1959 Longines Dress Watch
Brand and manufacturer - Longines, Switzerland
- Year - 1959
- Serial # 10954098 ; model # 5357.4
- Movement & caliber - Manual Wind 12.68z
- Case diameter - 35mm
A stainless steel, manual wind, Longines dress watch. This is a very handsome and classic watch. This gentleman’s 1959 vintage Longines watch is an ideal piece for someone looking for an ‘every day wear’ vintage model. The watch is both collectible and wearable at the same time. The quality of Longines watches from this time holds its own against almost all other brands at the time, and its movement the equal of anything that was produced by Rolex, Jaeger LeCoultre, IWC or any of the other prestigious Swiss houses from the same era.
The design of this model is clean, making it easy to both dress up and down. There is a fine bezel which gives the illusion of the case being an even more impactful size. Unlike a lot of dress, time only, watches from this time, this case is actually quite large. Measuring in at just below 36mm, not including the winding crown it has presence on the wrist. When you consider most dress watches at the time were 32/34mm, this is quite large. The wide, straight, drop lugs come off the case and give the watch an even larger feel on the wrist.
The dial on the watch is quite simple overall, and likely to appeal to most. There is one interesting design detail found on the minute track. Instead of being the more ‘common’ hash mark printing, this dial features a series of small arrow head, or greater than sign markings. There are larger versions alongside the hour marks. The actual hour markers are a series of faceted, applied metal pieces sitting in between the applied 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock Arab numbers which all sits well with the famous applied winged logo. The overall proportions of the dial are great, and being a larger size there is also a quite large subsidiary seconds dial above the 6 o’clock marker sitting beneath the rotating dauphine hands. This is always a handsome additional complication on a time only watch.
Inside the snap-on case back are various stampings; there are the maker's mark of Longines, the eagle logo, along with the model number. The movement in this watch is Longines’ calibre 12.68z. A hand wound caliber that made its debut in 1938 just before the outbreak of World War Two would ravage Europe. The 1930s had been a time of exponential growth for Longines and a boom in wrist watch sales. This culminated in a large increase in the production of a huge selection of movements as both Longines, and most other Swiss brands enjoyed a period of growth and success. In technical terms the 12.68z is a classic, manually wound, movement. Featuring 17 jewels and a running rate of 18000 half beats per hour. This caliber in this watch was not yet upgraded to feature the Incabloc shock protection which was introduction shortly after this model. The original running time when fully wound was 41 hours, although due to be being over 70 years old now, this has slightly depleted. The movement is in Excellent original condition, and keeping good time.
Overall, the watch is in excellent condition. The unpolished stainless steel case is in good condition. There are areas of slight scratching to the case back, and other small areas on the case. However, nothing overly detrimental or noticeable on the eye, especially when on the wrist. The dial also has some patina to it, but nothing that looks out of place for a watch that is now over 70 years old. This is a great, very wearable and versatile watch. It would look no less out of place under a dress shirt as it would with a pair of jeans and t-shirt.