Longines conundrum?
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  1. #1
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    Longines conundrum?

    This Longines I bought on the 'bay has me confused . I hope someone can help.

    So what I have here is a Longines RGP watch with a 12-24 inner (red) dial and red mark at 12/24. It also hacks.

    It was advertised as 1953 - which using online dating guides from the web is right. Once I got the watch in my hand, and after looking around for a while, the only one I could find was:

    http://www.vintagewatch.ca/?p=498

    So that looks OK, 1948-49 is not so far from 1953, I guess the other one's hands are not original as it has also had a refinished dial. It does seem to be some sort of pilot? watch (with hack) - certainly the dials on both these examples are similar to some of the weems I have seen - but with no rotating bezel etc.

    The problem is this was the reply from Longines (amazing response, less than 12hrs I was very impressed with them )

    Thank you for your e-mail as well for your interest in LONGINES watches.

    We have pleasure in giving you below the information we found in our old, hand-written production register regarding your LONGINES watch

    #serial number 9’041’838 wristwatch in steel with leather band
    It has a movement caliber 12.68ZS (12L is USA reference)
    It was invoiced to Messrs Longines-Wittnauer Watch Co in New-York who were for many years our agents for the USA on 28.05.1954.

    We hope this information is convenient to you, we remain on your disposal and send you our best
    regards,
    Ok, so why would a 'steel cased' wristwatch be immediately re-cased in the US? Surely they just imported the movements for that

    Is is possible that this movement was a replacement and the watch is a little older? I have no idea - but it is clear that the watch has not run for a very very long time, there are radium burns on the dial and the movement is well gummed up (but in almost unworn condition - it really is a amazing quality movement). So if a replacement, it would have been a very long time ago. The case has no brassing so it probably lived in a draw for most of its years. Apart from the information from Longines, I would have said the watch was 100% original and had never been messed with. My curiosity has been piqued.

    Does anyone have any old adverts/catalogues with this watch style in it? As I really do wonder what it was for, as it wasn't your ordinary 'dress' Longines of the time from what models I have seen. http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=2...page&q&f=false

    Note: seller's pics, because he is a better photographer than me, and they are 100% faithful to the watch.
    Attached Images Attached Images









    Last edited by trim; May 10th, 2010 at 23:46.

  2. #2
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    Re: Longines conundrum?

    Oh yes I have looked at http://www.vintagewatchresources.com/ thanks for pointing that one out in another thread Marrick.

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    Member Eeeb's Avatar
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    Re: Longines conundrum?

    Quote Originally Posted by trim View Post
    ...

    Ok, so why would a 'steel cased' wristwatch be immediately re-cased in the US? Surely they just imported the movements for that
    ...
    I suspect they had the other casing available and they thought it would be more in demand in that casing. Watches were not as married to their case in those days as now. Then real watchmakers were bountiful as were cases... Now is a different story.
    Rocat likes this.
    "Forever is composed of nows." - Emily Dickinson

    "The watch has to be surrounded by a history.
    You need more than just a great design. You need to create an atmosphere around the product.
    Who is the company behind it? Why are they using this material?
    People need to be able to identify the watch with themselves. It's based on emotion." - Ralph Furter

    ...that's just my opinion and I've been wrong before and will be again and might be now!

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  5. #4
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    Re: Longines conundrum?

    Good point that - I was stuck on the idea that wasting a case was bad business practice. But if, perhaps, it was to meet a specific customer order - that does make sense to me. It does not look like this model was a high volume seller (from my lack of success with finding it on the web), so it would not surprise me if they were 'made' only when ordered (or to cover a inventory shortfall).

    Anyway, anyone know about this model? Inquiring minds still want to know what it was for.

  6. #5
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    Re: Longines conundrum?

    Ranfft Pink Pages has this Longine movement listed.
    http://www.ranfft.de/cgi-bin/bidfun-...ngines_12_68ZS

    Cheers

    kurtnz

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    Re: Longines conundrum?

    Quote Originally Posted by trim View Post
    This Longines I bought on the 'bay has me confused . I hope someone can help.

    So what I have here is a Longines RGP watch with a 12-24 inner (red) dial and red mark at 12/24. It also hacks.

    It was advertised as 1953 - which using online dating guides from the web is right. Once I got the watch in my hand, and after looking around for a while, the only one I could find was:

    http://www.vintagewatch.ca/?p=498

    So that looks OK, 1948-49 is not so far from 1953, I guess the other one's hands are not original as it has also had a refinished dial. It does seem to be some sort of pilot? watch (with hack) - certainly the dials on both these examples are similar to some of the weems I have seen - but with no rotating bezel etc.

    The problem is this was the reply from Longines (amazing response, less than 12hrs I was very impressed with them )



    Ok, so why would a 'steel cased' wristwatch be immediately re-cased in the US? Surely they just imported the movements for that

    Is is possible that this movement was a replacement and the watch is a little older? I have no idea - but it is clear that the watch has not run for a very very long time, there are radium burns on the dial and the movement is well gummed up (but in almost unworn condition - it really is a amazing quality movement). So if a replacement, it would have been a very long time ago. The case has no brassing so it probably lived in a draw for most of its years. Apart from the information from Longines, I would have said the watch was 100% original and had never been messed with. My curiosity has been piqued.

    Does anyone have any old adverts/catalogues with this watch style in it? As I really do wonder what it was for, as it wasn't your ordinary 'dress' Longines of the time from what models I have seen. http://books.google.co.nz/books?id=2...page&q&f=false

    Note: seller's pics, because he is a better photographer than me, and they are 100% faithful to the watch.
    First problem - you bought a military style watch off eBay. I'm not being snarky or sarcastic... just direct. I'd be willing to bet that 80% of the 40's and early 50's watches like that are frankens to some degree. The seller may or may not know this.

    Second, many stainless steel watches from brands like Longines and Omega were recased in solid gold (especially in South America) but there are no Longines hallmarks inside the caseback. This was done to save on import taxes. It wouldn't make sense from a profitability standpoint for a dealer to switch to a rolled gold plated case from stainless steel. If Longines sent this to be installed in an American case it would have been just the movement as you pointed out. The inside of the caseback would have Longines - Wittnauer NY and then the name of the case contractor (Ross, Star, K & E, L & K, etc) with the material marking (14K for the US market usually) like yours does. This is a strange situation!
    Last edited by ulackfocus; May 11th, 2010 at 15:23.

  8. #7
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    Re: Longines conundrum?

    Absolutely that is a risk of the 'bay .

    You are right for pointing that out - that is not sarcasm/snarky, that is good general advice.

    So many threads about the Ukrane and India. I have noticed of late those frankens/redials seem to be coming out of the UK and Singapore more and more frequently.

    I might mention the things I do to 'protect' myself on the 'bay, maybe they will help someone else.

    1. I don't buy NOS, redialed or shinny watches. They must have patina/wear. Shinny dial = NO. Shinny case = NO.
    2. I usually buy ones that don't work (as this one doesn't) - because you have to get them serviced/fixed anyway.
    3. I would not buy a watch advertised as 'military', WW1, WW2 or 'trench' (this one was not advertised as military).
    4. I check the serial numbers are age appropriate (which I did) before I bid unless it is super cheap and I don't care.
    5. I only buy at the budget end...
    6. I only buy watches I like and want to wear.
    7. As John always says, I buy the seller.
    8. I look on the web to find the same model and compare.

    Basically I eliminate the elements of people trying to make a 'quick' buck.

    I'll get a bad one at some point, but that is part of the fun. It is also wonderful when you open the package and it turns out to be better than you expected and totally original.

    Once this particular watch is in hand, you can't but believe it is 100% original. The patina is right, as is the small amount of ancient Wabi in between the case joints. The screw heads are mint, the movement plating is not scratched or worn, and the movement is 'gummed' up exactly the right amount to match the time it must have been sitting for the radium marks on the dial. Heh I seem to be doing watch forensics

    The watch is legit in my opinion, it is no franken. I am just chasing down something I think is a bit odd. There is probably no confirmable answer and I will just have to live with it.
    Last edited by trim; May 11th, 2010 at 22:40.

  9. #8
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    Re: Longines conundrum?

    Does anyone know if all 12L movements hack? Roland doesn't say...

  10. #9
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    Re: Longines conundrum?

    I have a couple of these movements and they don't hack, but they are very
    good quality movements and excellent timekeepers.
    Great looking watch.

  11. #10
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    Re: Longines conundrum?

    Quote Originally Posted by radger View Post
    I have a couple of these movements and they don't hack, but they are very
    good quality movements and excellent timekeepers.
    Great looking watch.
    Ok, so that is interesting. Thank you Radger.

    As this one does hack, it is looking very likely to me that this is the right movement for the watch and not something random.

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