Longines vintage

Another Longines vintage watch from the 1950’s.

Longines fancy lug 1950’s watch

This midsize 30mm diameter, manual wind 23ZS 17 jewel movement model with it’s amazing fancy lugs is one of my favourites.  The lugs are much more substantial than many of this type, being very solid.  The D&A watch case is nicely polished in 14K filled Gold, and the dial has a black face with an inset machined inner, the hour, minute and centre seconds hands in matching gold, as are the applied arrowhead markers.  A Gold filled snap back cover and a size 18 black lizard leather strap completes the item.

Longines Calibre 23ZS centre seconds sweep.

Quite an expensive watch of it’s day and the 23ZS movement one of their great calibres, with 18000 a/h and a Power Reserve of 44 hours, this model is ticking away, keeping very good time after 65 years.  A darned sight more efficiently than I am!

I note this model has a snap back/base which when removed still holds the movement within it. To remove the movement it entails further and careful prying apart from the case base. I have not removed the movement here as I don’t wish to disturb it, but I show a image from a web source.

Model entry in Shugarts Complete Price Guide Edition 38.

Note – This model was one of a series and this version is featured on page 918 of the “2018 Complete Price Guide to Watches” Edition 38 by Gilbert, Planes, Engle, Gilbert & Shugart.  The other model shown is the sub-seconds version, with diamond markers.

The watch is in very good condition, possibly refurbished to some extent over the period and the movement shows some tarnishing, but not enough to cause any issues.  It keeps pretty decent time showing perhaps a minute slow near the end of it’s power reserve of 44 hours.  The crown is a little stiff, but other than that, a very nice addition to my vintage Longines collection.

Longines GMT Lindberg

Fairly new addition to my little Longines collection is this nice Longines Lindberg GMT World Timer model and it’s one that already I find myself wearing frequently.

Longines Lindberg GMT World Time

Longines Lindberg GMT World Time

At 38mm by 11mm depth it is a good size and fits me perfectly, but the feature that really makes me love this watch is the sheer quality of the entire watch.  In fact the closer you get to it, the better it becomes.

I particularly like the complete look of this model and whilst a neat size it does have a solid look to it, enhanced by the milled edge outer bi-directional brushed steel bezel with the World Time City zones around it.  The bezel does have a click position only at GMT London.  The watch case in  contrast is generally polished Stainless Steel with an exhibition back.  The Water Resistance is 3 atm.

Curve cut enamel date window with GMT disc wheel outer index

Bevel cut enamel date window with GMT disc wheel outer index

Looking closely at the dial you can see that the main numerals dial is enamel and the date window is beautifully cut and chamfered through the enamel.

The black numerals and blue GMT indexes are also perfectly and evenly applied and the very fine GMT chapter disc moves silently with the main hands indicating 24-hour time.  Using this in conjunction with the single click hour hand adjust, it’s simple to set your local time to the city required on the outer bezel.  Interestingly using when adjusting the time, the hands can be moved either way, hours, minutes, date and 24hr GMT indications can move forward or back.  If going back a day, the date simply clicks back one day. This is something I’ve personally not noticed on a mechanical movement before and is very useful.

This way your hands can be quickly adjusted to show local time and the 24-hour ring shows GMT – so a lovely and clever mechanical World Timer without electronics that sits snug on your wrist.

Comfortable on the wrist and a sensible size at 38mm diameter.

Comfortable on the wrist and a sensible size at 38mm diameter.

The crystal is Longines Sapphire with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale (by comparison Mineral glass is only 6.5) and on this model is subtly curved and quite invisible such is the quality of finish and a corresponding sapphire crystal back shows the very excellent 33 jewel Longines L635.3 Automatic movement (this is based on the ETA 2824/2 base calibre).

Longines L635.3 Swiss Automatic 33 Jewel movement

Longines L635.3 Swiss Automatic 33 Jewel movement

With a center seconds hand and a movement beating at 28,800AH it is very definitely a “sweep” hand and with the gold finely turned colored center giving a subtle contrast to the dark blue infill hands, this is a fine looking and well balanced watch.  It is really quite elegant.

Longines Lindberg GMT World Time with original slate/blue Croco strap

Longines Lindberg GMT World Time with original slate/blue Croco strap

A 3 position Onion crown is a nice size, well figured and easy to use and the strap is the original Longines Croco leather in a sort of slate blue, stamped and signed with a stainless milled buckle.

GMT Word Time City zones bezel - GMT rotating 24hr disc, Hour Numerals

GMT Word Time City zones bezel – GMT rotating 24-hour disc, Hour Numerals

Onion Crown with stainless bi-directional Zone bezel

Onion Crown with stainless bi-directional Zone bezel

Setting instructions (Longines) –Ashampoo_Snap_2013.06.10_11h36m27s_005_Ashampoo_Snap_2013.06.10_11h40m41s_007_Fortunately Longines have an excellent web site where this setting information and movement data is freely available, so even though I bought this pre-owned without instruction papers and so on. it was quite easy to download the relevant information as above.



Their web site covers a wide range of models and is very useful – I have copied these to my Tech Info page as a permanent reference.

So, am I happy with my purchase?

Absolutely!  I have to say I’m delighted by it and the price does reflect the quality of the this model and in my opinion, well worth it.  I have seen pre-owned models for sale from £750 to £1400 dependent on condition.  This particular one is in MINT perfect condition and is absolutely in as new as you can get, so I’m well pleased and against the price range I quote here, I did VERY well on my recent trip in Europe.

I have 5 Longines models now and hoping next to perhaps increasing my Jaeger LeCoultre collection, so I’m looking.  But will I manage to procure one here in the UK at a decent price?  Well that is very debatable I have to say and becoming increasingly more difficult, so perhaps another trip is called for . . . . . . . . maybe.

Longines 1982 homage

This is a rather elegant dress Longines Quartz Watch and stamped “Longines 150” on the back of the case.  This model produced in 1982 the year of the 150th centenary of the Company which originated in 1832 and in homage to their earlier range of mechanical watches of the 1940’s and 1950’s.  It features the L976-2 13 jewel quartz movement, one of the 970 caliber series, which were of true in-house manufacture.

Longines Quartz 150 years Centenary Watch

It is one of the thinnest at only 1.95mm depth and I understand the philosophy follows on from their earlier 1979 “gold feather” 1.98mm quartz movement which Longines initially manufactured in partnership with Ebauche ETA/ETA.
It is as I have already noticed an exceptionally accurate and high quality Quartz and quite rare I understand to find one that’s frankly as good as this today early 30 years later.

L976.2 Longines movement (1.95mm depth)

It appears to have a Lavet-type motor and is powered by a 1.55v battery.  Not tested it but looks as if it may be 9ct gold plated on stainless steel case body and is fitted with a high quality Hirsch genuine Lizard strap with the gold plated Longines Logo engraved buckle.

The dial is gold colored with subtle vertical strips in the centre section with black painted Roman numerals and a square inset second sub-dial @6. Hour, minute and second hands are black steel.  Main dial has an outer minute track and the seconds sub-dial has seconds track with numerals at 10 second numerals.

1.95mm movement & slim case

One of the nicest early Longines Quartz watches I’ve had to date, which I picked up recently at an auction for a very reasonable price indeed.  It will sit nicely in my Longines collection which is growing with the odd model every month or so.  With a few celebrations coming up soon and dinners out a few times this one will definitely be a front runner as my dress watch on these occasions.  I love it

Perfect dress watch - Longines

Any downsides to this watch?  Well none as it happens apart from quite a bit of dust and rubbish inside the dial, which I have yet to clean, the watch is in pretty much perfect condition, plating excellent, no bad marks or scratches, just general wear over the last 30 years.  The watch obviously has been worn quite a bit as the back is wonderfully smooth stainless steel, but fortunately the previous owner obviously had great respect for his little Longines and looked after it very well indeed.

As indeed will I. . . .