Longines was founded by Auguste Agassiz and his two partners Florian Morel and Raiguel Henri, in 1832, in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, where its headquarters remain today. The company is one of the oldest luxury watch brands in production today and is recognized for its high-performing and beautiful watches.
Auguste Agassiz’s nephew, Ernest Francillon, took over the leadership of the company in 1852. He was the mastermind behind impressive innovations and the movement towards modern production methods by changing its production to in-house movements. To further his efforts, Francillon brought a talented engineer, Jacques David, on board. Together, they produced their first in-house movement, the 20A, which won an award at the Universal Exhibition in 1867 in Paris. A decade later, in 1878, the company developed its first in-house chronograph movement, the 20H, and in 1889, Francillon registered the Longines name as a trademark.
Longines has a long history of creating navigational instruments. In 1919, the company became an official supplier of high precision course-plotting Longines watches for the IAF (International Aeronautical Federation). In 1927, Longines collaborated with U.S. Navy Officer Philip Van Horn, who had developed the Weems System of Navigation, to produce a rotating disc watch allowing the user to synchronize the second hand with a GNT signal. Following his non-stop solo flight Charles A. Lindbergh designed a navigational instrument, which he asked Longines to produce in 1931. The Lindbergh Hour Angle watch became famous among pilots and garnered considerable interest from the public.
Longines has had many firsts over the years. Their first self-winding movement, caliber 22A, was introduced in 1945. The production of the prototype presented a significant challenge but became the first winding technology for large-scale production.
In 1954 Longines produced its first quartz clock, which set several records for accuracy. It included a tiny camera that recorded still images and tracked an athlete’s movement.
Partnering with T.I. and Ebauche SA, Longines made its first digital watch with Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) in 1972.
Who Owns Longines?
In 1983, Longines was bought by the Société Suisse de Microélectronique (SMH), today known as The Swatch Group.
The year 1992 marked the 160th anniversary of Longines. To celebrate, Mr. Hayek, founder of The Swatch Group, and Walter von Känel, CEO of Longines, opened the Longines museum in Saint-Imier, Longines birthplace.
La Grande Classique de Longines
La Grande Classique de Longines is popular with both men and women. An ultra-thin elegant collection where the bracelet’s lugs are incorporated in the case back, making it fit exceptionally well on the wrist.
The Conquest Classic is a collection for women with a classic elegant yet sporty look. A contemporary timepiece for a modern woman for any occasion, with an integrated bracelet and a range of different dial colors.
The Longines Primaluna pays tribute to the moon, as its name indicates. A soft, delicate, and elegant timepiece exclusively for women. The dials are silvered or mother of pearl available with or without diamonds. The Primaluna is powered by either a quartz or automatic movement.
The Longines Dolcevita collection exudes contemporary elegance with its rectangular case and soft edges. It is a tribute to the sweetness of life, taking its inspiration from the “Dolce Vita.” A watch for women who make the most of life’s simple pleasures.
The Longines Symphonette line holds a unique place in its collection with its oval case and elegant vintage look. It takes its inspiration from the dress watches of the 1920s—a watch for women looking for a smaller-size.
The Longines Présence collection is a timeless, elegant line designed for both men and women. The dials are simple and easy to read and often paired with a leather strap.
A collection for both men and women, the Longines Lyre timepieces are original with soft lines. With its thin and light case, it is the perfect elegant companion.
Longines launched the first timepiece in the Longines Flagship collection in 1957. It is as successful today as it was then. A timeless classic that suits both men and women, with its different dial colors and case sizes.
Longines Master Collection
Launched in 2005, the Longines Master collection embodies a company’s rich watchmaking history producing exceptional watches since its inception. All of the timepieces are powered by automatic movements with different functions.
As the name suggests, the Longines 1832 collection is a tribute to the year the company was created. A beautiful collection for both men and women.
The Longines Elegant Collection
Longines tag line is “Elegance is an Attitude,” so it is to be expected that they have a collection by the same name. The Elegant line embodies this attitude with its classic design and sleek look for women.
The Longines Record Collection combines watchmaking expertise with the added COSC certification. Exceptional chronometer watches with the same elegant and classical look we await from Longines.
The Longines Evidenza collection is a nod to the 1920s, taking its inspiration from these times with a tonneau-shaped case and stylish designs for both men and women.
The Longines Spirit is the aviator collection paying homage to the spirit of pioneer legends such as Howard Hughes and Amelia Earhart. The dials are highly legible with large indexes and numbers with superluminova. The oversized crown allows easy handling even with gloves.
The Hydroconquest line is Longine’s diver’s collection. The watches are made for water sports lovers with their 300-meter water resistance, uni-directional rotating bezel, and superluminova.
The Conquest collection is a sporty one made for frequent flyers. You can easily change the time zone manually or using the smart “Flash Setting” system from a smartphone.
Longines models from the past inspire the Heritage collection, combining the watchmaking technology of today with the look of the past. The most famous watch in this collection is the Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch, a re-issue of the watch Lindbergh wore in 1931.