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Longines is a Swiss watch manufacturer, currently part of the Swatch Group's High Range division.
Foundation of the famous manufacture in Saint-Imier
In 1832 Auguste Agassiz opened a watch trade with fabrication in the Swiss Saint-Imier together with the watch dealer Henri Raiguel and Florian Morel. Agassiz shows their durable watches “in the style of Saint-Imier” at exhibitions throughout Europe and quickly acquires a reputation. In 1838, the Comptoir Agassiz & Cie is set up.
On 1 July 1862 his nephew Ernest Francillon takes over the manufacture and in 1866 acquires some land outside the village of Saint-Imier in the meadows of the district Langgewann (Les Longines). In the manufacture here built up in 1867 a pocket watch with the name „E. Francillon, Longines, Suisse“ is produced.
In order to protect against counterfeiting even then, the name “Longines” is registered with the Federal Office of Intellectual Property on 27 May 1889. On 27 March 1893 it is registered at the International Intellectual Property Office and thus the company is the oldest registered watch manufacturer in the world.
After Francillons death in 1900 the first mechanical attachment watches for ladies are launched in 1903. Two years later follows the first mechanically produced wristwatch and replaces in 1919, finally, the pocket watch.
In the service of time measurement
The famous hour angle watch
In the years that followed Longines revolutionizes the timing in the sports and supports scientific expeditions. Based on his experience with the problem of fast positioning the American aviation pioneer Charles A. Lindbergh advises the company Longines on the development of a special watch (hour angle watch), by which the determination of the longitude becomes possible easily and fast.
Timekeeper at sports events
In 1961 the world's thinnest electromechanical movement in its category is released at the Basel Fair. In 1967 the ”Ultra-Chron“, a highly accurate automatic wristwatch with 36,000 A/h is presented, and in 1969 the “cybernetic” Ultra-Quartz is launched.
Holding Longines SA
Longines also develops Video-Longines, an electronic timing system for sporting events and industrial processes, in 1971. The following year, Longines provides timing at the Olympic Games in Munich.
In 1972, Swiss Timing introduces the first LCD watch. This is a joint project of Longines, Ebauches SA, and Texas Instruments. Longines introduces their first double barrel automatic movement in 1975. In 1981, Longines introduces a compact quartz movement for ladies watches, the thinnest sweep seconds and calendar movement in 1982, along with a watch with a lithium battery.
Part of the Swatch Group
With the advent of quartz watches in the early 1980's the company, like many other watch manufactures, gets in severe economic difficulties. Then Longines is integrated in the SMH group, at the time the largest Swiss watch manufacturer, which in turn has now become the world's largest watch trust, the Swatch Group. The current model range includes both classics with mechanical movements such as the Longines Lindbergh and quartz watches as well.
2007, as a tribute to the first true pilot's watch of the watch history, the navigation watch Longines Weems (then the forerunner of the Longines Lindbergh), an edition with the name Longines Weems Second-Setting Watch is released.
In 2019, Longines shipped its 50 millionth watch. The company has also grown to over SFr1.5 billion in annual sales, one of only seven Swiss watch companies over SFr1 billion. Longines, along with Omega and Tissot, is one of the largest brands inside Swatch Group.
Longines Watch Co. Francillon Ltd.
Tel. +41 32 942 54 25
Fax +41 32 942 54 29