Longines

Paulene L.

We’re living in an age when it’s so much easier for brands to reach us—the customers. As the internet and social media bring us closer together, we’ve become used to new brands popping out here and there, rebelling against norms, and delivering fresh ideas and products. For customers, this is an exciting time as we get to explore and try different things at faster and more convenient ways. For brands, mostly for older ones, this offers both opportunities and challenges to always keep up and do better. Considering these factors, it’s truly interesting and surprising (or maybe not so) to see brands stand the test of time—much like how luxury watchmaker Longines, not only survived but also thrived over the last 180+ years.

Longines Watch Reviews

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The brand with the winged hourglass logo

Long-running brands usually change looks over the years. But did you know that Longines (and its logo) is the oldest brand name (since 1889) registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) still in use, unchanged, today?

Established in 1832, the Swiss luxury watchmaker began its story in Saint Imier, Switzerland, with Auguste Agassiz as its founder selling pocket watches and finding huge success in the United States not long after. By 1867, the Longines factory was inaugurated by Ernest Francillon, Agassiz’ nephew, and all watches were since engraved with the Longines name and a winged hourglass.

Exciting affairs with various sports

A rider compete in a run in Longines International Racing Festival, Veliefendi racetrack.
A rider compete in a run in Longines International Racing Festival, Veliefendi racetrack. Photo: EvrenKalinbacak

Longines is known as a leading timekeeper for sports world championships or as a partner of many sports organizations. You can see the complete list of events the brand is associated with in the calendar on their website. The watchmaker’s connection with the world of sports actually started way back in 1886, when its first chronographs were sold to and used by American bettors, horse racing spectators, buyers, riders, stud farms, and riding schools.

From horseracing, Longines’ system of electromechanical sports timing was then used at the Federal Gymnastics Festival in Basel (1912). In the following years, the brand became an official supplier for the International Aeronautical Federation, developed a caliber for observatory competitions, signed partnership with Formula 1 teams Ferrari and Renault, and became the official timekeeper for F1 races for ten years.

More recently, Longines was chosen as partner and official timekeeper of the French Open Tennis Championship and the International Ski Federation both in 2007, and numerous prestigious horse races, including the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities in 2013.

Setting records and receiving awards

A giant Longines watch located in the Longines Global Champions Tour in Chantilly, France.
A giant Longines watch located in the Longines Global Champions Tour in Chantilly, France. Photo: Bambax

Known as the watchmaker brand to have received the most awards in international exhibitions until 1929, Longines has consistently topped its best watches to produce even better and more improved ones. One of the first recognition the watchmaker acquired was at the Universal Exhibition in Paris in 1867 for its first movement, the 20A. Since then until the present day, Longines has received multiple awards—from the Grand Prix at the Universal Exhibition in Paris to the IR100 award from the Industrial Research Conference and Awards (1972).

Longines has also been instrumental to the industrialization of the Swiss watchmaking industry, creating a network of skilled artisans (technically representing the different stages of watchmaking) under one roof, and pioneered mechanized production. The brand’s 360 caliber set new records for accuracy. It also launched the first cybernetic quartz caliber (Utra-Quratz), presented a first of its kind, 1.98 mm thick quartz watch (Feuille d’Or), and produced a system that provides instant data on the horses’ positions during a race, among other achievements.

Today, Longines is part of the Swatch Group, headed by Walter von Känel, who joined the company in 1969. Many personalities from entertainment (such as Simon Baker, Aishwarya Rai, and Kate Winslet) and sports (such as Andre Agassi, Jane Richard, and Kohei Uchimura) around the world are part of the Longines family.

The secret to Longines’ uninterrupted success is the brand’s commitment to tradition, performance, and elegance. It sets itself apart by providing value not only through inventions but also, and more importantly, products that touch sensibilities. “Elegance is attitude,” the watchmaker’s slogan perfectly encapsulates its past, present, and future. Owning a Longines is more than having something to tell time. In the age of fast fashion and dizzying number of new products and services, sporting a Longines is all about statement—a sense of pride of being part of a long, proud tradition of great craftsmanship that ensues nothing but genuine, unassuming elegance.

Longines Boutique in Hong Kong.
Longines Boutique in Hong Kong.

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