The Winged Hourglass

The origins of Longines date back to 1832, but it was only in 1867 that the first movement marked with this name came to be: the L20A caliber.

The oldest logo in the history of watchmaking was already tagged on to it: the legendary winged hourglass, to distinguish the original creations of the Maison from any fakes.

From its foundation until today, the achievements of the St. Imier factory are remarkable. To name but a few, it was among the first to establish a mechanised production, the first to adopt a registered logo, the first to enter sports timing with an electromechanical system (in which an electrical apparatus started and stopped the measuring of mechanical chronographs).

The role of Longines was also essential in the explorations of the early 1900s, such as the conquest of the South Pole by Roald Amundsen in 1911 and the solo crossing from New York to Paris by Charles Lindbergh in 1927, during which the prototypes developed by the manufacturer were fundamental tools not only for navigation, but also for the safety of the explorers.

Together with Lindbergh, Longines subsequently developed a watch with a system for the rapid calculation of the hour angle. Together with the commander of the U.S. Navy Phillip Van Horn Weems, another model with a disc system was created; this allowed to rapidly synchronise the time with a GMT signal. The two watches are still available in the Longines catalogue today (Weems Second Setting Watch and Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch).

Nowadays, Longines’ production focuses mainly on mechanical watches, which make up 82% of its output. However, its research also focuses on quartz, for which the VPH (Very High Precision) technology was developed, promising deviations of just +10 seconds per year.

The glorious past of the brand is embodied by the more classic collections, as well as by the Longines Avigation, dedicated to aviation; while its more sporty and modern side is found in the HydroConquest diver which, with its exceptional quality price ratio, represents the future of the brand.

by Dody Giussani