Longines Automatic, Cal. 22a, 14k, 1952 Rare
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Longines Automatic, Cal. 22a, 14k, 1952 Rare:
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, and yet 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 four years that Longines vintage watches have risen again to the admiration and popularity they deserve, with values rising 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 style and elegance from 1952 when technically Longines was approaching its peak, competing head to head with all of the top-tier Swiss watch manufacturers. A wonderful vintage Longines gentleman’s dress watch with subsidiary seconds dial at 6 o’clock. Notable highlights on this watch are its two-tone beautiful dial, its ornate case and lugs, and its landmark first automatic movement, which is in sparkling condition.
There is a lot which is unique about this ivory cream and silver dial. It is highly distinctive and seems to have just the right balance of ornateness and simplicity. Its style perfectly matches the beautiful ribbed case and its rococo lugs.
Gold applied Roman numerals with alternate stud hour indices are matched with gold baton/pencil style hands. The silver band works really well in adding extra style and interest to the dial.
Longines always seems to score more highly with dials in our eyes, by being that bit closer to perfection and it does this so often and so effortlessly. Even its signature brand 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 ’50s and ’60s. Perhaps through better application, employing more highly talented designers, or simply the evolution of a style which became part of the company’s DNA. Longines dials are always in a class of their own.
During the first half of the last century, Longines won a great many new and loyal customers through this sense of style, which then only later came to appreciate the fine quality of its movements.
This is the original dial whit nice patina.
The original Longines Calibre 22A, 17 Jewel automatic movement here was a milestone for Longines, in being its first automatic movement.
As can be seen, the movement is in tip-top condition having 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.
The movement is correctly signed ‘LONGINES’, with the Calibre number 22A and the movement serial number 8953644 which dates the watch to 1952.
These movements are 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 – 4 years we would fully expect this watch to provide faithful service for many more decades to come!
The Watch Case
The 14ct watch case is of very high quality, made in New York by L&K Lutringer & Kammerer, case- makers for Longines Wittnauer, the American arm of Longines, St. Imier, Switzerland. The three ribbed case is of a sturdy two-piece design with an integral bezel. The sensational rococo lugs complete the case which remains ornate and yet heavy and strong.
The case measures 34mm in diameter, excluding the correct Longines signed crown. If the size perhaps seems a little small, please bear in mind the watch measures 43mm lug to lug and consequently add a great deal of presence to the watch.
The case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved. Inside the case-back, the case is correctly signed ‘Longines Wittnauer Watch Co New York’ and 14K Gold with the L&K initials denoting this is a Lutringer & Kammerer case. The Longines model reference number 8186 is also shown.
As ever, our standard advice applies: vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
Here we have a beautiful classic vintage wristwatch from one of the most collectable and highly regarded vintage watch brands and this watch will make an excellent financial investment as well as be something to treasure and enjoy! It watch is completely practical for use as an everyday watch and as long as it is looked after with care, and serviced every 3-4 years, it will easily last another lifetime. It carries a great deal more style, individuality and panache than a new watch and to buy the same quality today would cost at least three or four times the price here.
Whichever way you may wish to view this watch, as each year goes by and the world market for fine vintage gold watches grows even larger, the limited supply and high demand means prices will inevitably climb even higher!
Longines Automatic, Cal. 22a, 14k, 1952 Rare:
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