It was 1832 when Auguste Agassiz founded, together with two partners, a watchmaking workshop based in Saint-Imier.
The laboratory produces and sells pocket watches, equipped with crown-wheel escapements, similar to those produced by the Swiss watch industry in general.
Auguste Agassiz is appointed Director of the laboratory. Under his leadership, Longines expands its business overseas, entering the flourishing United States market.
The board of the brand enlarges, and Ernest Francillon, Auguste Agassiz's grandson, joins Longines and takes gradually over the company's leadership.
In 1867, Ernest Francillon inaugurated the factory in "Es Longines", located in Saint-Imier, starting the production of his first movement, the 20A mechanical movement. This 20-line caliber comes equipped with an anchor escapement along with a pendant winding and setting mechanism. The caliber 20A was awarded during the Universal Exhibition held in Paris that same year.
Jacques David, Longines' technical Director, leaves for the Universal Exposition of Philadelphia, on behalf of the entire Swiss Jura industry. Once back in Switzerland, he promoted the watchmaking industry industrialization process. Longines has therefore pioneered the industrial production of watches and calibers, thus innovating the watch industry.
In this year, Longines launches the mechanical caliber 20H, a chronograph patented by master watchmaker Alfred Lugrin. With the launch of the caliber 20H, Longines officially joins professional sports timekeeping, where it will play a leading role during the last part of the nineteenth century, all the way through the twentieth century. A significant area of the Museum based in Saint-Imier is dedicated to sports timekeeping.
The year 1888 marks yet another significant milestone for the brand, that introduces the first-ever certified chronometer movement.
It is the Longines 21.59 mechanical caliber, derived from a mechanical movement initially developed in 1878.
After taking part in the Universal Exposition in Philadelphia, in 1876, Longines won the Grand Prix of the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1900. A pocket watch, called "La Renommée," powered by the caliber 21.59 certified as a chronometer, is awarded the first prize. This win foresees a long series of accolades: Longines will keep winning numerous awards, thus boasting the most significant number of Grand Prix wins in history.
This victory anticipates a long series of successes: Longines will continue to reap successes, boasting the largest number of Grand Prix at these events.
Longines introduced, during the Federal Gymnastics Festival, held in Basel, the first electromechanical sports timekeeping system, based on wires that were broken to start or stop the watch.
Longines introduces its first quartz chronograph, which will see Longines mark a long series of records at the Neûchatel Observatory.
The Chronocinégines carries a 16mm camera mated to a quartz clock, capable of providing sports officials with a filmed tape showing a series of still images taken every hundredth of a second, allowing them to catch an athlete's movement as they're passing the finishing line.
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