|Year of production (circa)||
Original silver buckle
Longines Serge Manzon Ref. 5016
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. This Ref. 5016 was one of them. It is a powerful statement against convention. A departure from anything that was the norm in watch design. The entire watch is comprised of blocks. A big centre block as the case, flanked by four smaller blocks that serve as lugs. Even the dial aperture is a block in negative. The dial itself is mirror-finished and divided into four squares, again echoing the block shape.
The watch is made out of 925 sterling silver, as is the buckle. The coarse leather Longines strap contrasts beautifully with the smooth silver. It provides a natural counterbalance to the so obviously man-made polished silver blocks.
This Longines Serge Manzon is now available at Amsterdam Watch Company.
Availability: In stock
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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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