|Year of production (circa)||
Original silver buckle
Longines Serge Manzon Ref. 5014
Serge Manzon (1930-1998) is a rather colourful figure who did not let convention limit him in his artistic endeavours. Starting out as a diamond dealer and film producer, he later unleashed his creativity in the fields of fashion design, furniture design, and as you can see here: watch design.
In 1972, Longines contracted Manzon to design a range of watches for the brand. In 1973, a total of twenty radical designs was introduced at the Basel fair Ref. 5014 was one of them. It is a powerful statement against convention. A departure from anything that was the norm in watch design. The centre case is a 925 silver bar, gently curved to follow the profile of the wrist. It features a pill-shaped dial aperture, in which we find a mirror dial with cross-hair stripes.
The lugs are an exercise in abstraction. Four articulating silver blocks flank the case, and provide the link between the case and the rough leather strap.
This Longines Serge Manzon is powered by a quartz caliber, quite a novelty in the early seventies.
This Ref. 5014 is now available at Amsterdam Watch Company.
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It was back in 1832 in St. Imier that we find the roots of Longines. The house was founded by Auguste Agassiz and is currently under ownership of the Swatch Group. The brand would get its recognizable winged hour glass logo in 1889. It is the world’s oldest registered trademark.
Longines is currently very active in equestrian sports, but its heritage is predominantly in aviation. In 1927, the brand manufactured the 47mm Weems avigation (aviation navigation) watch in cooperation with Philip Van Horn Weems. Four years later, an hour angle watch for aerial navigation was developed in cooperation with Charles Lindbergh. A smaller Weems watch, measuring 33mm’s was introduced in 1937.
Note that this is long before the days of GPS or other automated navigation tools. Navigating your way through the sky was an extremely complex affair that required specialist tools like a Weems or Hour angle watch.
Throughout both world wars, Longines supplied military watches. They were one of the Dirty Dozen suppliers during late WWII. You will also find examples of the caged WWI trench watches in Longines’ archives.
Over the decades, Longines committed to many different genres of watches. From dress watches to chronographs and from pilot’s watches to divers. Today, its 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s dress watches are a a great entry point into vintage watch collecting. All the heritage and quality you could desire, but still relatively attainable. Once you get sucked into the brand though, there are all sorts of exotic and rare collectibles to be found.
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