Longines is a brand popular for its elegant yet timeless watches. It has a great reputation in horse racing and other equestrian sports in terms of durability and quality. It made a great difference in the luxury watch industry when it released ultra-thin movements and impressive watch models. Despite adapting to the modern watchmaking process, the design of its watches remains true to its Swiss heritage. In this guide, you will learn about the history of this brand as well as some of its iconic wristwatches today.
Longines: The Maker of Timeless Watches
The History of Longines
The persons behind the existence of Longines were Auguste Agassiz, Henri Raiguel, and Florian Morel. They did not have any prior experience in watchmaking but Auguste knew how to manage a business that helped it maintain stability. They decided to use the founding name of Raiguel Jeune & Cie in their first few years of operations. The company initially served as a comptoir within the etablissage system.
What is the Etablissage System?
The etablissage system was the most popular way of manufacturing watches in the past. Watchmakers utilized finished parts acquired from different workshops and families to assemble a timekeeping tool. It was a great help in enriching the Swiss watchmaking traditions amidst the economical sufferings faced by people in Jura.
In the Etablissage system, the comptoirs referred to companies who were responsible for acquiring, trading, and marketing parts. The watch artisans during that time worked either in the comforts of their own home or in a small workshop. They focused on producing only a few watch components to ensure that they can meet the standard set by the buyers. This kind of system worked well and even resulted in the production of watches with exceptionally high quality.
The Retirement of Raiguel and Morel
The company became popular because of its well-made pocket watches. It reached a customer group from around the world made possible due to the extensive connection of Agassiz. When Raiguel and Morel retired in 1846, Agassiz brought Ernest Francillon into the company. He was his bright nephew who had a background in economics. When he entered the business, he wanted to expand its operations and strengthen its presence in the market. With his help, the company introduced several innovations that served as its competitive advantage. When the health of Agassiz started deteriorating, he decided to appoint Francillon as the new CEO.
The Establishment of the First Longines Factory
The company moved away from the etablissage system because of the order of Francillon. For him, it has so much chance of succeeding if it would use modern production methods. In 1867, he wanted to mass-produce watches. To achieve this goal, he established the first Longines factory in the southern part of St. Imier known as Les Longines. He hired Jacques David to be the Technical Director and driver of change in the new factory. He was the talented engineer who helped produce the anchor escapement that won an award at the 1867 Universal Exhibition held in Paris.
Adopting Watchmaking Trends from American Factories
There was a time in the history of horology when American watch factories earned fame worldwide due to their industrialized manufacturing process. To discover what they did to achieve such a feat, he sent Jacques David to the 1879 World’s Fair in Philadelphia. When he went home, he wrote a report detailing what he learned from the event. It consisted of 108 pages and is now one of the most significant documents from the past. In the report, he explained the entire production process implemented by the American watch factories. He explained how they source raw materials and produce the finished watches. In addition, he also narrated the quality control measures that they adopted to ensure that their watches meet the standards and expectations of their target market. He recommended that the Swiss watchmakers must change the way they operate to be at par with their competitors.
Registered the Brand Name and Logo
With the increasing popularity of Longines worldwide, Francillon noticed that its watches became an attractive target for counterfeiters. They did not just steal business and revenue from the company but they can also tarnish its reputation. So to address this problem, Francillon registered the brand name and logo with the United International Bureaux for the protection of intellectual property. In this way, he can file charges to people who would imitate the designs of his timepieces.
Iconic Longines Wristwatches
Longines Conquest L37262966
The Longines Conquest L37262966 contains a blue carved dial with black hands and applied Arabic numerals. Additionally, it has white indexes with one exposed screw on the right side. The brand coated the case with black PVD to make it look more appealing. It measures 43 mm to ensure that it can easily fit in the wrists of men. The intricate movement contains the quartz L288. It can resist water up to 5 bars. Despite Having an impressive face and features, it only costs $869.
Longines Master L27734786
The Longines Master L27734786 seems too simple if you will only base it on the case and bracelet. If you look at the face, you will realize that a lot of things are going on contributing to a classy look. It features blue hands, Arabic numerals, and a silver dial. The 42 mm stainless steel case has a transparent back allowing you to see the automatic Caliber L67. You can use it for 48 hours at a frequency of 800 once it is completely wound. On top of the movement, you can see the 25 jewels. Don’t worry if you accidentally spill water on the watch because it has a 30 m water resistance. It costs $3 550.
Longines HydroConquest L37813587
Silver and rose gold dominate the look of the Longines HydroConquest L37813587. It has a black dial with Arabic numerals and indexes. Whenever you want to adjust the time, you can use the exposed screw on the right side. The date window is in the 3 o’clock position so that it will not take you more than a minute just to know the date of the month. It has a price tag of $1 699.
In a Nutshell
Longines is now garnering fame because of the innovative watches that they offer. They received prestigious awards throughout its stay in the watchmaking industry. The three watches listed above are all available on WatchShopping.com at relatively lower prices.