In the vintage world, Longines is a chronograph company— the brand manufactured some of the best chronograph examples in the world both early and often. Longines created its first chronograph in a pocket watch application all the way back in 1878 and, just under 20 years later, served as the official timer of the 1896 Olympics in Athens. The brand created the first wristwatch chronograph in 1913 with its Caliber 13.33z and continued to narrowly focus on this segment of the market for the next 50 years.
Alongside developments in the chronograph sector of the market, Longines made some serious strides in time-only movement manufacturing as well as in water-resistant case making. The brands “tre tacche” and “sei tacche” screwback cases are highly collectible today, many times powered by the 12.68 family of movements— the time-only generation matching up with their caliber 13 chronographs.
In recent years the simple Calatrava case paired with a salmon dial has seen a resurgence in popularity spurred on by brands creating homage pieces to classic salmon dialed watches from their catalogs in the 30s and 40s. This trend includes Longines who in 2017 introduced their Heritage 1945 model that paid homage to a simple Calatrava watch with Roman numerals, a small seconds sub-dial at 6 o’clock, and blued hands. While that watch was based on a 1945 model, the watch seen here from 1938 could be seen as an even earlier example in the same style. The combination of design features described above creates a classic and timeless combination. Adding to this watch’s appeal is the fact that it is accompanied by an extract from the Longines archive that verifies this watch and provides an invoice date of September 22, 1938 when it was sold to the company Perusset, which was at that time the Longines agent for Argentina.
The 33mm stainless steel case is in good condition. The edges are very crisp and show no signs of overpolishing and there are a number of small scratches throughout the case and snap on caseback. The crown looks to be a replacement plated item as the watch should have a matching stainless steel crown. The acrylic crystal is in very good condition with no major flaws to note.
The Dial and Hands
The salmon dial is in fair condition. There is a fair amount of dirt built up around the edges of the dial that is obfuscating the outer minute track. The up side is the originality of the dial and the deep salmon color but time has definitely taken a bit of a toll on the dial. The blued hands have fared much better and present very nicely.
This watch features an early example of the manually wound Longines calibre 12.68z movement. The watch is running and the service history is unknown
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Automatic, Longines Cal. 12.68Z|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|
|Original Papers||Longines Archive Extract|