A very exciting package showed up recently. Despite a lot of good watches making their way, rarely do we have the opportunity to spend any time with museum pieces outside of glass cases and museum walls. But Longines had a nice little surprise for us. Each of the three classic Longines replica watches sales online in this special roll offered up a side of the brand’s past that definitely deserves to be examined. We’ve got watches delivered to Argentina, Italy, and Mexico, the first in 1919 and the last in 1967, two chronographs, one time-and-date. Let’s get into it.
1910s Mono-Pusher Chronograph
In many ways, this piece from 1919 shows that the time of pocket watches was not long gone. The lugs of the Swiss copy watches with gold cases are small and narrow, as they were on the first converted wristwatches. However, there is one element that proves a full transition to wristwatches: the crown placement at three o’clock, instead of the 12 o’clock position used for pocket watches.
The crown does come with one secret, as it is the single control for the chronograph. Before Breitling came up with idea to use two separate pushers (start/stop for the first and reset for the second), this is how chronographs all operated. If the crown does everything related to the chronograph, how can someone set the time? This is where the small pusher placed above steps in, as holding it down will switch the crown to its setting function.
This type of mono-pusher was not restricted to Longines, and many similar-looking examples from Eberhard, Universal Genève, and Vacheron Constantin can be found. The white enamel dial and cathedral hands are characteristic of the early 20th century, while the painted numerals are lumed with radium (this was some 40 years before the less dangerous tritium made its way into watches). The 35mm case is made out of solid 18k gold and has an officer’s caseback, which allows you to see the awesome chronograph caliber 13.33Z.
1960s Longines Conquest Automatic Ref. 9026
The 35mm case of the best Logines fake watch might be gold plated here, but no expense was spared in the manufacturing of the Conquest, which got the most advanced automatic calibers (caliber 290 without date, caliber 291 with date and caliber 292/294 with date and power reserve complication) through the 1960s and also featured lavish casebacks. The applied indexes bring a lot of balance to the two-tone dial, which shows an attractive mirrored ring adjacent to the minute track.
The date placement at 12 o’clock of the present reference 9026 might be unusual, but it really manages to preserve the right balance of the design, while the previous generation of Conquest Calendars (the references 9004, 9005, 9007 and 9008, all using the caliber 19ASD) showed a date window strangely located near the center of the dial, next to the index at three o’clock. The tower shape of the hands is also a quirky feature from the vintage Conquest Automatic.
The green enamel painting on the back indicates a stainless steel or gold-plated case, while the cases in solid gold get a blue painting of the sea. This small detail shows the attention brought to the Conquest line, one of the most exclusive from Longines at the time. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the Conquest is still produced to this day, and that stable replica Longines Conquest recently brought back the vintage design of the Conquest Calendar (which was even adopted by James Bond’s boss).
1960s Longines Chronograph Ref. 7412
Longines is particularly well-known for the exquisite chronograph calibers that it manufactured, and particularly the caliber 13ZN and its evolution, the 30CH. From 1936 until the 1970s, both calibers offered a flyback complication: this allows you to instantly reset the chronograph through a simple press on the lower pusher, instead of stopping the chronograph first. While it seems like a small operating change, it is actually a complex mechanical modification, and an essential function for obtaining the most accurate timing of successive intervals (important in aerial navigation, for instance).
The popular fake Longines chronograph reference 7412 relies on the 30CH and was first produced in the late 1950s. It can be found in several catalogs from Longines (for the German-speaking, English-speaking and Italian-speaking markets). There, it is consistently presented alongside the reference 7414, which was almost 40% more expensive given its solid gold case (the reference 7412 always comes with a stainless steel case). The square pushers preserves its dressy image while the larger sibling reference 7413 in steel shows sportier pump pushers and a screw-down caseback.
As often seen on chronographs, the dial displays several tracks to offer different interpretations of a measured time. The telemeter allows you to compute the distance from an event, based on the speed of sound; it proved very useful on battlefields to calculate how far an artillery battery was, from the difference between the visible flash of the cannon firing, and the moment one heard the sound. The Base 1,000 tachymeter has a more peaceful mission, as it serves to figure out the speed of a moving object between two set points. Therefore, if you make one mile in 30 seconds, you can instantly read your 100 mph speed on the watch. While all this is clearly astute and useful, Longines managed to make the legibility optimal in choosing bright blue and red for these two external scales.