Vintage Longines Watches: The ULTIMATE Buyer's Guide - Exquisite Timepieces
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Vintage Longines Watches

Vintage Longines Watches: The ULTIMATE Buyer’s Guide

The Swiss watchmaker Longines has a long and varied history. Since 1832, when the company was founded, they have designed some of the finest timepieces the world has ever seen. Longines has developed various collections, from luxury watches to regular daily beaters and dive watches, just to mention a few. 

Out of the countless timepieces produced by the company for almost two centuries, several vintage Longines timepieces are still very much relevant to date and sought after by watch lovers and collectors worldwide. 

I will dive into the world of vintage Longines watches to understand their history and why these timepieces are so timeless. I will also look at some of these watches and give tips for your next vintage Longines timepiece purchase. For all lovers of classics, this is your ultimate guide to vintage Longines watches.

About Vintage Longines Watches

Longines made some of the finest pocket watches in the early days, and military officers, scientists, pilots, and elites used them. Their high accuracy even earned them the first medal of precision at the Paris World Fair in 1878. The company was among the first watchmakers to produce wristwatches in the 1900s, and everyone adopted them. 

Longines was known for designing some of the most unique luxury timepieces in the 20th century and being at the forefront of pioneering new watch designs and technology. Today, their vintage watches are among the most sought-after by collectors as they possess high precision and a timeless look and also tend to hold their value as years go by.

Since the early days of the Swiss company, all their watches have been known to come with outstanding looks and designs that have not been seen before. But what makes these vintage timepieces stand out? 

From personal experience, I can say they are built to last. The company has been making watches for over 150 years, and some of these vintage masterpieces are still ticking to date. Thanks to the high-quality Swiss movements inside, their level of accuracy seems to not have been downplayed.

Aside from their technical prowess, most vintage Longines timepieces were handcrafted by talented artists back in the day; they are works of art. They often have well-decorated dials, beautifully designed with intricate patterns.

The history of Longines watches is another factor that makes them unique. Some of them have been associated with significant historical moments like the first TransAtlantic flight, countless Olympic Games, and explorations of different polar regions.

The company has recently resurfaced some of its classic collections from decades ago with modern vintage-inspired watches. These timepieces combine the traditional design and look of the original vintage ones with modern technology found in the newer types of Longines.

What to Look for in Vintage Longines Watches

The rarity and timeless design of vintage Longines watches make them an excellent investment for watch lovers and collectors. So if you are looking at buying one, there are a couple of things you should look out for before swiping your card.


The demand and popularity of vintage Longines timepieces have come with increased fakes on the market, so it is essential to learn how to tell an original from a fake. Vintage or not, every Longines has a serial number engraved on the case. 

When buying a vintage Longines, look out for a serial number on the case back and try verifying on the Longines website to be sure it is an original piece. 

Another way to check the authenticity is by requesting the original paper/certificate and a box of any vintage watch you buy. If your seller cannot provide you with any document to prove it is an original Longines, you should probably not make that purchase.

Requesting for the watch’s provenance is another way I check a watch’s authenticity. It will help you know where the timepiece is coming from and the previous owners; this will not guarantee the watch’s authenticity but will most likely prove that it’s genuine and has been passed from one owner to another. 

Watch Condition

The dial on an original Longines timepiece is usually straightforward, plain, and free from blemishes, no matter how long it has been produced. The Longines logo will be printed on it with evenly spaced markers and hands. Inside every genuine vintage Longines will be a Swiss-made movement with a high level of accuracy which the company made use of during its early days of watchmaking. 

The type of movement of the watch is most times engraved on the case back with the logo and serial number as well, so make sure you look for it and confirm if it is an original model.

Anyone trying to sell you vintage Longines watches with a case that’s not stainless steel or gold is likely not a vintage because the company did not start implementing other case types until the late 90s.

Watch Price

There are no cheap vintage Longines watches because they were designed with high-quality materials, and most of them have increased in value over the years. You should be wary of anyone trying to sell you a cheap vintage Longines. They’re hiding something bad… 

These vintage Longines have a starting price of about $1,000; anything below that should make you question the originality of the timepiece being sold to you.

Seller Reputation

Buying from a reputable seller is something you should factor in when trying to buy a vintage Longines timepiece. After researching the watch, if you want to make the purchase online, make sure you read the reviews from other buyers to have an idea of the seller’s credibility, reliability, customer service, and price. 

Ensure you also check the seller’s history to know how long they’ve been selling and if they have a good record of selling original vintage Longines watches. Always ask questions about the timepiece from the seller. 

If the answers are anything less than greatly informed and enthusiastic, you should look for a more qualified and experienced seller to avoid buying a fake.

Most Popular Vintage Longines Watch

Longines has had various outstanding collections over the years, so there are multiple options for anyone looking to delve into the vintage side of Longines watches. Here is a list of some of the most popular vintage collections from the company:

Vintage Longines Pocket Watches 

As pocket watches from Longines have existed for hundreds of years, the fact that they’re still ticking and telling time to this date is a testament to their quality in itself. These were the first set of watches Longines produced and used by the elites for only particular purposes. 

Some of them had unique features like alarms, timers, and chronographs. They come in various shapes and sizes and were designed and put together by hand, which makes each of them uniquely cared for. 

They were made in limited editions, as only a few people could afford them in the early days. Aside from being designed with the best materials, another factor that makes them unique is that these watches played an essential role in horological history. 

Longines pocket watches were worn by the great men of the 20th century like Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and many others, so owning a Longines pocket timepiece is like owning a piece of history. 

Some examples of Vintage Pocket watches include the 1930 Longines Chronograph, which sold for around $10,000, and the 1912 Grand Prix Paris sold for about $6,000, but the one that catches my eye is the Longines Circa 1934, which is cased in a 14-carat gold case. 

It has a black dial with gold Arabic numerals and dials and a second subdial at 6 o’clock. Its sides are decorated with foliage and flowers that date back to the earlier days. And it can be bought on the vintage market for around $6,000-$10,000.

Vintage Longines Conquest Watches

The Conquest watches by Longines were introduced in the 1950s and were designed based on the watches used during the Arctic expeditions. Longines retained the screw-down back and the waterproof case designs and improved the dials and the general aesthetics of the timepieces in the collection. 

Longines began printing the names of each watch on the dial of this line of timepieces, which helped increase the collection’s popularity. The Conquest can be found in steel, gold capped, 18 carats gold, and various dial and strap options.

An excellent example from the 1959 Conquest Calendar men’s watch. It is a highly sought-after watch from this collection. It features a gold-capped case which is thicker than an ordinary gold plate. It has a gold medallion at the middle of the steel case back with a fish and branch engraving with green enamel. 

An automatic movement powers it and features a black dial with a Calendar window at 3 o’clock. This watch is sold for around $1000. Some other watches in the Conquest collection include the Conquest Ref. 990, Ref.7002, and the Conquest Ref. 990.

Vintage Longines Flagship Watches

This line of vintage watches from Longines was introduced in 1957, and they were dress timepieces designed as a new vision for the company in the post-war era. 

The elegance of these watches stood them out, as most Longines wristwatches made before then were of rugged build for outdoor activities. These watches feature a plain dial with Roman numerals and sweeping seconds hands. 

They came in gold or stainless steel cases with automatic and manual-wind movements. Vintage Flagship watches have an engraved Caravel medallion on their case backs, and it’s a representation of the ships used by explorers in the 15th and 16th centuries. 

The accuracy of Flagship watches earned Longines first and second place at the 1961 Observatory of Neuchâtell competition. Although Flagship watches are not as scarce as some other vintage Longines, they are still very much collectible. 

You can expect to pay between $1000-$1500 for a Vintage Flagship, and some of the most popular ones include the Flagship Ref 30L and the Ref. 2310.

Vintage Longines WWII Watches

I’m a big fan of rugged watches, the ones that can be worn for any activity, and these are what the Longines WWII watches represent. They were made specifically for military officers with the most sturdy materials. They featured up to 50 meters of water resistance with shock resistance and anti-magnetic components. 

These qualities made them ideal for very harsh conditions. They have a unique look rarely found on other types of watches. A no-nonsense dial with bold Arabic numerals, luminous hands that can be easily seen in the dark, a leather strap, and stainless steel case. 

The WWII watches also featured hand-winding movements, and this was because of the functionality as they didn’t require a constant change of battery. These watches are still very much used today because they are sturdy and reliable. 

Some examples of WWII watches include the Longines 12.68Z, which were issued to officers in the Swiss Army, and the Longines 6B/159 RAF, which were given to the Royal Airforce Pilots. The Longines WWII watches range between $1,000-$2,000.

Vintage Longines Chronograph Watches 

The chronograph vintage watches from Longines are some of the most sought-after by collectors worldwide. Their unique features, elegant designs, and outstanding craftsmanship distinguish them from the other collections. 

No other watch brand has produced as many chronograph references as Longines, and the company is one of the first to make high-quality in-house chronographs. 

Only pocket watches had chronograph movements back in the day, and it was difficult for soldiers and pilots to be on the move and access them simultaneously, so Longines launched the 13.33Z, one of the first chronograph movements in a wristwatch. 

By the Second World War, pilots needed a more precise and functional chronograph, so Longines designed the 13ZN movement in 1936, and it was the first chronograph with a fly-back function.

One of the most popular models from the WWII collection is the Flyback 30CH Chronograph. It came after the 13ZN, and it came with almost the same functions. The movement has a recognizable rhodium finish with so many screws. 

It was designed with so much sophistication that it is still very reliable to date. Some other chronograph timepieces from Longines include the Admiral Chronograph and the Conquest Chronograph. These watches are sold for around $2,000.

Vintage Longines Dive Watches

The dive watches from Longines are one of the most rinsed and repeated of all their watches as they constantly improve yearly. Aside from being famous for their history and functionality, they are also well known for their craftsmanship and quality. They were built with high-quality materials for deep water pressure and feature very accurate and durable movements. 

The company first attempted a dive watch in the 1950s with the Nautilus Skin Diver; this timepiece didn’t have deep water resistance, so it was not very popular back then. It was one of the first watches to have an external bezel that rotated. 

Another iconic dive watch from Longines is the Admiral 7, which was introduced in 1961, and this one was made differently. It was one of the first watches to have a water resistance of up to 200 meters which made it very popular. These watches cost between $3000 to $7000.

Who Should Buy a Vintage Longines Watch?

Vintage Longines timepieces are for collectors and watch lovers that enjoy the history, elegance, and craftsmanship of vintage watches. They are also an excellent choice for people looking to purchase timepieces that have held their value over the years. 

However, if you love the general designs or look of vintage watches and need one that can serve as a daily beater, you should rather consider going for any of the modern vintage-inspired timepieces from Longines. 

They have the same classic style as the vintage ones, but they come cheaper, tougher, and can be replaced easily and quickly from the current production line. 

Generally, people buy vintage timepieces for their love of them. So if your heart skips a beat when you see an original vintage watch and can afford it, pull the trigger by all means. 

But if you are just looking to go for that vintage aesthetic without actually having to look after your watch too much, there are many other options on the Longines line that potentially suit your taste without going bankrupt.


Summarily, owning a vintage Longines timepiece is a perfect way to add a touch of class and history to your look. They are also the ideal types of vintage watches to invest in, as most of them tend to increase in value as years go by. 

If you are looking for a timepiece with an iconic history and a timeless design, a vintage Longines watch seems like an excellent decision choice for your wrist.

About Exquisite Timepieces

Established in 1998, Exquisite Timepieces is your one-stop shop for all things luxury watches! We are an authorized dealer for 60+ luxury watch brands including Omega, Hublot, Seiko, & Longines! We are proud to showcase one of the world’s largest pre-owned watch collections, including renowned brands like Rolex and Patek Philippe. Check out our brand new watch arrivals here and popular pre-owned listings here.

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