Just found my Grandfather's Longines

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Just found my Grandfather's Longines

Postby Racer-X » December 22nd 2017, 2:11pm

Cleaning out some drawers and came across this watch that belonged to my Grandfather. 10k gold filled is the only marking on the back. Crown missing. Can’t get the back off as it bends with any leverage. Any info appreciated.

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Last edited by Racer-X on December 23rd 2017, 2:46am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just found an old Longines

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » December 22nd 2017, 2:36pm

IMO, he must have had it restored at some point, as the dial printing's rather blotchy, and not nearly what could be expected of Longines (not even of Westclox...). Which is understandable, given that the case isn't waterproof, and shows very extensive wear, so it must have been worn often, if not daily.

Gold-filled cases were quite obviously made locally in the US, and imported movement were cased by the Longines-Wittnauer import company.

Probably 1940s, early 1950s, going by the case style. Have a watchmaker open that case. Not necessarily is it a standard press-in back (well, it is press-in...), more likely the case back has sort of a "bowl", in which the movement rests, and is held from the front by the main block/bezel piece (that said, no movement screws, obviously).

The best idea, of course after opening it, writing down the serial and taking good pics, is to contact Longines - for pieces made for the US market, they'll likely have only the date of manufacture of the movement. Usually, that's where their records stop, as the rest of the paperwork was done by Longines-Wittnauer in the US, and the archives of Longines-Wittnauer are gone.
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Re: Just found an old Longines

Postby biglove » December 22nd 2017, 2:40pm

What a great thing to own.
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Re: Just found an old Longines

Postby TemerityB » December 22nd 2017, 5:16pm

I'm wondering whether a restoration might be in order. Given the history of the watch, are you considering it?
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Re: Just found an old Longines

Postby Racer-X » December 22nd 2017, 6:21pm

TemerityB wrote:I'm wondering whether a restoration might be in order. Given the history of the watch, are you considering it?


Too small for me to wear but possibly. I know it was his (not my Grandmother’s), as his name is on the back. Many years ago I had my other Grandfather’s watch below restored, and was told I should have left it alone. Really just glad to have them both.

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Re: Just found an old Longines

Postby svaglic » December 22nd 2017, 6:25pm

That is neat, especially with the connection of your grandfather owning it.
Get a shadow box and put some stuff of his and the watch in it.
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Re: Just found an old Longines

Postby biglove » December 22nd 2017, 8:48pm

Treasure it, Russ. Never met my maternal grandfather as he died when my Mom was two.

My paternal grandfather lived into his 90s and passed when I was 12. Have memories but no material remembrances.
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Re: Just found an old Longines

Postby MKTheVintageBloke » December 22nd 2017, 9:39pm

I agree with biglove's and Svagy's advice - treasure it. Personally, I believe you should wear it, regardless of the size. Size is tied to fashion, which a)tends to change often enough to justify not giving a fuck about it, and b)might not be compliant with the features and designs of a vintage watch, but vintage watches, while they may well be out of fashion, are never, ever out of style.

If I may share a thought, which might (would be silly of me to say that it by all means will) make it easier for you to wear the watch- I own two 28mm watches, one won in a forum giveaway, the other - received as a gift. While no company makes a 28mm gents' watch these days, and it might therefore look odd to some, I don't give a fuck about what will anyone around me think or say - that said, I wear both proudly. Well, I didn't wear the 28mm Eterna for quite some time, and I won't do so before I send it over to my friend for repairs, as the makeshift movement holder needs to be replaced with either a proper one (or the movement will need screws), it's magnetized, and I suspect that the mainspring could be worn, causing a massive amplitude drop (which makes the watch run fast like a hipster to an Apple store upon a new gadget's release). But, you get the picture.
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Re: Just found an old Longines

Postby Racer-X » December 22nd 2017, 10:10pm

Thanks all, good points. I appreciate the info and perspective. I am so glad I stumbled onto it as I now have one from each Grandfather. I may look into getting the Longines into working order.
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Re: Just found an old Longines

Postby conjurer » December 23rd 2017, 12:16am

Very nice, Russ. I agree that a service might be in order, just to get it running. Wearing is another thing, but something with that much family history deserves the respect of a service.
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Re: Just found an old Longines

Postby TemerityB » December 23rd 2017, 10:01am

Racer-X wrote:Many years ago I had my other Grandfather’s watch below restored, and was told I should have left it alone. Really just glad to have them both.

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I would be, too. That's really great, Racer. Have a great holiday season, man.
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