Fine timepieces from Saint-Imier
Auguste Agassiz founded his company in 1832 in the Swiss town of Saint-Imier – a location where the company headquarters still resides today. Together with two watch dealers named Raiguel Henri and Florian Morel, Agassiz opened up his watch shop and specialized in a small range of services. Within a short period of time, the Longines name acquired a good reputation and before long, became highly demanded pieces.
In 1854, the nephew of Agassiz, Ernest Francillon, took over the company management and brought about several changes. He envisioned the great potential residing beneath the production of company movements and decided to streamline the vertical integration of the Longines manufacturing process. In 1866, Francillon purchased property outside of the Saint-Imier region that was called “Les Longines” or “the long meadows”. There, the skilful entrepreneur constructed a factory that henceforth-produced Longines manufactured pocket watches.
The success was extraordinary as the demand for high-quality Longines watches grew so rapidly that Francillon was soon forced to defend himself against counterfeiting. In 1889, Francillon had registered the Longines brand at the Federal Office for Intellectual Property. As a result, Longines became the first registered watch brand in the world. The famous Longines motif with the winged hourglass remains a strong brand logo to this day.