Vintage and preowned luxury is thriving like never before. As far as the watch industry is concerned, the second-hand market is booming as vintage watch collecting is more popular than ever and has emerged as a mark of connoisseurship… Originally restricted to auction houses, pawnbrokers and a few watch dealers, the second-hand luxury watch market has transformed dramatically over the past few years. It has professionalized and attracted strategic investors. A few brands have recently entered this market too. Longines is the latest to launch its Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program with its “Collector’s Corner” presented on the occasion of the opening of the brand’s new Boutique Rue du Rhône in Geneva. And here, we’ll be talking about beautifully restored vintage watches.
Most watch brands that have developed CPO programs so far are mostly tapping the high-end luxury segment. However, Longines stands out with its ability to offer truly interesting models given the brand’s exceptionally rich heritage, at a (relatively-speaking) very affordable price. The first watches selected retail at prices ranging between CHF 2,500 and CHF 12,500, which seems very fair given the quality of the watches and the work performed. The idea is also to offer watches with pricing that would be relatively coherent with that of the current Longines collections so don’t expect (at least for now) to find one of the sought-after 13ZN chronographs that can sometimes be hammered at over CHF 100,000 at auctions.
All “second-hand” watches offered for sales in the Longines Collector’s Corner were originally manufactured over 30 years ago and are all fitted with in-house movements – we’re thus talking more about vintage watches than classic pre-owned models. These watches have been sourced, restored and certified by the Longines heritage atelier and come with a two-year warranty on the work performed. This is made possible as Longines has kept an important stock of original components and has internally the capacity to eventually restore or reproduce parts.
We have selected a few pieces among the first watches offered in the Longines Collector’s corner that will allow you to make up your own mind.
Longines Flyback Chronograph 30CH (1965)
Definitely one of the highlights of the Collector’s Corner selection of watches, this handsome 1965 hand-wound flyback chronograph is presented in a 38mm round case with mushroom pushers. Its silvered dial features two well-proportioned registers together with a blue tachymeter scale and a red telemeter scale. Introduced in 1947, the 30CH movement is the successor of the legendary calibre 13ZN. This 29.80mm hand-wound column-wheel flyback chronograph runs at 18.000vph.
Quick facts: Reference 7413 – 38mm steel case – Hesalite glass – silvered sunray-brushed dial with applied gold faceted baton indexes – hand-wound flyback chronograph calibre 30CH – CHF 12,250
Longines Pilot’s Watch Majetek (1938)
The so-called Longines Majetek are large pilot’s wristwatches that the brand manufactured for the Czech Military Pilots. These were usually engraved with the caption “Majetek Vojenské Spravy” which means “property of the army.” The steel, 40mm cushion-shape case features a rotating fluted bezel with radium index for setting a predetermined time. A 24mm large leather strap is attached to distinctive lugs. The dial is black enamel and the cathedral hands are filled with radium.
Quick facts: Reference 3582 – 40mm steel case – black enamel dial, cathedral hands filled with luminescent radium – hand-wound calibre 15.94 with bi-metallic balance – CHF 6.150
Longines Flagship in rose gold (1958)
This elegant dress watch is presented in a 35mm 18k rose gold case with an elegant thin profile (8.5mm) and a domed Hesalite glass. The stylish dial combines applied indexes and numerals, together with the applied Longines signature and logo. It is powered by the hand-wound calibre 30L.
Quick facts: Reference 6827 – 35mm 18k rose gold case, Hesalite glass – silvered brass dial with applied gold baton indexes and Arabic numerals, rose gold dauphine hour and minute hands and subsidiary second – hand-wound calibre 30L – CHF 3,895
Longines Super Water-Resistant Diver Flyback Chronograph (1969)
This quirky chronograph is presented in a 43mm x 41mm cushion-shaped case that was designed to withstand a 200m water pressure. This flyback chronograph is equipped with a seconds hand featuring a “Vernier” type graduated scale at its end enabling readings to the nearest tenth of a second. The movement is the Longines 30CH (see above for more information).
Quick facts: Reference 8225 – 43mm steel case, mineral glass – Matt black dial with luminous square indexes, indication of hours, minutes and chronograph functions with a yellow Vernier scale which allows reading 1/10th of a second – hand-wound calibre 30CH – CHF 6,990
Longines Rectangular Art Deco wristwatch (1937)
This elegant Art Deco-inspired watch was manufactured in 1937. It is presented in a steel rectangular case with dimensions of 19mm x 29 mm. The movement is a shaped calibre (26.00mm x 17.80 mm), the hand-wound Longines 25.173.
Quick facts: Reference 3804 – 19mmx29mm steel case, mineral glass – black brass dial with Arabic numerals, minutes track and white Longines signature – hand-wound calibre 25.173 – CHF 3,250
The Longines Collector’s Corner watches are available in the new Longines Boutique, 40 Rue du Rhône in Geneva. The watches are also presented online but can only be purchased via the boutique. For more information, please visit www.longines.com