Today, 92 years ago...
Charles Lindbergh is awarded the Orteig prize.
Ninety-two years ago, Charles Lindbergh completed the solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, a historic task considering we were at the dawn of commercial flight, and the term "technology" was not even existing. The merit of that epic undertaking goes to a man who was a skilled aviator and a great inventor, at once. The Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, based on the studies previously carried out by Weems, still is one of the most admired watches by the watch community, and the original timepiece is among the most sought-after pieces displayed at the brand's museum located in St.Imier. Today, exactly 92 years ago, Longines celebrates a pretty special event among the many that marked the history of the brand.
On June 16, 1927, Charles Lindbergh received in New York a $ 25,000 prize by Raymond Orteig for completing his flight from New York to Paris without any stop. Who was Raymond Orteig? He was a renowned American entrepreneur, and a hotel-chain owner in New York, who had created the Orteig Award, to be assigned to the first man capable of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in one go. The prize was established in 1919 but only Charles Lindbergh, after failed attempts by aviators René Fonck, Floyd Bennet and Charles Nungesser respectively, succeeded in completing the crossing aboard the Spirit of St.Louis, a high-winged single-engine aircraft built by the US company Ryan Airlines.
Longines has, since then, often celebrated this milestone in aviation, and this beautiful story. In 2017 the brand celebrated the first 90 years of Charles Lindbergh's crossing by launching a limited series of the Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle, the 90th Anniversary version. It all started even earlier when it released, in the early 2000s, the modern reissue of the Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle Watch featuring an automatic movement and a style that is true to the original. However, from a collectors' perspective, nothing can match the 1987 reissue crafted to commemorate the first sixty years from that significant undertaking, i.e., a large aviator watch equipped with a hand-wound caliber sourced from a bunch of historic Longines pocket watch calibers.
What about you, instead? Do you own a vintage Longines watch and are you currently living in Italy? Please do not forget that, by submitting your old Longines watch to the "Find the oldest Longines watch in Italy" competition, valid until June 30, you might win a trip to St.Imier and a new Longines watch.
(Photo credit: courtesy of Longines, Horbiter®'s proprietary photo-shooting)
Gaetano C @Horbiter®