|Year of production (circa)
35 x 40 mm
Longines Comet Ref. 8475 Blue
Mystery dials in the world of horology are something of an enigma. With the exception of Cartier’s fascination with them and the occasional piece from Maurice Lacroix, they remain a rare and elusive form of
watchmaking, deliberately crafted to conceal the inner workings of the timepiece. The central concept revolves around hands that appear to float magically, leaving enthusiasts mystified as to the engineering behind this optical illusion.
However, what truly perplexes collectors is the Longines Comet, a timepiece that, in our humble opinion, deserves a place in every serious collector’s repertoire. Introduced in 1970, this watch boasts a distinctive retro cushion case and a selection of vibrant dials, including light blue, navy, yellow, and the exceedingly rare red variant. Longines hit the bullseye with this creation, combining an appealing aesthetic with unexpected complexity.
At first glance, the Longines Comet may seem like a whimsical design, but it conceals a surprising level of sophistication. It tells the time in a unique manner: a broad arrow central hand indicates the hours, while an orbiting dot, aptly named the “Comet,” tracks the minutes. These elements are ingeniously mounted on alternating colored discs positioned between the hour and minute tracks, creating the illusion of weightlessness. All of this is encased in a reasonably sized 40mm stainless steel cushion case.
Inside the Longines Comet ticks the Longines 702 movement, a testament to the brand’s golden era when they produced movements independently of the Swatch Group. While the movement itself is fundamentally in-house and straightforward, Longines added a few extra wheels to facilitate the rotation of the discs. Nonetheless, it remains reliable and, fortunately for collectors, relatively straightforward to service.
In conclusion, the Longines Comet is not just a watch; it’s a testament to the creativity and innovation that can emerge from the world of horology. Its distinctive design, vibrant dials, and intriguing time-telling mechanism make it a true gem for collectors who appreciate both form and function in their timepieces.
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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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