Longines’ watchmaking expertise reflects a deep-seated, unmistakable passion and a devotion to traditional, supreme timekeeping performance. Since the year of 1832, the St Imier-based company have been refining the art of Swiss manufacture by combining cutting edge designs with a beautiful blend of polished yet highly resilient materials. Longines watches belong to the Swatch Group Ltd, renowned for their portfolio of world-established brands of horological excellence. Famous for their strong involvement with sporting personalities and as a partner of international sports federations, Longines have produced a long line of unique collections all of which are representations of their multitude of skills gained along the way in their journey to ultimate success. Here we take a look at the brand’s most significant milestones.
1832 – 1876
Between these years of Longines’ early life, Auguste Agassiz, founder of the company and his two partners begin to incorporate the same crown wheel escapements commonly seen in the Swiss manufacturing industry, into their pocketwatch designs, making Agassiz head of the company. However, during the last ten years of this chapter, nephew of Agassiz, Ernest Francillon takes over Longines producing the brands first ever movement, the 20A. Each timepiece is hot stamped with the company’s trademark on the dial and engraved onto their movements.
1876 – 1913
In between these years, Longines’ first ever chronograph is produced and launched into the horse riding industry for riders, betters and spectators. The watch company’s refined chronometer certified movement is used for arctic exploration and the company’s involvement in the Formula 1 industry begins.
1913 – 1954
The first Longines single push piece is born, accurate to within one fifth of a second. Pilot timepieces and instruments built for accurate navigation are produced also, allowing Longines the opportunity to become involved in the aeronautical universe. The 13ZM calibre is also produced in various versions for one of Lognines most legendary wristwatches. The first self winding movement for a chronograph is produced as well as their first quartz clock and the iconic Conquest collection is born.
The beautiful Flagship collection is launched in this era, its striking medallion featuring the distinct caravel engraving on the back becoming the most memorable attribute to these masterpieces. Intended for use during observatory competitions, the first electromechanical calibre was also produced along with an electronic quartz movement. These groundbreaking developments sparked the beginning of Longines’ career in producing regulating organs for their timepieces which guaranteed accuracy – an innovation which shaped the Ultra-Chron collection.
Between these years, the first digital screen watch was created. Longines also becomes official timekeeper for the Formula 1 races which would last a decade. The brand’s development in their ultra-thin technology birthed the La Grande Classique collection, famous for its winged hour glass design. During the year of 1983, Longines became part of the Swatch Group.
1983 – 2005
Longines created the Dolce Vita collection by fusing contemporary aesthetics with a rare and authentic elegance in the year of 1997, closely followed by the adoption of the slogan “Elegance in an attitude”, a statement which effectively embodied the brand’s philosophy for success. The Lognines Evidenze collection was also born during these years, demonstrating the beauty of the barrel-shaped dial.
2005 – 2010
The Longines Master collection is produced during these successful years which housed a selection of completely mechanical timepieces intended to perpetuate the brand’s long watchmkaking tradition. Other collections which were soon to follow were the Longines Master Collection Retrogade, the PrimaLuna collection and the Sport collection – a family which is made up of the sub-cat members; Conquest, HydroConquest, Admiral and GrandeVitesse.
2010 – 2015
In the most recent years of Lognines’ success, the brand has gone on to produce a new column wheel chronograph movement which went on to regulate timepieces from the St Imier collection two years later. The Longines Master Collection Retrograde Moonphase model was also developed displaying day date, small seconds, phases of the moon and a 24 hour scale. Longines also signed a partnership agreement with the International Equestrian Federation, becoming official watch and official timekeeper for the organisation.
Over the decades the Swiss-based manufacturers of instrumental tools of time have built on generations of skill and dedication, continuing to enthral and captivate enthusiasts from all over the world with their exquisite designs and cutting-edge technology.