Longines Cal.12.68Z 9ct Gold 1957

£2,250

100% Genuine & All Original

Fully Restored, Serviced and Guaranteed

A Lightly Used & Carefully Owned Example

Large Size 35mm, excluding the Longines Crown

Very High-Quality ‘Baume For Longines’, 9ct Watch Case

High-Grade Cal.12.68Z, 17 Jewel Hand-Wound Movement

Superbly Restored 3, 6, 12 Dial with Original Sword Hands

High-Quality Brown Lizard Skin Strap & Gold Plated Longines Buckle

A Beautifully Restored Classic Hand-wound Vintage Gold Longines

All in Absolutely Top Grade & Simply Stunning Condition

VGWL 12 Months’ Written Warranty Included*

VGWL Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee

Longines Presentation Box Included

Free Worldwide FedEx Delivery

Free UK Special Delivery

VGW Reference: L853
Price

£2,250

In stock

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Description

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. Here we have a superb example from 1957 when technically, Longines was competing head to head with – and beating  – almost all of the other Swiss watch manufacturers.

Both the British magazine QP and the American WatchTime publication have both hailed a long overdue return to classical form and ironically, despite being over half a century old, this piece actually looks virtually indistinguishable from a number of current models by the major watch houses.

Here we have a beautiful classic late 1950s time only hand-wound vintage gold watch which is very practical and wearable for everyday use. The condition is close to perfect and the overall quality is second to none, with a movement that equals anything that was served up by Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC or any of the other prestigious Swiss houses from the same era. Yet still, for the time being, a fine watch which is obtainable for a relatively small amount of money and the kind of watch which never looks dated and commends itself to the investor.

The Dial

A beautiful classic 3, 6, 12 dial in silver-white with a subsidiary seconds dial at 6. Here, with baton hour indices and original restored Sword hands which are in close to perfect condition. This is the kind of effortless style that modern era manufacturers have been trying to recapture and we are seeing so often as ‘re-issues’ or ‘heritage editions’.

The dial is simply signed Longines, with the applied Longines ‘flying hourglass’ brand below, which incidentally is the oldest continuously used brand in watchmaking.

The big subsidiary seconds dial and overall design, style and execution here, as with all Longines dials, is just perfect. Longines has always produced some of the most attractive dials in our eyes and it is not news to regular visitors to this site that we are big admirers of the brand. The dials are masters of understatement and always look ‘just right’.

This is the original dial which has been restored by one of the best dial restorers in the UK.

The Case

The good-sized 35mm, 9ct yellow gold case has very attractive, longish lugs which follow the contour of the case, ending almost at a point, accentuating the roundness of the case. This is quite unusual for the time as most watches carried shorter stubbier lugs. These attributes contribute to the distinct ‘Calatrava’ style of this watch.

Experienced collectors will also know Shackman cases well on Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre and more commonly, Rolex models from this era, which are universally very highly regarded for their high quality. Gold Swiss watches sold in Europe tended to have Swiss made cases, while those supplied to the British market were invariably UK made. This came about after the ban on the import of precious metal into the UK imposed by the British government after WW1. Wishing to continue to service their most lucrative market, the Swiss houses skirted the obstacle by shipping only uncased movements to their UK agents and having these housed in British made cases upon arrival, these of course not being subject to any restriction. Long after the ban was lifted, this same arrangement continued, basically because it was so convenient for all involved. Ironically, given that they were first used as a temporary stopgap in a crisis, the quality of British made cases proved to be so high that they now typically command a slight price premium over their Swiss equivalents.

The inside of the case-back is all marked correctly and as expected. At the top is “DS & S” which was the sponsors mark of David Shackman & Sons. Based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, Shackman was an independent case-making concern that supplied its products to most of the major Swiss houses. Longines watches were sold via Baume, the importer of Longines watches in the UK, and their stamp can also be found inside the case-back. “Baume” is stamped exactly as it should be. Baume & Co, of 1 Hatton Garden, London, EC1 have acted as official British agents for Longines since the World War I period. On an earlier watch, we would expect to find the initials “AB” inside the case-back, these being those of Arthur Baume, the company’s Managing Director. By the 1950s, the full Baume signature, as seen here, was instead used.

On a watch clearly sold when new in the UK, we would expect to see a full set of British hallmarks. These are indeed here and inform us that this case was assayed as 9ct gold in London, 1957. The case-back also carries the case reference number 05148.

This watch has recently completed a full restoration by our team and it is in perfect condition. Even under close examination, there are no scratches, dings or signs of wear visible to the naked eye, leading us to suspect that its previous owner reserved it for special occasion use only.

The Movement

The watch carries its original Longines Cal.12.68Z, hand-wound movement which carries all the purity and charm typical of a top-class 1950s Swiss watch movement. This is one of the classic manually wound movements of its day, with 17 jewels, a running rate of 18,000 half beats per hour and a power reserve of 40 hours. It has every contemporary refinement, including a bimetallic balance and an Incabloc shock protection, which was still a relatively recent introduction in early 1950.

If a dial defines the look of a vintage wristwatch, then it is the hand-built movements inside that are at its heart and makes them of such interest in the first instance. These minor miracles of micro-engineering were built long before the advent of CNC machines and computer-controlled polishing lines. While some machinery was obviously used in movement manufacture, it was of a very traditional nature supervised by specific individual craftsmen, exactly as had been the case since the 19th Century. Each component was individually inspected and finished until it met with the watchmaker’s satisfaction, and then gradually built up into a complete movement and regulated again by hand. If one really takes time to understand this process and the quality present in these classic watch movements by makers such as Longines, it really is breathtaking. This, of course, accounts for their high prices when new and the prices which good vintage examples command today.

Returning to the quality of finishing and build, this is exceptional and fair to claim this is a better-finished movement than an equivalent watch offered by Rolex or Omega at the time. Unlike its two famous competitors, which simply fitted jewels into drilled holes in the bridges, Longines adopted the system of screwed chatons, by which every jewel is held in its own threaded brass sleeve, which is then in turn screwed into the plates. This is a lovely refinement that one hardly ever sees below the top tier and must have added significantly to the cost of production when new. The fact that vintage Longines watches are still so affordable today is hugely fortunate when we actually look at them closely and see how beautifully built they are.

As can be seen, the movement is in absolutely tip-top condition following a thorough overhaul and service by our vintage Longines specialist watchmaker. This means the movement has been completely disassembled, cleaned, inspected and rebuilt using only original Longines parts where required, then carefully calibrated and tested. Upon return, this watch is now running to within +6  seconds per day! This is absolutely outstanding for any vintage watch of this age. When fully wound, this movement also has a 40-hour power reserve.

These movements are very accurate and very reliable, making it completely practical and appropriate for regular everyday use. Our watchmaker has indicated this particular movement is in top condition and with regular servicing every 2 to 3 years, we would fully expect this watch to run very happily for many more decades to come! We are therefore very pleased to offer a 12-month warranty on this watch movement* and services in the future, as required.

“Longines” is signed on the bridge, together with “17 Jewels, Swiss”. Also here is the calibre number 12.68Z. All this detail has been painstakingly filled in with 18-carat gold in order to increase its legibility against the background. These points, though minor in themselves, elevate Longines movements of the time to something which is a cut above the rest.

The movement serial number is 10500544 indicating this watch was produced in 1957.

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

As always, our standard advice applies: Vintage Watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.

The Strap & Buckle

A new brown lizard skin strap is fitted, along with a Longines gold plated 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 1957. A detailed ‘Particulars’ document will be included with 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”.

The matching vintage Longines presentation box seen in the photographs will be included with this watch.

In Conclusion

We have always been great admirers of vintage Longines and for many years they have been significantly undervalued. However, this has begun to correct itself in recent years as there is no good reason for this, as these watches technically match or surpass almost all the high-end brands. Whatever the reason, they still represent excellent value even though prices have been increasing by around 20% per annum during the past few years.

The watch here is a superb example of a most beautiful and sought after vintage Longines. A rare, usable and highly collectable vintage gold gentleman’s dress watch, from one of horology’s most highly respected names which is a thing of beauty, to use, to wear, to treasure and to enjoy!

This watch will also make an excellent investment and family heirloom piece. Even though vintage Longines prices are still catching up with, for example, Omega, JLC and Rolex, we are sure fine examples such as this still remain undervalued. As each year goes by and the world market for vintage gold watches continues to expand, availability will become more limited, meaning prices are surely destined to climb ever higher!

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 also 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 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 our Landline 0207 727 7095 or Mobile 07515 949250 or if calling from overseas on our Landline +44 207 727 7095 or Mobile +44 7515 949250.

We are here, ready and 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.