Longines Cal.23M 14ct Pink Gold 1946
100% Genuine & All Original
Fully Inspected, Serviced and Guaranteed
A Well Cared For & Lightly Used Example
High Grade Cal.23M, 17 Jewel Movement in Sparkling Condition
Good-sized 34mm Diameter Case, excluding the Longines Crown
Previously Restored Ivory-Cream Dial with Subsidiary Seconds Dial
Superb 14ct Solid Pink Gold Ribbed Case with Beautiful Regency Lugs
High Quality Brown Crocodile Strap & Longines 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
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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, but something of a Cinderella among the watch collecting fraternity until recently. Longines is now rightfully returning towards the elevated status it once held in the pre and post-war years when it ranked among the very best among of the Swiss watch manufacturers. It is really only within the past three years that Longines vintage watches have risen again to the admiration and popularity they deserve, with values rising of by around 15 – 20% per year, and on certain models, such as the now legendary Longines Calibre.13ZN chronograph, prices have sky-rocketed.
Here we have a wonderful example of typical Longines elegance and style in the form of a beautiful 14ct pink gold gentleman’s dress watch from 1946. This was a period when technically, Longines was approaching its peak and competing head to head with all of the top-tier Swiss watch manufacturers. Notable highlights on this watch are its Regency lugs, 14ct pink gold ribbed case, beautiful dial and the case and high grade Calibre 23M movement, which are all in stunning condition.
The dial is in the classic Longines style, in that it is simple, clean, classy and understated. ‘Dauphine’ style hands, matched with arrowhead hour indices and 3 – 6 – 9 – 12 roman numerals in pink gold, over an ivory-cream dial. It is typically 1940s in its use of a subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock.
The dial is simply signed ‘Longines’, with the applied Longines ‘flying hourglass’ brand below, which incidentally is the oldest continuously used brand in watchmaking.
Longines always seems to aim for and achieve dials which are that bit closer to perfection. It does this so often and so effortlessly. Even the Longines signature looks more ‘in place’, which incidentally is the oldest registered of any watch manufacturer. The company certainly made a fine art of this during the 1940s and ’50s. Perhaps the evolution of a certain style became part of the company’s DNA, but Longines dials seem in a class of their own. This sense of style has certainly won Longines a great many loyal customers, who only later came to appreciate the accuracy and reliability of its movements.
This dial has been previously restored to a very high standard and remains in tip-top condition as can be seen.
The watch carries its original Longines Cal.23M, hand-wound movement with subsidiary seconds dial and bags of old world charm! Technically this is one of the classic, manually wound movements of its day, with 17 jewels, a large balance wheel running rate of 18,000 half beats per hour and a power reserve of 40 hours. It has every contemporary refinement. It is antimagnetic, and also has a bimetallic balance and shock protection, which was a recent introduction in the 1940s.
Introduced in 1939, this was a revised version of the calibre 23 movement which in turn, was derived from the calibre 10.68Z that made its debut in 1932. The 23 had been a superb movement, but Longines engineers realised that they could reduce its diameter by 1mm without affecting its remarkable performance characteristics. Additionally, the winding mechanism of the 23M was hidden from the damaging effects of perspiration, which was particularly important as Longines sought to take advantage of the lucrative market for luxury watches in hot and humid former British colonies.
If a decent dial defines a vintage wristwatch, then it is the hand-built movements inside them at its heart, which creates such interest in the first instance. These mechanisms were built long before the advent of CNC machines and computer controlled polishing lines. While machinery was obviously used in movement manufacture, it was of a very traditional nature and controlled by specific individual craftsmen, exactly as it had been since the 19th Century. Every component in a movement like this one was visually inspected by a specific individual, finished until it met with his satisfaction and then passed on to be gradually built up into a complete unit that was sent for the laborious process of regulation, again by hand. The quality present in these classic watches by manufacturers such as Longines is breathtaking and more than justifies their high prices when new, and the prices that good vintage examples by all the important houses command.
What is immediately noticeable about this movement is its pristine appearance. There are absolutely no signs of tarnishing and the movement is as fresh today as the day it was created. The condition is nothing less than spectacular and most importantly, this movement is complete with all Longines parts. Everything is original and as it should be and there is no evidence of any significant repair work having ever been performed.
The movement is simply signed ‘Longines Watch Co Swiss’ and ‘Seventeen 17 Jewels’ with the matching serial number of the case. Also, underneath the balance is the calibre number 23M. All this detail has been painstakingly filled in with 18 carat gold in order to increase its legibility against its steel background. These points, though minor in themselves, aggregate into something that is a cut above the production of almost all the competing Swiss brands at the time. The serial number 7312142 is clearly stated.
Having been serviced on a regular basis, the watch works perfectly and runs extremely smoothly. Provided it is treated with care and sent for routine cleaning and lubrication every three years or so, it will last almost forever and have no difficulty at all in giving excellent service for many decades to come. 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 +12 seconds per day! This is absolutely outstanding for any vintage watch of this age! When fully wound, this movement has a 40 hour power reserve.
This movement is strong, and very reliable, making it completely practical and appropriate for regular use, perhaps as a dress watch or even for everyday use. Our watchmaker has indicated this particular movement is in top condition and with regular servicing every 3 or so 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.
Needless to say, we like this watch. We would therefore be very surprised if anyone buying it would be nothing short of delighted. We cannot recommend it wholeheartedly enough to anyone wishing to buy at the top of the quality spectrum without spending an awful lot of money.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only applicable if the full list price is paid.
At 34mm in diameter, excluding the correct Longines crown, this is a good sized watch for the period. The styling of this model is absolutely incredible and pure beauty. The rare, 14ct pink gold, large, round, ribbed case with the delightful regency lugs is in absolutely wonderful, original condition.
This watch has obviously been very well cared for and has seen only occasional use. The case has been professionally cleaned and lightly polished and is in superb condition. The case is in tip-top condition with no scratches, dings or other marks visible to the naked eye and the crown is, of course, an original Longines crown. 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 Watch Co Swiss’, with Swiss 14ct hallmarks plus the Longines reference numbers 246 and 5865.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap & Buckle
A new brown alligator strap has been fitted, along with a matching 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 1946.
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 is included with this watch.
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. Paying by bank transfer for a 3% saving will not affect your 12 months warranty. 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 check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.
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!