The history of chronograph watches and adventures from Longines, a long-established Swiss watch maker

The birth of Longines, a long-established Swiss watch manufacturer

Longines is a long-established watch manufacturer that still has many fans today.

It was born in 1832.

Auguste Agassi marks the beginning of Longines

Our history began with the establishment of Regul Jeune & Agassiz Trading Company.

In 1867, his successor, Ernès Francillon, built a clock factory in a small village in the Jura Valley.

Hernes Francillon is Agassi's nephew.

The historic name Longines was derived from the name of the place where it was built.

The factory is located in Longines, on the banks of the Josse River in Saint-Imier.

In old French, it means "a flowered field with a running stream."

A fitting name for a beautiful watch.

Our image of Longines is that of a luxury dress watchmaker.

However, in the conservative Swiss watch industry, which has been protecting its traditions since its founding,

Longines was an innovative manufacturer not afraid to develop and embrace advanced technologies.

Longines' reliable quality has been cultivated since the company's founding.

At that time, the watch industry was still heavily influenced by home-based craftsmanship.

In this situation, Longines took the initiative and introduced mass production in its factories.

How courageous it takes to change a conservative environment.

Furthermore, they created the world's first wristwatch chronograph,

Next, they became the first company in the world to commercialize quartz wristwatches.

Longines: Traveling with Adventurers

Longines is proud and confident as a pioneer in the watch industry.

And with passion, we begin to walk alongside the adventurers of the era.

It began with Captain Vernier's 429-day expedition to the North Pole in 1904.

Longines was also with the adventurer Richard E. Berke during his conquest of the Antarctic and Arctic.

It is said to have used an early Longines chronograph with a single push button.

Richard E. Park even went so far as to say that without Longines equipment the expedition would not have been a success.

This speaks of trust in Longines.

Not many people know that Longines has such a long history.

The performance of Longines watches that can withstand extreme cold conditions is

Considering the technology at the time, it's amazing how advanced it was.

After overcoming each challenging adventure, Longines has added revolutionary technology and ingenuity to its watches.

In this way, the accuracy and functionality of watches continued to evolve steadily.

Longines watches are filled with the romance of adventure of that time.

Longines flew with Lindbergh

Among all its adventures, Longines is most proud of its history, including Charles Lindbergh's nonstop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.

Reading Lindbergh's biography reveals the greatness of his flight.

The flight time was 33 hours and 39 minutes.

There was no equipment like we have today, so people had to check their position during flight and calculate the remaining fuel, but ultra-precise clocks that could measure to within one-fifth of a second were instrumental in this.

This is a Longines aviation chronometer.

Although Lindbergh's achievements are often highlighted, it is true that Longines was behind his success.

The advanced technology incorporated into chronometers was then further refined by Longines.

In 1931, the world's first wristwatch that could measure not only time but also hour angle was completed.

This is an hour angle watch.

The watch, which used a large chronograph movement (18.69N) and was originally made in only five units, was housed in a gold case.

In 1937, 1,000 stainless steel models were produced, which were a miniaturized version of the large wristwatch and had some functional improvements.

The watches known as Lindbergh watches continue to receive high praise as aviation wristwatches even today.

In 1987, marking the 60th anniversary of the successful non-stop cross-continental flight, a commemorative reproduction model was released, attracting many fans.

The watch has a function that allows you to accurately adjust the second hand to the 60 second position by moving the rotating dial in the center of the face to match the time signal.

It also had a dial showing the time and angles which allowed for the calculation of a flight's position and longitude, and a rotating bezel could be used to tell the equation of time.

More than 100 years ago, adding such functions to a watch not only required the technology, but it must have also posed a major challenge for Longines.

Longines, which attempted to pack as much technology as possible into small watches, could be said to have been at the forefront of the watch industry and leading the way at the time.

Supported by the adventurer's spirit of challenge to venture into the unknown world, innovative technology and the trust of its users, Longines has created masterpieces that combine the functions necessary for adventure.

This watch embodies the history and romance of the relationship between Longines and the adventurers who continue to take on new challenges.

It's no wonder that Longines fascinates so many people.

Costs plagued Longines

In its quest to stand out from the crowd in the watch industry, Longines has created a 12-hour counter.

The dial side is equipped with a 60-minute counter that serves as the driving force behind the 12-hour counter at the 3 o'clock position, making for a fairly complex design.

This would later be called the later model 13N, and although its exact birth date is unknown, the design drawings for the later model record it as October 24, 1942, and Longines officially announced that the later model was born in 1942.

Although the elaborate modifications were revolutionary, the costs of producing the 13ZN in the heat of competition were simply too high for Longines.

For example, the operating lever was a much thicker part than chronographs of the same era, and the 13ZN had to be polished and adjusted by hand, so productivity was low.

Not only was there a problem with an ever-increasing number of parts, but labour costs were also enormous, with watchmakers' wages in Switzerland doubling between 1938 and 1946.

However, thanks to these thick parts, which were a struggle at the time, the 13ZN's excellent lifespan would later earn it fame.

In the end, Longines' dedication paid off.

The chronograph also contained other precision components.

The chronograph bridge was better than those of other watch makers, and used three-dimensional olives for the hole jewels. The use of hole jewels with less resistance improved the accuracy of the chronograph operation.

Furthermore, although the design of the chronograph runners is somewhat old, since the 1940s, many companies had been considering making the rims of the chronograph runners thicker to increase their durability, but Longines was the only one that insisted on using thin gears.

As for the driving wheel, it was fitted with a sturdy support in anticipation of the heavy use it would undergo with the flyback, and the UROFA59, which introduced the flyback in 1941, also used the same design for the 13ZN.

Of course, Longines did not take any measures when developing the later model 13ZN, but rather thought about keeping manufacturing costs down.

By moving the minute counter to the dial side, a larger gap has been created between the seconds chronograph and the wheels, column wheel, brake lever and reset hammer, and this space is utilized.

When it comes to column wheels, those with an odd number of teeth are considered to be of higher quality, but those with an even number of teeth are simply more expensive in comparison; this does not necessarily mean that they are higher quality.

However, since a larger number of teeth allows for more precise control of the chronograph, high-end watches from the 1930s onwards were competing to increase the number of gears.

I'm really amazed at the passion that goes into these small parts.

The later model levers and hammers were changed to simple bent ones.

This increased productivity and made the flyback less likely to break even when used frequently.

However, an internal Longines document from 1944 also records that it was possible to develop a wristwatch chronograph at a lower cost than the current 13ZN, so it may be that the ingenuity and effort put in at the time did not make much of a difference.

Compared to the 13ZN, which is a slightly older design, the 30CH does not have a 12-hour counter, but it still has a logical design that is still relevant today.

The cost-conscious 30CH is the successor to the 13ZN.

Although the design of the 13ZN's transmission wheel and carrying arm was simplified, the design was very heavy; this was possible only because Longines prioritized engagement with the column wheel.

Around the time the 13ZN was introduced, Longines was purchasing chronograph movements from Valjoux for use in watches other than the 13.33Z.

Although the 13ZN was highly praised for its thick functional parts, carefully crafted by skilled artisans, its poor productivity was a drawback.

This was because Lemania and Valjoux, which had thinner parts, were more productive.

If we look only at the thickness of the parts, Valjoux was able to produce an astonishing 60,000 chronographs a year, even during the war.

The Caliber 23 was released in 1914 and was produced until 1974.

On the other hand, the 13ZN was made using a method that involved manually adjusting the dimensions to give thickness to the functional parts, a feature that Longines was particular about. However, due to the high costs, the watch disappeared after just over 10 years, despite its good quality.

Longines put all its efforts into surpassing the legendary 13.33Z, and the 13ZN was finally developed, incorporating a new flyback mechanism.

It can be said that changing the way Longines handles its world-renowned registers was truly an adventure.

One wrong step could tarnish the Longines name, but Longines' courage in taking on such an adventure is sure to continue to fascinate people.

Longines has continued to evolve while maintaining the same quality and brilliance, and is sure to make anyone who owns it shine.