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  • Condition Report

  • Description

    View our Conditions of Sale.

  • Manufacturer: Longines
    Year: 1935
    Reference No: 3592
    Movement No: 5’298’483
    Case No: 5’298’483
    Model Name: Type A-7 Avigation Hack
    Material: Chrome-plated metal
    Calibre: Manual, cal. 18.72, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Metal
    Dimensions: 49mm Diameter
    Signed: Case and movement signed, caseback engraved with military markings, movement additionally signed U.S. Army Air Corps.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Longines Extract from the Archives confirming production of this watch with serial number 5’298’483 and delivery on September 4th, 1935 to A. Wittnauer Co., the American agent for Longines at the time. Additionally accompanied by the original crystal and U.S. Army Air Corps medals from the original owner.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched before World War II, these single pusher chronographs were initially produced for aviators with the dial set at an angle so the time could be read easily while piloting. A single button pusher incorporated into the crown allowed the pilot to easily start, stop and reset the chronograph to zero.

    The Longines A-7 “Avigation” name comes from the US Army Air Corps “Type A” designations for many of their issued equipment watches and derives from the conjunction of “Aerial Navigation”. After the war and for a very short period of time, a small production in stainless steel was produced for the civilian market, while the military version, like the present lot, was chrome-plated.

    The present specimen impresses not only with its immaculate dial, but also with the wealth of military engravings present on its case back. 8 lines of text detail the military destination of the watch and its purpose as an aviator’s timing device, the model name, the serial, order and specification numbers followed by a “Mfr’s Assy Dwg” (‘Mfr’ most likely standing for manufacturer, ‘Assy’ and ‘Dwg’ possibly for assembly drawing) and finally the manufacturer’s signature. A truly invaluable accessory for military pilots of the time, these timepieces were extensively used, often in combat situations. It is also fitted with the original leather strap and buckle.

    The present lot, however, goes one step further than exceptional quality and rarity, with incredible and unprecedented provenance, coming directly from the family of the original owner. Two brothers, separated by only two years, both enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps during WWII, one remaining stateside as a flight instructor from 1942-1945, and one sent overseas as a combat pilot, flying a P47 Thunderbolt and completing 87 missions over enemy territory. While it is unclear which brother the A-7 was issued to, the likelihood is that it was for the flight instructor. Either way, this is the first time in recent memory that a Longines Avigation has surfaced from the family of the original owner, and is even accompanied with U.S. Army Air Corps medals issued to the original owner. It is a rare opportunity for the connoisseur, not to be missed.

    PROPERTY OF THE ORIGINAL FAMILY

  • Artist Biography

    Longines

    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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60

Ref. 3592
A historically important and exceptionally rare oversized military pilot’s single-button chronograph wristwatch with black dial and military markings

1935
49mm Diameter
Case and movement signed, caseback engraved with military markings, movement additionally signed U.S. Army Air Corps.

Estimate
$30,000 - 60,000 
CHF28,000-56,000
€26,700-53,500
HK$234,000-468,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros

Head of Watches, Americas

+1 (212) 940-1293

[email protected]

 

The 2021 New York Watch Auction

New York Auction 11 - 12 December 2021