Longines Watch Company was started in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz in St. Imier in Switzerland. Back then, he operated what we call today a "home business". Workers would work out of their own homes and which Agassiz would later sell. Sometime between 1834-1866, Agassiz handed down over the operation of the watchmaking business to his nephew Ernest Francillon... (continued below)
Ernest realized that the quality of the Longines watches were not consistent due to the fact that it was coming from different "homes". He soon built a factory in Les Longines near St. Imier and consolidated all of the watchmaking under one roof. In 1868, the first Longines watch were introduced in the America. In 1873, Longines watches was awarded a gold medal for precision and reliability at the Universal Expositon in Vienna.In 1904, Longines supplied chronometers to the US Navy that explored the North polar region. Longines joined other Swiss makers in expressing an interest in mens wrist watches which were marketed to Europe.
Longines Swiss Watches in Sports and Aviation
1910 saw Longines make its presence felt in the sports market, being the official timekeeper of the French Open and manufacturing some of the first wrist chronographs ever seen. Like most watchmakers of the day, Longines produced military watches for World War I with pierced shrapnel covers cased and others for use at sea and air. They were recognized as a constant companion of many aviators in an era where airplanes and airships were considered to be crucial military equipment. Longines watches were able to handle and overcome magnetism, moisture and low Artic temperatures. It was at this era when Longines created two most famous watches, the Weems and the Linderbergh models. In 1930, Admiral Richard Byrd arrived at the South Poel wearing a Longines watch on his wrist.
Longines Swiss Watches the Golden Years
In 1920, the golden years of Longines started. From a startup of 20 workers, the company grew to 2,500 workers and produced 122,000 Longines watches every year. 1950's Lonfgines saw the purchase of Wittnauer company and maketed a number of similar lines of watches in the US under both brands. In the 1970's Longine watches made a breakthrough in development and was the first to introduce the LCS display watch to the consumer market. The 80's also saw a breakthrough for Longines as they produced the thinnest quartz watch. They also partnered with the Ferrari Formula One Team.Today, Longines has created timepieces that have adapted to the changing times without sacrificing its core values. It is present in 130 countries and have maintained their reputation as a manufacturer of truly the finest timepieces.