The Longines Museum is located in the village of St. Mill, Switzerland, where Longines originated. It has long preserved Longines’ historical heritage, excellent models, brand stories and sportsmanship. This year coincides with the 180th anniversary of the brand. The Longines Museum opens its doors to unveil the mystery of Longines’ watchmaking process, showing the long history of Longines and the important chronicles of Longines in all generations. The Longines Museum is divided into five sections, namely: the production archives section, the watch section, the ’34 million Longines’ section, the advertising section, and the timer section. The production file exhibition area records the production data from 1867 to the present; the watch exhibition area tells the age background of each watch; the ’34 million Longines’ exhibition area concisely shows the various stages of 180 years. Production history; advertising exhibition area, displaying related promotional activities and promotional products, such as the brand’s famous flying wing hourglass image; timer exhibition area, the timing equipment and deep sports spirit created over the years; each area carries the Longines story, combined into Longines watches Majestic achievement.
Pocket watch by Agassiz, 1850s
Pocket watch with the first 20A movement manufactured at Longines, 1867
In the long history, Longines has gone through different stages of production, from small watch workshops to today’s watch factory, and has a comprehensive technology for the development of watch movements. Longines’s sales network has been around the world for a long time, and since 1867, Longines has recorded production data in a series of ‘production files’. These archives have existed since the establishment of the watch factory, and they also include data on Longines timepieces produced before the computerized age. The file also includes other information, such as the number of watches under study, the date of manufacture, the type of movement assembled, as well as detailed data on the case, dial and hands, the name and address of the dealer. This series of archives brings together a lot of valuable reference data, showing the bit by bit of the brand’s production process since 1867. Longines has specially set up a “production archive exhibition area” to display Longines’ precious historical heritage. The public can trace the history of any Longines in this treasure house.
The first simple stopwatch manufactured by Longines with a 20H movement, 1878
La Renomme ́e engraved pocket watch
Watches_3 Longines’ first simple stopwatch with a 20H movement, 1878
The history of watches and clocks often focuses on the technology and innovation of the commodity itself. However, it is equally important to understand the background of watch production: the cultural, economic, social, industrial, and technical factors of a product help us understand the manufacturing or sales model of a product, and even help understand the historical causes of watch production. The history of watch technology tends to ignore these factors and focus on the timepiece itself. Taking watches as an example, all watches look similar on the surface, but as long as you look carefully, you will find that the cultural background, technological development of each era, and even the basic changes in the watch industry can reflect the evolution of the watch. Longines began developing watch movements from the early twentieth century to the thirties. Longines has been focusing on the development of pocket watch movements before. The original watch was still modeled on pocket watch technology. Until 1916, Longines began to develop special movements for watches, perfecting the movement and case design. During this period, the public’s aesthetic view of timepieces gradually changed, and Longines began to take a different approach. In the early 1950s, Longines had accumulated a wealth of experience in watch manufacturing, was proficient in the various processes of making movements, and carved its trademark on the movement.
Watches_6 Women’s small jewellery watch with diamonds and sapphires, 1923
Watches_7 Weems with wireless telecommunication second hand to adjust the rotating inner dial, 1929
Relying on its fine aesthetics and technical tradition, Longines launched the Flagship collection in 1957, and it also witnessed this important milestone in the museum’s ‘watch exhibition area’. Later, Longines set out to organize the brand’s series in a ‘modern’ way, incorporating the same design style or technical features in several different models. Since 1957, Longines has been developing changeable designs in the same watch collection. The ‘Watch Zone’ starts from the change of product appearance (not technical level) and shows the development overview of Longines. The exhibition area includes 1,200 watches designed by Longines since 1957. It also explores the brand’s watch design principles after the mid-20th century, the different aesthetic trends that affect clock design, and the various styles that have established the watchmaking tradition. .
Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch by American pilot Charles Lindbergh, 1931
Longines with dual dials. The upper dial indicates hours and minutes, and the lower dial indicates seconds. 1932
Today, Longines has a long history of more than 34 million timepieces, all of which are included in the ‘production file’ or related documents. Watch design is closely related to the background of the times. In the long history of watchmaking, Longines has successfully developed its own production technology, and at the same time it can better meet the different aesthetic standards and requirements of the global market. The history of Longines watchmaking can be divided into different stages, each of which has unique insights into the definition, requirements and design of the watch. To understand a watch, you must start with the concept of production and understand how it has evolved. In the exhibition area, millions of watches and clocks production data are displayed in each showcase, each showcase represents a million timepieces, revealing the production process of Longines watches. The exhibition area presents the challenges faced by Longines at different stages in a concise manner, and guides the public to think about the time required to produce one million timepieces.
Longines chronograph 1942 with 13ZN movement
Flagship’s first model with a 30L movement, 1957
1960s column-wheeled chronograph with Longines 262 movement, this 24-hour-diameter chronograph is accurate
Through a variety of images and contemporary materials, the exhibition presents the production art of timepieces one by one, and reveals the difficulties encountered in watchmaking, allowing the public to better understand watchmaking. The museum’s exhibitions help the public explore the history of Longines from the process of production in Saint-Emil. This exhibition area is planned according to the process of production history. For example, the first million watches were produced between 1867 and 1899, while the 30 million watches were produced between 2001 and 2002. Although dividing the time line in this way is not the most accurate way, it can reflect the actual situation of production. Therefore, factors such as accelerated production, technological development, and business changes in the watch industry can be presented one by one in the exhibition area. Each showcase corresponds to the production background of one million timepieces, each with a different meaning and theme.
Longines UltraChron, 1967
Longines UltraQuartz with artificial intelligence quartz movement, 1969
A careful study of Longines’ archives and analysis data reveals that the brand has always attached great importance to technological development since its establishment. After the mid-nineteenth century, Longines concentrated its craftsmen in the same place to make clocks. This method also promoted the gradually popularization of mechanized production, which greatly changed the model of watchmaking at that time. The background derived from Longines Watch Factory is exactly the same as the famous birth story of the brand, and to a certain extent, the structure of the Swiss watchmaking industry after the middle of the 20th century also helped the formation of mechanized watch production. Even so, this approach ignores another very important factor: the business factor. To ensure the success of watches and clocks, it is not enough to consider only the organization of work, but also the sales strategy.
Workshop of Longines Watch Factory
Workshop of the Qin Watch Factory, 1900
Therefore, the establishment of a production and distribution network is an important part of all watch production operations. At the time, the watch industry had this statement: The people who run the watch factory also had to play the role of sales. In other words, the success of a watch brand has nothing to do with its business strategy. The most important thing is that the brand’s sales policy and the brand’s initial publicity activities at the time were complementary. The ‘Advertising Area’ showcases the brand’s promotional activities and promotional products in different periods, from semi-promotional advertising articles published in the mid-nineteenth century to the latest promotional plans. A series of engraved prints, billboards and posters also show how the brand builds the brand image of the flying wing hourglass and its related value.
Longines watchmaker at work, 1937
As early as 1878, Longines relied on its extraordinary watchmaking skills to manufacture the first simple timer, and to develop its own equipment to ensure normal production operations. This device became the first masterpiece of Longines to enter the field of timekeeping, and the timekeeping work has attracted much attention since the twentieth century. The timekeeping equipment created by Longines over the years keeps the brand in close relationship with the sports world. Longines also actively participates in high-level timing work to promote the continuous development of the brand. The “Timer Zone” showcased Longines’timepieces specially made for individual events, including the“ broken wire ”automatic timing system introduced at the Swiss Federal Gymnastics in 1912, and used in Formula 1 cars in the 1990s Radio pocket watch mechanical timer. In addition, in the exhibition area, the first image-controlled timing system ‘Photogines’ in 1952 and the ‘Contifort’ device introduced in 1960 were successfully displayed for the first time, combining dynamic images with timing functions. Explaining the need for precise timing in sports, a springboard for the development of innovative technologies led by Longines.
2012 Longines Watch Factory