Longines - The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV Geneva Friday, November 5, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Manufacturer: Longines
    Year: 1957
    Reference No: 6630
    Movement No: 9'686'345
    Case No: 67
    Model Name: Swissair
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 37.9 S, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Pig Skin
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Longines pin buckle
    Dimensions: 47mm Diameter
    Signed: Case, dial, movement and buckle signed
    Accessories: Accompanied by Longines Certificate of Authenticity confirming this wristwatch was invoiced on May 2, 1957 to the Swissair company in Switzerland and this model was part of a limited edition destined to Swissair pilots, original crystal and original presentation box with Swissair logo.

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the 1950s, Longines issued a limited series of timepieces made for Swissair. Made for the airline pilots, the timepieces had very specific characteristics. Beyond the pilot style case (large case with an onion crown), the watches featured a 24-hour dial which allowed for maximum legibility. The back is engraved with the name of the company and the issue number (in this instance, 67). The fact that the watch was the result of a direct collaboration is mentioned on the Extract which notes that the timepiece was sold directly to Swissair, rather than to a distributor. Longines was 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 in the field of watchmaking.

    Fresh to the market, the present timepiece is consigned by the sons of the Swiss original owner, a pilot who commenced his career with Swissair in 1954. Originally working as a technician in Swissair’s workshops repairing radio equipment, he passed the training to become a navigator in Swissair’s cockpits in 1957. He flew the long haul routes of Swissair, mostly to north and south Atlantic destinations and always wore his Longines watch. The pilot's son estimates that his father crossed the Atlantic ocean about 1800 times with this watch on his wrist. After a very long and illustrious career with Swissair, he finally retired in 1984 at 57 years of age. An image of the pilot is illustrated in the catalog, proudly wearing his Swissair uniform.

    Preserved in excellent and impressive condition, the present watch displays crisp numbers to the caseback and a dial that shows barely any signs of aging. It is even accompanied by the original presentation box with "Swiss Air" insignia, an incredibly rare and quirky detail.

  • 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, 24-hour dial and presentation box, made for Swissair

47mm Diameter
Case, dial, movement and buckle signed

CHF50,000 - 100,000 

Sold for CHF95,760

Contact Specialist

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

The Geneva Watch Auction: XIV

Geneva Auction 5 & 7 November 2021