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Longines is one of the nineteen watch manufacturers that make up the massive Swatch Group. Based in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, the brand produces luxury watches with a modern in-house inventory and part delivery system – it produces around two million watches a year using its automation combined with traditional watchmaking.
There are more than 1,200 different models in the Longines catalog, but that number takes into account that each strap choice or dial color variation results in a different SKU. This number of available models allows Longines to cater to the diverse tastes of global markets – the brand has achieved an enormous market presence by strategically positioning its watches at a price point in the Swatch group below Omega and above Tissot.
Longines currently focuses its sports sponsorships on alpine skiing, archery and equestrian sports, with brand ambassadors such as Kate Winslet, Mikaela Shiffrin and Andre Agassi. The combination of high-profile partnerships, the volume of luxury watches produced and the winged hourglass logo make the Longines brand recognizable worldwide.
History of Longines
The history of Longines begins much earlier than the list of mergers that led to the Swatch Group. The Swiss watch manufacturer was founded in 1832 and their breakthrough in watchmaking came in 1878 with the development of the first chronograph watch movement, the caliber H20. (The H20 features start, stop and reset functions controlled by a single monopusher on the crown.) By 1886 Longines was supplying pocket watches with chronograph complications, beginning their association with equestrian sports. .
Longines began its transition from pocket watches to wristwatches in 1913 with the 29mm reference 13.33Z, a chronograph. In 1919, after World War I, Longines was chosen as the official watch supplier to the International Aeronautical Federation, as aviation became popular. During World War II, the brand was one of twelve companies contracted by the British Ministry of Defense to manufacture WWW (watch, wrist, waterproof) for British soldiers, collectively known today as the “Dirty Dozen”. In these early decades of the 20th century, famous Longines wearers included theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, legendary actor Humphrey Bogart, and aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart.
In the 1970s, Longines resisted the manufacture of quartz watch movements and instead developed ultra-thin mechanical movements. These slender movements bridged the gap until Longines joined the Société Suisse de Microélectronique et d’Horlogerie (SMH) in 1983 – a movement that continued to evolve into the Swatch Group.
Longines maintains detailed numerical records by serial number of each watch they produce, and owners can request a “Certificate of Authenticity” and/or “Extract from the Archives” for detailed information about their timepiece. (This process is described on Longines Website.) Interestingly, the brand’s winged hourglass logo remains the world’s oldest registered trademark still in use for its original purpose.
Below, we’ve included a guide to each model line in the collection, as well as several standout models.