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.
Following that first wristwatch chronograph caliber, in 1936 Longines introduced one of, if not the most collected and revered chronograph movements ever produced. The Caliber 13ZN holds the distinction as the first wristwatch chronograph with a flyback function and is enamored by collectors. Particularly pointing to waterproof “tre-tacche” and “sei-tacche” examples, this era of Longines chronographs is truly second to none. PH Zhou’s Hodinkee article on the subject is well worth the read and highlights just how special these chronographs are in more vivid detail.
In 1947, Longines replaced the Cal. 13ZN with the Cal. 30CH found inside this reference 5966 for sale. The 30CH is the pinnacle of chronograph development from the company during this era, with some collectors and experts putting it right up there next to the 13ZN in beauty, reliability, and pure design. The 30CH movement was fitted into a large number of different case designs and nearly as many dial variations. The reference 5966 stands out among other 30CH references because of its art deco styled lugs which are very distinct. This reference was produced in steel, rose gold and yellow gold like this watch. This example also features beautiful Côtes de Genève stripes on the movement, a rarity in the chronograph world due to the high number of components.
This example is currently in non-functioning condition and is being sold as is. If you have been looking for your next conservation or restoration project this could be the watch for you.
The 37mm 18 karat yellow gold case is in good condition. The watch has been polished in the past taking some of the crisp edges away from the art deco lugs. Additionally, there is some tarnishing on the case particularly on the lower right lug and chronograph pusher. Speaking of pushers, both pushers look to be correct for the watch but the crown is a non-original replacement piece.
The Dial and Hands
The dial is in good condition. It appears all original with its distinct open 6 and applied markers that can be seen in other correct examples. The hands also appear to be correct for the watch. The dial itself has aged considerably and there is discoloration throughout the dial with a notable area on the edge of the dial near the crown. There is also a scratch above the 6 that should be noted as well.
The watch is powered by a hand wound Longines 30CH chronograph movement. The watch is not currently running and the service history is unknown. Additional photos of the movement have been provided to help determine condition.
|Movement||Manual, Longines Calibre 30CH|
|Dial||White aged to “caramel”|
|Case Material||18k Yellow Gold|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|