Longines: Watchmaking Tradition and Timeless Elegance


Longines have enjoyed a long history of elegance combined with a sporty flair, as the brand has long been associated with the most prestigious sporting events in the globe, such as the French Open and the Commonwealth Games. Their commitment to heritage, elegance and craftsmanship has charmed watch aficionados around the globe, making them a giant in the watchmaking industry.

History of Longines

The Swiss luxury watchmaker was founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz and is considered the oldest registered watch brand in the world. Owned by the Swatch Group, their logo is also the oldest unchanged trademark in the world, instantly recognisable by its elegant winged hourglass.

After crossing the Atlantic in 1927, aviation pioneer Lindbergh collaborated with Longines in the creation of the revolutionary Hour Angle watch. Today, the brand is still associated with famous figures, such as tennis legend Andre Agassi and actors Kate Winslet and Simon Baker.

Longines are based in Saint-Imier, in the same location where they were founded 186 years ago. The brand has evolved over time from being a comptoir, then becoming a manufacturer, and now an établisseur, producing everything from pocket watches to wristwatches.

Longines’ long-lasting connection to sports began in 1878 with the first chronograph manufactured by the brand, the 20H movement. Over the years, the watchmaker continued to develop relationships within the sporting world and is now a staple in many sports, such as archery, alpine skiing, gymnastics and horseracing. These sports share Longines’ passion for precision, performance and elegance.

In 1888, Longines became involved in high-precision timekeeping and created its first movement for a certified chronometer, the 21.59 calibre. In 1913, the brand developed its first calibre for a wristwatch with a single push-piece, the 13.33Z, which is accurate to within one-fifth of a second. Both this calibre and the 13ZN are now considered classic calibres in watchmaking.

The Swiss watchmaker launched its first self-winding movement, the patented calibre 22A, in 1945; this was a big challenge for the company, as it was also the first time they adopted the new winding technology for large-scale production.

Image: Longines Flagship 38.5mm Automatic Watch

Longines are famous for their spirit of innovation. In 1954, they proved just how important this value is for them by developing their first quartz clock, which included a 16mm camera attached, allowing sports officials to obtain a series of still images taken every hundredth of a second.

1972 saw even more innovation. In collaboration with Ebauche SA and Texas Instruments Inc., the Longines LCD was the first digital watch manufactured by the Swiss brand, receiving the IR100 award. In 1979, the brand created the first timepiece to break the 2 mm barrier by presenting a quartz watch that was only 1.98 mm thick. This slender calibre is considered a wonder of technological achievement.

In 1999, the brand adopted the slogan ‘Elegance is an Attitude’, a motto that is just as relevant today as it was then. The company continued to focus on manufacturing sophisticated pieces, which led to the creation of beautiful collections that are beloved around the world.

The Record range is often considered the ‘face’ of the brand and embodies its watchmaking tradition; it also contains another first for Longines: all of the pieces in this collection are certified as a ‘chronometer’ by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).

The rich heritage of the Swiss brand is undeniable, and each piece is a perfect balance of classic design, sophistication and excellence.

Image: Longines Heritage Diver Automatic Watch

Longines Collections

Perfectly blending elegance, tradition, and performance, each Longines timepiece belongs to one of five collections, which you can also find here at Banks Lyon, primarily at our Kendal store. According to the watchmaking brand, “each watch collection has its very own style while remaining true to the timeless elegance that is the core value of the brand.”

Their elegance watches are classic, timeless pieces. Perfect for any occasion – from a board meeting to a sophisticated event – you can be confident that the piece on your wrist has a beautiful design that will never go out of fashion and is also technically precise. The DolceVita range is a great example of this. Inspired by 1930s Art Deco and 1950s post-war glamour, Longines created a fashionable, yet incredibly elegant range that embodies the luxury and exuberance of the “Italian way of life”.

For over 100 years, the Swiss brand has been synonymous with sporting excellence by partnering with many international sports federations and by being the official timekeeper for world championships. Their sports watches, such as the Conquest range, epitomise the special bond that the Swiss brand has built with the sporting world over the years, combining innovation and precision with style and elegance.

Longines also offer a range of equestrian watches, with modern, yet classic, pieces that represent and celebrate 140 years of the brand’s association with equestrian sports. Contemporary elements are perfectly balanced with the more traditional ones the brand is known for, making the collection a true standout in the horological world.

Aesthetically delicate but still technical and stylish, Longines’ watchmaking tradition watches are the quintessence of expertise and elegance. This collection contains popular ranges such as the Master, with each timepiece brimming with charm and character. Ideal for everyone, even the most demanding watch fan.

The heritage watches pay homage to Longines’ watchmaking heritage and pioneering spirit and embody the essence of the brand. Present in each timepiece of the collection are the beautiful aesthetics and elegance that characterises Longines, as well as the rich history that allowed them to make a mark in the luxury watchmaking industry.

Image: Longines La Grande Classique Quartz Watch

Crafted with the highest quality and precision, and with an expertise that spans almost 200 years, Longines’ pieces are inspiring to many and suited for the modern gent and lady who adore tradition with a touch of contemporary style. If you’re interested in this superb Swiss brand, visit our Kendal store and browse our Longines watches.