Founded in 1832, Longines is a Swiss luxury watch company with headquarters in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. The iconic brand is the Official Timekeeper of the Kentucky Derby, and Longines has a rich history of timing sporting events and world championships that dates back more than a hundred years.
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Longines watches are high quality, Swiss-made luxury timepieces that offer refined styling and reliable performance. Founded in Saint-Imier, Switzerland in 1832, Longines produces a diverse assortment of finely-crafted luxury watches for both men and women, which offer beautiful designs, high-performance movements, and a rich heritage from one of the world's most celebrated manufacturers.
Founded in 1832, the Swiss watch manufacturer operates from their headquarters in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. Longines watches are sold in more than 150 different countries and since 1983, the brand has been a member of the Swatch Group, alongside other prestigious Swiss luxury watch companies such as Omega, Blancpain, Breguet, and Tissot.
Longines' famous 'winged hourglass' logo holds the distinction of being the oldest watchmaking trademark still in use today, and it is instantly recognizable all around the world, as a symbol that is synonymous with elegant design, precision timekeeping, and an overall commitment to impeccable quality.
The history of Longines starts in 1832, when a Swiss watchmaker by the name of Auguste Agassiz set up a small business in the town of Saint-Imier, Switzerland. Although he originally established his brand with the help of two partners, Agassiz was left solely in charge of the company after they retired, and he later brought in his nephew Ernest Francillon, a brilliant economist with a strong understanding of the watch industry, to help him run the company.
After Auguste Agassiz passed away in 1877, Francillon took over the business and set up its first manufacturing factory in 1867. Located in a southern area of Saint-Imier known as Es Longines (meaning “long meadows”), the new factory's location would ultimately become the company's now-legendary name: Longines.
In 1876, Longines sent its Technical Director, a bright engineer named Jacques David, to the United States to learn about America's approach to watchmaking. The information he brought back to Switzerland allowed Longines to quickly become a pioneer in industrialized timepiece production, which made the brand an early presence in competitive sports and exploration.
In 1919, Longines was named the official timepiece supplier for the International Aeronautical Federation and during the 1920s and 1930s, Longines created a number of purpose-built pilot's watches such as the 'Weems Second-Setting Watch' and the 'Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch' that were intended to help with aeronautical navigation.
Since 1983, Longines has been a member of the Swatch Group, where the iconic Swiss luxury watchmaker operates alongside some of the most prestigious brands in the industry. To this day, Longines continues to produce a wide variety of different finely-crafted timepieces for both men and women alike, which spans everything from elegant dress pieces crafted from solid gold to robust sports watches designed to travel to the bottom of the ocean.
Longines' current catalog is broken down into two main categories: Classic and Sport. Each side contains a number of different collections that collectively offer a diverse assortment of different models for every possible lifestyle and aesthetic preference.
The Classic side of Longines' catalog contains all of the traditionally-styled timepieces and dress watches, including models such as the Heritage Classic, DolceVita, Présence, and Longines Master Collection.
The Sport side of the Longines' catalog will have all of its various purpose-built sport and tool watch models such as the Conquest series, Legend Diver, Longines Spirit, and Heritage Military collections.
Despite the wide range of different styles of watches that Longines produces, all of them are united by the fact that they are built using the finest available materials, feature top-of-the-line Swiss movements, and are built to last a lifetime.
Longines watches are true Swiss-made luxury timepieces, yet it is often said that they offer tremendous value for the money because they can be purchased for significantly less money than many of their counterparts.
Prices for Longines watches can range significantly depending on the specific model and its features; however, most Longines watches can be purchased for anywhere between $1,000 and $5,000.
Many of Longines' simple and elegant time-only dress watches from the Classic side of its catalog are priced less than the ultra-durable and feature-packed models from its Sport collection. This is typically due to the fact that the brand's sports watches often feature larger, more robust cases and more advanced internal movements.
However, Longines also produces premium versions of its timepieces with cases crafted from solid 18k gold. These watches are quite a bit more expensive than their stainless steel counterparts, regardless of the specific model, with most examples selling for significantly above Longines' usual price point.
As you would expect from a premier luxury watch brand, Longines boasts a number of prestigious partnerships and celebrity brand ambassadors.
Longines sponsors a number of high-profile events throughout the worlds of equestrian, alpine skiing, and commonwealth games. Additionally, Longines currently holds the prestigious title of being the Official Timekeeper of the Kentucky Derby and is trusted with the crucial role of measuring all race times.
In addition to the various sporting events and championships where Longines serves as either a sponsor or official timekeeper, the Swiss luxury watch manufacturer also has a long list of famous brand ambassadors that come from a variety of different industries.
Alongside popular international A-list actors such as Kate Winslett, Eddie Peng, and Regé-Jean Page, are award-winning athletes that include Mikaela Shiffrin, Bryan Balsiger, Géraldine Fasnacht, and Marco Odermatt (just to name a few).
As a Swiss-made timepiece built to the highest standards, any Longines is considered a true luxury watch, and many Longines timepieces are regarded as valuable heirlooms that get passed down to future generations. Longines watches are made in Switzerland using the best possible materials and they offer a rich history of watchmaking tradition that dates back to 1832.
Longines watches are often considered to offer some of the best value for the money within the entire Swiss watch industry, and any Longines model will make a worthy addition to a person's watch collection, regardless of what other timepieces they may already own. Longines watches feature premium materials paired with top-of-the-line Swiss movements, and they come from a manufacturer with a rich heritage that involves everything from the timing of competitive sports to the early days of human flight.
Omega and Longines are two completely separate watch brands, although both are currently part of the same Swiss multinational holding company known as the Swatch Group. Following a merger in 1983, Longines has been part of the Swatch Group, which also serves the parent company for numerous other prestigious Swiss luxury watch brands including Omega, Breguet, Blancpain, Harry Winston, Jacquet Droz, Rado Tissot, Mido, and Certina (along with many more).
As true Swiss-Made luxury timepieces, Longines watches are made in Switzerland, rather than being produced overseas in countries such as China. The term “Swiss-Made” has strict qualifications that are legally enforced, and in order to qualify as Swiss-made, a watch must have its technical development carried out in Switzerland, contain a Swiss movement, be cased up in Switzerland, and have at least 60% of its total manufacturing costs incurred in Switzerland. Plus, it must also have a final inspection process carried out at a Swiss facility. Longines's first watchmaking factory was established in 1867, and the company has been making Swiss-made luxury watches ever since.
There is no single answer for which brand of watch is best, since the best watch for one person may not be the absolute best for another individual who has a different set of requirements and preferences. With that in mind, Longines consistently ranks among the Top 10 Watch Brands as listed by a wide variety of different sources, and Longines is often said to offer one of the best values for the money among all Swiss brands within the luxury watchmaking industry.
Longines watches are Swiss-made luxury timepieces that are built using high-quality movements and the finest materials available. Simply put, a real Longines watch will be built to a standard that is appropriate for a timepiece that costs thousands of dollars. On a genuine Longines watch, all engravings and dial printings should be crisp and meticulously carried out, the external components should be finely finished, and the overall feel should exude the quality and precision engineering that is consistent with one of the world's most famous luxury watch companies.