Longines Watches

Compagnie des Montres Longines, Francillon S.A., or simply Longines is a luxury watchmaker based in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. Founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, the company has been a subsidiary of the Swiss Swatch Group and since 1983. Its hourglass winged logo, registered in 1889, is the oldest unaltered active trademark registered with WIPO.

Longines launched in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz and his partners. Later, Auguste brought in his nephew, Ernest Francillon, who introduced several innovations, including producing crown-wound pocket watches. When Auguste’s health declined, he passed leadership to Francillon.

Under Francillon’s leadership, Longines shifted away from the √©tablissage system and adopted modern production methods. In 1867, the company established its first factory in an area of southern St. Imier known as Les Longines, which gave the company its name.

Longines produced its first in-house watch movement in 1867, which won an award at the Universal Exhibition in Paris. Later, Jacques David went to the 1876 World’s Fair in Philadelphia to gather innovative ideas from American watchmakers.

David drafted a 108-page report detailing the workings of American watch factories, including the production process and quality control measures. His report is considered one of the most significant documents in watchmaking history. He concluded that the Swiss watchmaking industry needed to change to keep pace with American competitors.

Longines discovered the oldest known Longines watch with serial number 183 dated 23 October 1867. It was announced on 6 November 2018.

Longines is the world’s first watch trademark and the first Swiss company to construct watches under one roof.

Longines created its first chronograph movement in 1878, which helped the brand gain a reputation for precision timing in professional events. However, the brand faced the challenge of counterfeiters, which led to the trademarking of the Longines name and its logo. By 1886, Longines became a supplier of timing devices for most New York sporting officials.

Longines became a part of the Swatch Group in 1983 and continued without R&D and production activities of its own. In the 1990’s, Swatch repositioned its brands, with Longines being positioned in a less-expensive segment. In 2019, Longines licensed its name and brand to Marcolin for a collection of optical frames and sunglasses.

Longines introduced “Elegance is an Attitude” in 1999, replacing “The World’s Most Honored Watch” used throughout the 20th century.

The Longines logo is the oldest registered trademark still in use in its original form. It is registered with the World Intellectual Property Organization.

Longines, has built strong relationships with various sporting organizations, events, and teams worldwide since developing its first chronograph movement in 1878.

The brand is designated as the official timekeeper, partner, and watch for competitions worldwide, including the Formula One World Championship, Archery World Cup, Commonwealth Games, French Open, World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, FEI Show Jumping World Cup, FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, and Hong Kong International Races.

Notable Longines brand ambassadors and timepieces owners include Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, Albert Einstein, and Jennifer Lawrence.