Based in Saint-Imier since 1832, Longines has a long and prestigious history. The story begins with Auguste Agassiz getting a job in Saint-Imier as a trader of watch parts. At that time it was common practice for blank components to be sent out to craftsmen who worked at home. He eventually took over the business, but it wasn't until his entrepreneur nephew Ernest Francillon joined the company that Longines really started. Ernest's big idea was to gather the makers of all these components together under one roof, and so in 1866 he purchased land at Les Longines, or 'long and narrow fields' in the local dialect. By 1867 he had convinced an assortment of piecemakers to work in the new factory, and their first in house movement was produced, along with the Longines name, and winged hourglass logo to defend against counterfeits. This logo would be registered as a trademark in 1880, the oldest watch brand logo in existence.
From the start the Longines brand received commendations and awards, Francillon returning from the Paris World Fair in 1867 with a bronze medallion for the watch. Right until 1929, Longines could claim the title 'Leading Prize Winner' at the World fairs, and their premises were continually being upgraded to allow better facilities. By 1911 the company employed over 1100 people, and was selling its watches worldwide.
The company gradually built up a close relationship with sporting events, and timed the Olympic Games fourteen times. They also built strong connections with skiing and equestrian events, as these best reflected their company motto: 'Elegance is an attitude'. They have timed 31 Tours de France, over a hundred Show Jumping competitions in Europe and North America, and is the official Timekeeper at the Roland Garros Tennis grand Slam Tournament,.
But Longines isn't a sports watch brand. The company have also provided watches to the International Aeronautics Federation, becoming their official supplier in 1919. Charles Lindbergh set off on his first non-stop crossing of the Atlantic with a Longines on board, timing the crossing at 33hours and 30 minutes. Longines watches were also worn by Amelia Earhart, and in the 1930s it was Longines who patented the Flyback Chronograph.
Because of their early expansion, Longines watches have been widely sold, with the company producing their 30millionth watch in 2001. Of course, with 30 million Longines out there, there's no reason you should miss out. Watchfinder has a wide variety of pre owned Longines watches on its site for very reasonable prices, and the company has never compromised its motto. All Longines are an example of elegance, be they classical or contemporary in their design.
One of the latest Longines watches has a more classical look, and although it is a chronograph, the new Column Wheel Chronograph follows their motto to the letter. With a stainless steel case and black crocodile strap, it is elegant and sophisticated; a watch for the Longines connoisseur.By: Jemma Hill About the Author:
Watchfinder.co.uk specialise in selling new and pre-owned watches of exceptional quality, from brands such as Rolex
, Cartier, Tag Heuer, Breitling, IWC, Raymond Weil, Jaeger LeCoultre, Chanel, TW Steel, Longines, Panerai
and many others. For more information, please visit http://www.watchfinder.co.uk
Jemma Hill is an author with a passion for both mechanical and quartz luxury watches.