flagship

The Longines Flagship range has long stood for quality, elegance and style, remaining faithful to the Longines watchmaking heritage that has stood... read more

Longines Grande Classique

A design aesthetic that Longines have always been known for is the ultra-slim watch. The ultimate statement in subtlety, class and luxury, the... read more

Longines Heritage

Celebrating the long and rich history of Longines is the Heritage collection, an assortment of snapshots from moments in time that have defined... read more

Longines Legend Diver

Based on a 1960's Longines diving watch that used the famous period super compressor case, the Longines Legend Diver has heritage up there with... read more

Longines Heritage Retrograde

To celebrate the 120 years since the registration of the famous Longines winged hourglass logo, Longines released an exceptional example of... read more

Longines LungoMare

The Longines LungoMare is the meeting point of nearly two centuries of watchmaking heritage and contemporary design, creating a fusion of... read more

Longines Master Collection

The launch of the Master Collection in 2005 symbolises Longines' dedication to master watchmaking for the best part of two centuries. Utilising... read more

Longines Opposition Round

Combining the sleek elegance of a bracelet with the vital practicalities of timekeeping, the Longines Opposition is a contemporary design that starts... read more

Longines Presence

The Longines Presence embraces traditional watchmaking values through a design that is as timeless as the brand itself. Elegant design cues... read more

Longines PrimaLuna

For those who appreciate graceful, sophisticated elegance and the seductive sparkle of diamonds, the Longines PrimaLuna collection will be a... read more

Longines Spirit

Paying tribute to the watchmaking spirit that has been in Longines since its inception in 1832, the Spirit collection sources its styling from the... read more

Longines Admiral

Where sports and prestige meet, the Longines Admiral performs with split-second accuracy and aesthetic purity. Where adventurers and sportsmen... read more

Longines Grande Vitesse

Longines has sporting heritage in its blood, providing timing equipment for racing since the 1950's. The Longines Grand Vitesse collection continues... read more

Longines HydroConquest

The Longines Hydroquest has all the features required to qualify it as a professional diver's watch; 30 bar water resistance, a unidirectional turning... read more

Longines WEEMS Chronograph

In 1929, U.S. Navy officer and inventor Philip van Horn Weems collaborated with Longines to produce a clock that could be synchronised with a... read more

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