Longines Flagship wrist watch, 1962

Last Updated on May 19, 2024 by Jason

This impressive Longines Flagship vintage watch has a 17-jewel calibre 340 automatic movement which is working nicely. The movement is fully signed and it has the serial number 11,998,523 which dates it back to 1962. In the not-too-distant past, I was sporting a modern Longines Flagship Heritage automatic on my wrist. I wanted to discover the original vintage watch it was paying homage to, with the intention of wearing a vintage version on my wrist. Unfortunately, this particular watch had already sold, but I did learn about the history of the Longines Flagship collection.

Longines Flagship Heritage, 2020.
Longines Flagship Heritage, 2020.


Longines was founded in 1832. The founder, Auguste Agassiz was trained in business and worked for a time in the banking industry. In 1832, he and two partners, Henri Raiguel and Florian Morel (who were brothers-in-law) decided to launch their own watchmaking enterprise as a comptoir in the town of Saint-Imier. The partnership known as Raiguel Jeune & Cie. was later to become Longines, was established. The role of the comptoir was to collect the watch components made by individual specialists, in their own workshops, and assemble them into watches. This was known as the “établissage” system. Soon after, they launched their own factory, starting their move away from the “établissage” system and into independence.

Longines Flagship automatic, 1962.
Longines Flagship automatic, 1962. © The Vintage Wrist Watch Company.

Agassiz had important business connections in America, which soon became a large market for the assembled watches of Raiguel Jeune & Cie., Comptoir. Eventually, both Raiguel and Morel left or retired and Agassiz took control of the comptoir. He was forced into early retirement by poor health in 1850 and brought in his nephew, Ernest Francillon in 1852. While Agassiz remained a partner until he died in 1877, Francillon made numerous changes and modernisations. In 1866, he purchased land south of Saint-Imier and built a factory in an area known as “les longines”, the long meadows, from where the company eventually took its modern name.

In the early 20th century, Longines became synonymous with sporting events as it provided timing equipment for various international competitions, including the Olympics, equestrian events, and aviation milestones. This association with sports further enhanced Longines’ reputation and contributed to its global recognition.

During the mid-20th century, Longines continued to innovate, introducing iconic timepieces such as the Longines Conquest and the Longines Flagship. The brand also played a significant role in the development of quartz technology, launching the Ultra-Quartz, one of the first quartz watches, in 1969.

Longines Flagship collection

In the 1950s, Longines was one of the first watchmakers to launch “collections”. First, there was the Longines Conquest collection which launched in 1954, this was followed by the Longines Flagship collection in 1957. Both of these collections still exist today. The enamel Flagship emblem found on the case back of the vintage models depicts an impressively detailed and textured ship design in gold and blue. The same design can be found in the modern collection. Although designed to be a classic gentlemen’s dress watch the Flagship includes several features you would expect to find on a sportier timepiece. The watch includes water and shock resistance.

Longines 340 movement

The Longines 340 automatic watch movement, which was manufactured between 1960 and 1963, integrates a rotor with an off-centre peripheral gear. The 340 calibre had its rotor mounted on 5 ruby ball bearings rather than the jewels used in the earlier Longines automatic movements. These significantly reduced the effect of friction on the rotor and allowed the watch to wind itself with even the very slightest movement of the wearer’s wrist. Furthermore, it boasts a sizable balance wheel and incorporates a ratchet on the dial side, along with a crown mechanism featuring a rocker bar.

Longines 340 movement.
Longines 340 movement. © The Vintage Wrist Watch Company.

It’s worth noting that this movement provides both automatic functionality and a sweep second. capability. The rotor is mounted on a wheel that goes around 360 degrees, which in turn drives another wheel. This takes the gear ratio of the auto winding mechanism right down and is an unusual design and probably quite expensive. It also features the wonderfully engineered Kif-Ultraflex system that was very common in the top-tier Swiss made movements of the 1950s and 1960s. The 340 calibre was the last entirely new automatic movement to be designed and manufactured completely in-house by Longines itself. Future, automatic movements were based around pre-purchased ebauches and finished according to Longines specifications.

Case and dial

The watch measures 35mm in diameter excluding the winding crown and the lugs. The case is stainless steel and it is in good condition. The back of the watch has the gold Flagship emblem. Originally it would have had blue enamel detail but only traces remain now. The inside of the case back is signed with the Longines logo. Additionally, it has a signed Longines winding crown, which is a plus for overall originality in the vintage watch market. The complete set would include a signed Longines strap buckle, which is missing in this instance. An original signed buckle is very rare in vintage watches.

The back of the watch states that the watch is waterproof but, as with any vintage watch, it should be kept away from water and moisture.

The acrylic lens is in good condition. The Longines signed dial is in its original finish with original hands, centre seconds hand and outer minute markers. There is some marking to the dial but it is fairly light and would be considered age-related patina rather than damage.

Longines Flagship case.
Longines Flagship case. © The Vintage Wrist Watch Company.


A really nice vintage watch, of great interest because of my heritage version, the Tissot Visodate. It is a shame this vintage watch had sold before I had the chance to buy it. However, I will be on a constant lookout for a suitable vintage replacement. There is plenty of heritage and quality in the Tissot Visodate range.

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