Longines - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII Geneva Saturday, May 8, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Longines
    Year: 1955
    Reference No: 6630
    Movement No: 8'237'338
    Case No: 46
    Model Name: Swissair
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 37.9 S, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 47mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Accessories: Accompanied By Longines Extract from the Archives confirming production of the present watch and its subsequent sale to Swissair on July 1, 1955
    Literature: This model is prominently featured and illustrated in the book "Longines Through Time", published by Longines, pp. 132-133

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the 1950s, Longines issued a series of timepieces made for Swissair. It was intended to be used by personnel of civilian flights, and had very specific characteristics. Beyond the pilot style (large, case, onion crown), they featured a 24-hour dial, intended to minimize the room for mistakes when crossing time zones as routinely happens to pilots. The back is engraved with the name of the company and the issue number (in this instance, 46). The fact that the watch was the result of a direct collaboration finds further confirmation on the fact that the Extract mentions that the watch was sold directly to Swissair, rather than to a distributor as it usually happens. Longines is not the only company to have been contacted by an airline to develop a watch during the 50s. This trend is a direct consequence of the fact that long range air travel was truly becoming relatively commonplace during those years with direct consequences also in the field of watchmaking, among many others.

    An extremely unusual series, the model is prominently featured in Longine's book "Longines Through Time"; coincidentally, the timepiece pictured on the book bears movement number 7 digits lower (...331) than the present example.

    Fresh to the market, the present Longines Swissair is one of the crispest examples we have seen and accompanied by, what we believe to be, the original strap and buckle-

  • 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. 6630
An extremely rare and very large stainless steel pilot's wristwatch with center seconds and 24 hour dial, made for Swissair

47mm Diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

CHF50,000 - 100,000 

Sold for CHF138,600

Contact Specialist

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

41 79 637 1724



The Geneva Watch Auction: XIII

Geneva Auction 8 - 9 May 2021