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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,

This is my first post here at Watchtalkforums so please bear with me!

I have inherited an old gold Longines watch from my Grandfather who passed away in the 70's. It is mechaninc (wind-up mechanism) and is unfortunately not running. It's been laying in my fathers drawer for at least 30 year, so I had a watchmaker look at it and he said I would have to change the whole clockwork to automatic because it was impossible to get parts for such an old watch. I checked and he is the "official" watchmaker for Longines here in Norway, so he should know his stuff.

Whilst it pains me to put unoriginal parts in this beautiful old watch, I guess I don't have much choice if I want to ever see it working. the thing is though, he could not help me identify it or give me any indication as to what it is worth. Could any of you fine watch connoiseur's out there help me?!

All he could tell me was that it was old (very old in his words) and that the case was gold. I know my grandfather used it during the war (he was in the Royal Norwegian Navy) so it is definitively pre 1940. My guess is that it is from the 1920's based on the design - but I may be wrong. I've done some research online, but in the wealth of vintage Longines watches online, I have yet to find one like this.
 

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You're correct that it's pre-1940, and probably from the 20's. Nice heirloom! :thumbup1:

About the "Official Longines" watchmaker: DO NOT LET THAT GUY CHANGE ONE THING!!!! You'll kill the value (both monetary and sentimental). If you can get a clear picture of the movement and the inside of the caseback, we'll be able to give you the details to help you find a donor movement for parts. Then, find another watchmaker who's sensitive to vintage watches and won't take the easy way out. Official or not, the guy who wanted to put an automatic in it is a putz. If you have trouble finding somebody, say so in your reply and we'll see what we can do - either on your side of the pond or ours.
 

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Hunter 21
Welcome
This IS a fantastic piece. Do not sell it, allow the gold case to be melted or in ANY way restore it.
I am SURE it is from 1920 latest, my guess 1915s/16, the fixed lugs, enamel dial and radium numbers and hands all point to that.
So far it is 100% original.
If you can pop open the back and give me the serial number, I can confirm the date exactly.
I can also based on that, if you like, contact Longines for full provenance of this piece.

Its a LOVELY timepiece, made when Longines was at their best.

Regards
Adam
 

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Any chance of a movement pic? I found 2 antique Longines in an old cigar box of old antique movements that I had forgot I had, it would be nice to see what the case may have looked like.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
wow, thank you all for quick and good feedback! I promise I won't make one change to it! (apart from restoring it to original condition). I have contacted Longines as well and they were very forthcoming and service minded immediately. They have also asked me for the serial number, so I will stop by a watchmaker and have him open it for me. I am much too clumsy to risk doing that myself. Will let you know how it goes :)

Thanks again...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi all,

Ok so I finally got around to taking the watch to a serious watchmaker which opened it and had a look for me. Unfortunately it is not as old as I thought - 1945-1947 which makes sense considering my grandfather was a Navy sailor during the war.

The case is english with Cal. 12.68Z and the serial number on the watch is 6684983. He estimated the repair cost to be £1500 ($2000) +.

I could not get a photo of the movement I'm afraid as I did not have my camera with me.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Dear forum,

Three and half years since I first posted about my old Longines, and it is now finally repaired and fully functioning! What a process it has been... The problem with it was that the winding mechanism was broken, and finding the correct parts for it was completely impossible. I had to visit several different watchmakers before I eventually found a third generation watchmaker that told me they had a lot of old random spare parts lying around, and thought they would be able to fix it. 9 months went by before I got a call from another watchmaker telling me the company had gone bust and that they had taken over the repair of the watch. They did however say they could fix it (I think they actually manufactured the broken part(s) themselves), and a few months later I was finally able to pick it up in a functioning state. Final repair price: 4,000 NOK = about 500 USD. Totally worth it!

Some photos attached. I wear it maybe a bit too much actually considering it is quite fragile (not water resitant, no shock-proofing etc.). That being said it did survive 5 years of war on my grandfathers wrist (he was a Navy sailor), so hopefully it should withstand my use as well. It is my pride and joy and I am frequently complimented for it. I've also just noticed the design of the watch is actually very similar to the Longines Spirit!

I also spoke with Longines again who informed me that the watch was sold from them to a watchmaker in London in 1929, so that matches our initial thoughts that this is a 20's watch. I fixed it on a light brown camel leather strap which I think goes well with the gold. I honestly didn't have much of a choice since the dimensions of the watch are so much smaller than modern watches, so I only had a few straps to choose between.

When I first posted this thread on the forum I had absolutely no idea what it was or what I should do with it. So a big THANK YOU to all of you for your recommendations. :) Now that it is fully functioning can anyone of you connoiseurs put a price estimate on it? No plans whatsoever to sell it, but just for my curiosity's sake.

The only "bad" thing (which is not a bad thing at all really) about getting the watch restored is that I am now starting to become more of a watch collector myself which, as we all know, is not the most economical of hobbies.. But lots of fun though! I am now looking to buy a IWC Mark XVII which I am hoping to pick up later this week provided I can reach an agreement with the seller. A completely different watch obviously than the Longines, but a great everyday watch and I think a good buy.
 

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