Longines is a luxury watch company founded by Ernest Francillon at Saint-Imier, Switzerland. Its origins can be traced back to the 1830s and it currently holds the oldest registered logo for a watch company (a winged hourglass). Longines is currently owned by the Swatch Group. Longines is famous for its 'Aviators' watches. One director of Longines was a personal friend of Charles Lindbergh; after his transatlantic flight, Lindbergh designed a pilot watch to help with air navigation. The watch was actually built to his specifications, and is still produced today. Contents [hide] 1 Foundation 2 History 2.1 Agassiz & Compagnie 2.2 Ancienne Maison Auguste Agassiz, Ernest Francillon, successeur 2.3 Les Longines 2.4 The Philadelphia Universal Exhibition of 1876 2.5 Manufacture Longines 2.6 Worldwide acclaim 2.7 The Winged Clepsydra 2.8 Sports timing 2.8.1 Gymnastics 2.8.2 Equestrian sports 2.8.3 Skiing 2.8.4 Tour de France 2.8.5 Formula 1 racing 2.9 Aeronautics 2.10 the 1970s 2.11 the 1980s 3 Thirty million watches 4 Baseball scoreboard clocks 5 Trivia 6 Notes 7 External links [edit] Foundation This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2007) Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. Vintage Longines box.Based in Saint-Imier since 1832, the Compagnie des Montres Longines Francillon S.A. is historically among the world’s leading horological houses. In 2007, Longines had its 175th anniversary. The brand evolved from a “comptoir”[1] to a full-fledged manufacturing[2] operation and then back down to an établisseur[3] today, as a Swatch Group company. The Longines’ story began in 1832, when Auguste Agassiz found a job in the hamlet of Saint-Imier. Agassiz entered the trade by joining with an existing “comptoir” in the hamlet of Saint-Imier. He worked at Comptoir Horloger Raiguel Jeune - a trader of watch parts, soon taking over the business when in 1833 he and two of his associates set up a company named Comptoir Raiguel Jeue & Cie. At the time, the venture was run on the then-prevailing business model based on piecework by people making or processing watch parts in their own homes for the account of a jobber who delivered the blanks, or rough parts, and picked up and paid for the finished ones. The company soon found ways to market its timepieces in distant markets, not least in the Americas. [edit] History This section does not cite any references or sources. (December 2007) Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. [edit] Agassiz & Compagnie In 1847 Agassiz became the sole owner of the company which he renamed “Agassiz & Compagnie.” In 1852, Agassiz' nephew Ernest Francillon joined the company. During the 1850s, Francillon took over the business from his ailing uncle, focusing on increasing and improving the production of standard watch designs. [edit] Ancienne Maison Auguste Agassiz, Ernest Francillon, successeur In 1862 Francillon renamed the venture “Ancienne Maison Auguste Agassiz, Ernest Francillon, successeur” adding his own name to his uncle’s, acknowledging the latter’s pioneering role. As he took over day-to-day management, Francillon looked for ways of improving and streamlining the production of his timepieces, then parceled out to a number of different sites. His idea was to gather everything under one roof, in keeping with his vision of a factory where mechanical manufacturing and assembly methods would enable him to make and finish watches in one integrated process. [edit] Les Longines From this perspective, in 1866, Francillon purchased two adjoining plots of land at a place locally known as Les Longines on the right bank of the River Suze that flows in the Saint-Imier valley. Here he built a factory, to gather the entire production under one roof. By 1867, Francillon had convinced some of his pieceworkers to transfer their activities to his newly built factory and hired a young kinsman, the engineer Jacques David, to help him devise the tools and machines which he needed to improve the manufacturing processes. Despite various setbacks, the Longines factory’s prosperous growth vindicated Francillon’s bold vision. Mechanization of the production processes was successfully implemented thanks to Jacques David’s talent at conceiving and building machines that seconded watchmakers in their tasks and improved the quality of their work. [edit] The Philadelphia Universal Exhibition of 1876 A crack engineer[citation needed] convinced of the merit of mechanical production, David traveled to the Philadelphia Universal Exhibition of 1876 and returned to write a report that triggered a wide-ranging debate within the Swiss watch industry of his day.[citation needed] [edit] Manufacture Longines The first in-house Longines movement was created in 1867. Francillon was the first watchmaker to introduce the winding crown.[citation needed] All watches before that where wound with a key. The same year Ernest Francillon returned from the World's Fair in Paris with a bronze medal for this novelty watch. From the 1870s on, Longines’ industrial options proved judicious and the company grew steadily until the first third of the 20th century. The buildings themselves regularly had to be adapted to the needs of a flourishing enterprise which, by 1911, employed over 1,100 people and sold its timepieces worldwide. [edit] Worldwide acclaim Over the years, the company’s various technical research projects earned so much acclaim abroad that Longines could claim the title of “leading prize winner” at international exhibitions up to the Barcelona Exhibition of 1929. It garnered ten Grand Prix (Antwerp 1885, Paris 1889, Brussels 1897, Paris 1900, Milan 1906, Bern 1914, Genoa 1914, Paris 1925, Philadelphia 1926 and Barcelona 1929). In 1969, Longines’ corporate tradition of technical innovation yielded the first cybernetic quartz electronic wristwatch ever designed by a watch manufacturer’s in-house research facilities.[citation needed] [edit] The Winged Clepsydra In 1880, on the 19th of July the Longines brand and logo were registered at the Swiss Federal Office of Intellectual Property, now the World Intellectual Property Organization. The company had by 1867 already adopted its Winged Hourglass symbol both as a mark of quality and as a defense against the counterfeiting its timepieces increasingly fell prey to. [edit] Sports timing Building on its in-house expertise, Longines gradually built a special relationship with the world of sport. Present in Athens in 1896, the company has been closely associated with the worldwide development of sport, timing Olympic Games fourteen times, beginning with Oslo in 1952. Its partnership drove the company to devise a variety of inventions and developments enabling it to determine and display winning times. [edit] Gymnastics After the great success of wrist watches at the beginning of the 20th century, the Longines factory underwent a massive reorganization of methods of production during the 1920s and 30s. In 1912 Longines began a close partnership with gymnastics as the official timekeeper for the 1912 Swiss Federal Gymnastics Meet in Basel. The result of this partnership was the introduction of automatic timing. In 1912 at the Swiss Federal Gymnastics Meet, it introduced the “broken wire” automatic timing system. [edit] Equestrian sports In 1952, its Photogines was the first device to visualize the finish line as it measured times. By 1960, the Contifort combined moving images and timing functions. These and other inventive developments contributed to Longines’ sporting credentials. Building on its historic association with sports, the company now sponsors gymnastics and equestrian sports. Longines started equestrian timekeeping in 1926 at the Concours Hippique International in Geneva. It has since then officiated at more than one hundred national and international show-jumping competitions in Europe and in North America,[citation needed] providing timing services at competitions including World Championships, European Championships, and Olympic Games along with many CSIO meets as well as, more recently, Arab League competitions. [edit] Skiing Longines returned to skiing in 2006, becoming official timekeeper for the FIS’s 2006-2007 Alpine World Cup competitions. It had experience from 1933. That said, Longines’ sports timekeeping experience extends far beyond those disciplines with which it is currently associated. The variety of time-measurement devices and systems it has developed over the years has involved it in countless sporting events. [edit] Tour de France In addition to the Olympic Games, Longines has timed 31 Tours de France.[citation needed] [edit] Formula 1 racing Longines' mastery of advanced technologies[vague] moved it also to approach Formula 1 racing,[citation needed] an experience that ultimately led to a partnership with Ferrari of Italy. [edit] Aeronautics Official supplier since 1919 to the International Aeronautics Federation (FAI), Longines has provided the watches required to set and then certify numerous world flight records – not least the historic, human and technical exploit represented by Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 first nonstop solo crossing of the North Atlantic. Instruments designed and built by Longines have thus helped world explorers and trailblazers of the skies. Thus, in 1927 Longines timed the first transatlantic flight, which lasted 33 hours and 30 minutes. In the middle of the 20th century Longines was part of the rise of feminine aviation, with Amelia Earhart who was another famous wearer of the brand. This period also marked the appearance of the first in-house self-winding movement watches and the company won several prestigious awards. Among those awards there were four Diamonds-International Academy Awards and the Prix d'Honneur of Lausanne. In the mid 1930s Longines patented the flyback chronograph. [edit] the 1970s In the 1970s Longines experienced a breakthrough in development and production. There were advances in performance of the watches and their appearance continued to change. In 1980s there were a series of ultra-thin designs, which followed another world record of Longines in 1960 - the thinnest[citation needed] electromagnetic watch - it was just 0.98 mm thick. [edit] the 1980s In 1982 the factory issued a collection dedicated to the new partnership of Longines and Ferrari Formula 1 Team. In 1984 Longines unveiled a high precision quartz caliber with a thermic sensor to keep its rate stable. It could be manually fine-tuned if required and boasted[vague] a variation of 10 seconds per year, which is roughly 5 to 10 times more precise than the average quartz watch. [edit] Thirty million watches On 19th February 2001 Longines produced the 30 millionth watch at their factory. In 2002 the brand celebrated the 170th year of the flying hourglass logo.