Longines - The Geneva Watch Auction: XI Geneva Sunday, June 28, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Longines
    Year: 1958
    Reference No: 5824
    Movement No: 9'938'976
    Case No: Caseback stamped ח.א. (abbreviation for the Israeli Airforce) followed by issue number 540
    Model Name: Chronostop
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 12.68Z, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 47mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by an Extract from the Archives confirming the present watch was invoiced on 11 April 1958 to the company Scharfstein, which was their agent in Tel-Aviv at the time. Further accompanied by a letter from Baruch Halachmi describing his career as an airforce pilot as well as his flight logs
    Literature: The reference 5824 is illustrated in Longines - Legendary Watches by John Goldberger pp 278-279

  • Catalogue Essay

    Military issued watches, such as the present lot, are quite rare and highly sought after. As one of Switzerland’s largest manufacturers, Longines was an important supplier of wristwatches to militaries of multiple nations, the present example being one of the rarest variants as it was made for the Israeli Defense Force. Known in Hebrew as Tzahal, the IDF includes all branches of Israel's military forces, comprising the ground forces, air force and navy. The military engraving on the caseback ח.א. (abbreviation for the Airforce) followed by 540, documents the fact that it was an issued timepiece.

    The watch was issued to Baruch Halachmi, an IDF fighter pilot who graduated from the academy in 1962 and remained an active fighter pilot with over 1000 flight hours, until his retirement in 1985.

    The present timepiece presents all the elements one can expect from a pilot’s timepiece: large diameter, black dial with luminous Arabic numerals for optimum readability in all conditions, large onion crown to allow winding of the watch while wearing aviator’s gloves; and the rotating bezel to allow navigational calculations.

    Technically, cal. 12.68Z is not only a direct ancestor of hallowed cal. 13ZN, but it furthermore features central chronographic registers disposition, a highly unusual and eye catching solution which grants the watch absolute balance. The watch is named Stopseconde as the pusher at 2 o’clock has two functions: if pressed lightly, it stops the chronograph - thus allowing for accurate readings - and further depressing it resets the chronograph - thus allowing for extremely simple and fast operations, vital to a pilot.

    The present lot is an outstanding, rarely seen example of a Longines “IDF” that will appeal to the collector of military timepieces and is further delivered with the flight logs of Baruch Halachmi.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1832

    Auguste Agassiz founded Longines in 1832, and today is considered to be a pioneer in the evolution of the chronograph. During the 1930s, Longines' chronograph wristwatches were used as tools for wartime aviators and military personnel. As one of Switzerland's largest manufacturers, Longines was an important supplier of wristwatches to militaries of multiple nations.

    Today, they are owned by the Swatch Group and produce wristwatches for both men and women. Their vintage wristwatches continue to grow in desirability amongst collectors. Some of the most sought-after models include such oversized chronographs as the Lindbergh Hour Angle designed by Charles Lindbergh, Chronostop, Tre Tacche, A-7, Tasti a Spillo and Doppia Lanchetta.

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Ref. 5824
A rare and attractive stainless steel oversized pilot's flyback chronograph wristwatch with central registers made for the Israeli Defense Forces

47mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF25,000 - 45,000 

Sold for CHF47,500

Contact Specialist

Alexandre Ghotbi
Head of Watches, Continental Europe and the Middle East

41 79 637 1724

The Geneva Watch Auction: XI

Geneva Auction 27 - 28 June 2020