Longines Automatic Cal.291 18ct Pink Gold 1959

£3,800

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Inspected, Serviced & Guaranteed

A Very Cared For and Lightly Used Example

Large 35mm 18ct Pink Gold Case in Immaculate Condition

Previously Restored Black Dial with Original ‘Lance’ Hands

Very High Grade Cal.291, 24 Jewel Automatic Movement in Sparkling Condition

Oversize 35mm Diameter Case, Excluding the Longines Signed Crown

High Quality Brown Leather Strap & Longines Pink Gold-Plated Buckle

All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition

High Quality Hardwood Presentation Box Included

VGWL 12 Months Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: L1228
Sold 24th Mar '21
Price £3,800 Sold

£3,800

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Longines

Longines is one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers with an unparalleled history of invention, innovation, patents and awards. The company is also responsible for some of the most beautiful watches ever made. For a long time, something of a Cinderella among the watch collecting fraternity, Longines is now rightfully returning to the elevated status they once held in the pre and post-war years. It is only relatively recently that Longines vintage watches have returned to the admiration and popularity they deserve, with values rising between 15 and 20% per year. Certain models, however, such as the now legendary Longines Calibre 13ZN chronograph have sky-rocketed.

Description

Here we have a superb, previously restored example of a wonderful Longines from 1959 when Longines was competing head to head with, and beating almost all of the other Swiss watch manufacturers. The immaculate watch we see here has a large 18ct pink gold case which measures 35mm in diameter, excluding the correct Longines signed crown. The watch is fitted with the high-grade Longines Calibre 291 movement which is very highly regarded for its accuracy and reliability. This watch also has the addition of a date function, along with a stunning black dial.

The Dial

The rare black dial is a classic example of Longines style and elegance – clean, simple, classic and very understated and the previously restored ‘lance’ hands are matched with pink gold faceted ‘baton’ hour indices. This dial is in wonderful condition and has the extra addition of a date window at 3.

During the 1950s and ’60s, Longines excelled in every aspect of watch design. The company was rightfully held in very high regard for the quality of their movements and close examination of any of their watch cases reveals equal high regard for design, quality, purpose and perfection. We think almost all of Longines classic vintage dial designs were at least one step ahead, in terms of elegance and sophistication and the design here is a good example. Everything is in perfect proportion and in perfect balance and the dial just works so well.

This watch is simply signed with ‘Longines’ below 12 with ‘Automatic’ below and ‘Swiss Made’ at the very bottom.

This is the original dial which has been previously restored to a very high standard and remains in tip-top condition.

The Movement

The Longines Conquest was always blessed with the company’s most advanced automatic calibre movements. Introduced in 1958, the Longines Calibre 290 series was more robust and reliable than a great many of the competitors of its day and any other automatic Longines had created to this point. The design used an eccentric rotor with ball bearings around the pivot and a toothed circular ring as part of the rotor to help minimize wobble by keeping it on track. The balance wheel also had an unusually large diameter compared to the overall movement size.

Longines relentless pursuit of the efficiency of the winding mechanism led to this movement being the best in its class. The automatic system’s gears were made from beryllium bronze (like a Glucydur balance wheel) and instead of the usual 60 small-tooth ratchet wheel, two 15 large-tooth pawl wheels with hook levers were used. No springs were required, which alleviated any pressure on the system, therefore increasing the lifespan and operation efficiency.

The rotor’s perimeter weight was also made slimmer – this made much more space available for the rest of the works at the heart of the movement, which provided room for larger components. The balance wheel has an unusually large diameter compared to the overall movement size. All else being equal, the larger the balance wheel, the more accurate the watch. The quality of finishing and build is exceptional. Each jewel is held in its own threaded gold sleeve, which is then in turn screwed into the plates.

As can be seen, the movement is in tip-top condition having just completed an overhaul and service by our watchmaker. This means it has been completely disassembled, cleaned, inspected under high magnification then rebuilt using only original Longines parts where required. After testing and final calibration, this watch is running to within +5 seconds per day which is outstanding for a vintage watch of this age. The movement also has a power reserve of 45 hours.

The movement is correctly signed ‘Longines’ and ‘Automatic’, with the Calibre number 291 and the movement serial number 11,692,449, dating this watch to 1959.

These movements are very robust, reliable and accurate making this watch perfectly suited for regular everyday use. This particular movement is in top condition and with regular servicing, every 3 years, we would fully expect this watch to provide faithful service for many more decades to come! We are therefore more than pleased and confident to offer a 12-month warranty on this watch movement*

*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the list price is paid.

The Case

At 35mm in diameter, excluding the Longines crown, this is a good sized watch for the period. The 18ct pink gold case has straight swept-back lugs which raise the case slightly on the wrist and emphasises its presence.

This watch has obviously been very well cared for, with only occasional use as proven by the case-back which shows virtually no signs of wear. The case has been professionally cleaned and lightly polished and is in superb condition. The crown is, of course, an original Longines crown. The case is in immaculate condition with no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye. No matter how closely you might wish to examine the case it shows no signs of anything other than very light and careful limited use. The case is signed ‘Longines’, ‘Fab Suisse’ and ‘Swiss Made’ with Swiss Geneva 18ct hallmarks, the Longines model ref.70079 and the case reference number 249.

Please note – although this was marketed as a waterproof watch when new, this has not been tested and it is not guaranteed. As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap & Buckle

A new high quality brown leather strap has been fitted, along with a pink gold-plated Longines buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock in plain padded leather, crocodile skin or lizard skin. We can also obtain most types and colours at short notice.

The Box and Papers

Although there are no original papers with this watch, all the numbers and markings on the watch are correct, dating the watch to 1959.

A  detailed ‘Particulars’ document will be included in the sale, along with our detailed receipt and 12 months’  warranty*. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will also be provided at the time of sale, along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If at any time, this watch proves to be anything less than totally authentic, or not as described, Vintage Gold Watches of London will offer you a full refund at any time”.

A high quality hardwood presentation box will be included with this watch.

In Conclusion

This is a wonderful example of one of the most beautiful and sought after vintage Longines available. A rare, highly collectable and practical vintage gold gentleman’s dress watch, from one of horology’s most highly respected names which is something of beauty, to use, to wear, to treasure and enjoy!

This watch will also make an excellent investment and family heirloom piece. Even though vintage Longines prices have continued to rise markedly in the past 3 – 4 years, we still feel fine examples such as this are very undervalued.  As each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold watches continues to expand, availability will become more limited, so prices are surely destined to climb ever higher!

We have been great admirers of vintage Longines ever since the 1960s and for many years they have been very undervalued.  It is difficult to reason why, as these watches technically surpass almost all the high-end brands. Whatever the reason, they represent excellent value even though prices have been increasing by around 20% per year during the past few years.

A word about our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post sales care and service. This approach inevitably means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are a number of well-known stores in West London which are very successful, charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.

We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would wish to pay by bank transfer, we will be pleased to pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or International Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.

Please note, we welcome part exchanges and if you have a watch or small collection for sale, please contact us as we will be happy to discuss.

We will also be happy to Service your watch, Repair your watch or Restore your watch, all at ‘sensible’ prices. Please see here.

If you have any questions please call on Landline 0207 727 7095 or Mobile 07515 949250 or if calling from overseas on Landline +44 207 727 7095 or Mobile +44 7515 949250.

We are here, ready, available and awaiting your call. We will be happy to answer any questions and offer advice about this or any of our watches listed for sale. If you would like some general advice regarding any aspect of vintage watches, including buying, selling, or collecting vintage watches, we will also be happy to hear from you.

Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches!

Thank you.