Longines automatic L5.650.4 silver dial men’s wrist watch with dateadmin
Compagnie des Montres Longines Francillon S.A., or simply Longines (French pronunciation), is a Swiss luxury watchmaker based in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. Founded by Auguste Agassiz in 1832, the company has been a subsidiary of the Swiss Swatch Group since 1983. Its winged hourglass logo, which was registered in 1889, is the oldest unchanged yet still active registered trademark.
History of Longines:
Longines was very firstly founded in Saint-Imier in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, a Swiss watchmaker and brother of biologist Louis Agassiz. Auguste had two partners with him, lawyers Henri Raiguel and Florian Morel, and the company’s original name was Raiguel Jeune & Cie. By the time of 1846, Raigeul and Morel had retired from the wrist watch industry, leaving Agassiz as the sole company head.
After several years later, Agassiz brought in his bright, enterprising nephew, trained economist Ernest Francillon, into the business of his. Francillon was the mastermind behind several impressive and imposing innovations that would clearly distinguish the company from its competitors. One early stroke of genius from Francillon was to solely produce crown-wound pocket watches rather than the prevalent key-wound alternative. Later, when Agassiz started suffering from ill health, he passed leadership to Francillon.
Under the supervision of Francillon, the whole company began segueing out of the établissage system and moved towards more modern production methods in it’s manufacturing. Francillon solidified his firm’s progression completely to mass production in 1867 by establishing his first very own factory. Its location, an area in southern St. Imier known locally as Les Longines (“long meadows”), gave rise to the Longines name. To help further in his efforts to improvise the production at Longines, Francillon brought on Jacques David into the suad, a talented engineer. In addition, Francillon appointed David as Technical Director and put him in charge of the new factory. By 1867, it was also marked the year the Longines factory produced its first in-house watch movement, the 20A. The 20A, built with an anchor escapement (usually employed in pendulum clocks), was wound and set via a pendent crown. The innovative movement won an award at the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris.
Several years later, the U.S. watchmaking industry was earning fame through worldwide for making the great strides in industrialized watch manufacturing and grew more fastly. Francillon sent Jacques David to the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia to gather new ideas and strategies to implement in his own innovations from the Americans. Upon returning, David wrote a comprehensive 108-page report by himself on what he had learned about American watch production. Essentially, this report is considered one of the most significant documents in watchmaking history written by him. It detailed the inner workings of American watch factories, including the entire production process from raw materials to finished watches. Additionally, David also shared the highly-effective internal structure and quality control measures implemented in these factories by the Americans. In his analysis, David concluded the Swiss watchmaking industry needed to change significantly in order to keep pace with American competitors.
On November 6, 2018, Longines announced the discovery by Seiji Lépine of serial number 183 dating the watch to October 23, 1867. This is currently the Oldest Longines watch known in existence. The caliber is an August Agassiz 4 (AA4).
In 1878, the first chronograph movement was developed by the Longines, as the 20H. It was a “mono-pusher” chronograph, in which all 3 chronograph functions- start, stop, and reset – were controlled via the crown of the watch. With the 20H, Longines could produce stopwatches suitable for precise timing in professional events too. This was when Longines began building its reputation in equestrian sports such as horse racing and including the horse jumping.
By 1880, Longines was known for the absolute quality and precision of its timepieces. To dismay of Francillon, the brand became a target for counterfeiters looking to pass off cheaply-made watches as genuine Longines products. “Knock-offs” of Longines were not only directly stealing business and revenue from Francillon, but also potentially damaging his company’s reputation overally. Therefore, Francillon made the wise decision to trademark the Longines name in 1880, and very distinctive winged hourglass logo in 1889. By 1886, Longines had already established itself as a primary supplier of timing equipment for most New York sporting officials.
Notable Longines calibers:
Longines 20H pocket chronograph
Longines 18.72 pocket chronograph
Longines 19.73 pocket chronograph
In 1927, P.V.H. Weems collaborated with Longines to produce the first wrist watch Weems avigation watch. This watch was 47mm in diameter.
In 1931, Longines collaborated with Charles Lindbergh to firstly introduce the Hour Angle aviation watch by them. In 1954, Longines introduced a timekeeping instrument called Longines Chronocinegines.
In 1937, P.V.H. Weems again collaborated with Longines to produce a second smaller 33mm Weems avigation watch reference 4036.
Notable Longines calibers:
Longines 12.68z time only or wrist watch chronograph
Longines 13.33z wrist watch chronograph
Longines 13ZN wrist watch chronograph
Longines 30CH wrist watch chronograph
Longines 37.9 time only