Longines was founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, who, unlike the founder of many other watch brands, was not a heralded watchmaker but rather a businessman. The early years of Longines were consumed by pocket watches and chronographs powered by their workhouse 20H movement. Fast forward a century and things start to get interesting. In the late 1920s and ‘30s, the brand began to make watches for the famous aviators of the day. Even though airplane technology was advancing quickly, airplane navigation tools were slow to catch on. One of these first innovations in aviation technology was a rotating 60 second bezel that a pilot could use to synchronize their watch with a GMT signal sent over their radio. This synchronized watch could then be used to make more precise navigation calculations. Longines’ relationship with the aviation industry would lead to the 1931 creation of the Lindbergh Hour Angle watch.
They say that good artists copy and great artists steal. We are not sure whether or not we agree with that statement but Longines definitely took it to heart when they created this watch. Longines stole the design of this watch straight from Cartier and their classic Tank. Visually, there are two big changes between this watch and the Cartier. The first is the obvious Longines name printed on the dial and the lack of a hidden signature and the second is the non pointed or jeweled crown. The other major difference between this watch and the Cartier is the case material. Until very recently, Cartier never made a Tank Louise in steel. Rather they opted for precious metals, plated silver, or pure silver. Also of note is the fact that this isn’t the only model from Cartier that Longines took influence from. You can find Vendome and other models from the Longines lineup. If you are okay not having the Cartier name on the dial this is a very cool way to get a steel tank at a great price.
The 23mm stainless steel case is in good condition. There are scratches throughout the case and a small ding on the top left lug that looks like it is the result of improper strap removal. The good news is that due to the shape of the case a light polish will bring back a lot of luster to this watch without greatly altering the overall shape. The signed crown and caseback appear to be correct for the watch.
The Dial and Hands
The black and white dial with printed Roman numerals and railroad minute track is a page straight out of the Cartier playbook. Under a loupe or macro photography, the printing is not as nice as what was produced by Cartier but still looks to be of good quality. The hands in black and in a simple shape are also a departure from what Cartier would have done but the simplicity pairs nicely with the overall aesthetic.
This watch features a hand wound movement. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Leather Strap|