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1950s Longines Calatrava

  1. DirtyDozen12

    DirtyDozen12 Mar 8, 2016

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    I am curious to hear what others think about this dial as there are a few details that look off to me.

    2.JPG

    Firstly, the primary markers of the subdial are uniform in thickness. I would expect the cardinal markers to be slightly thicker than the rest.

    watch.JPG
    subdial.JPG

    Secondly, the font of the signature appears incorrect for the early 1950s. For example, the pointed bottoms of the "N"s look more 1920s than 1950s. Below are Longines signatures from 1929 and 1948 respectively.

    IMG_5364 (640x158).jpg
    IMG_5809 (640x175).jpg

    Lastly, the numerals look uncharacteristic. The style is odd and more closely resembles this redial (below first) than this original dial (below second).

    redial.JPG
    25.JPG
     
    Edited Mar 8, 2016
  2. dx009

    dx009 Mar 8, 2016

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    The font is very dubious. Also no swiss made bellow 6 o'clock. No logo as well... too many signs of trouble if you ask me...
     
  3. DirtyDozen12

    DirtyDozen12 Mar 8, 2016

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    @dx009 Thanks for your input. The absence of "Swiss" at 6 does not bother me.

    diameter.JPG
     
  4. jordn

    jordn Wants to be called Frank for some odd reason Mar 8, 2016

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    I am quite convinced that it is a redial for all the reasons you mentioned as well as the dubious quality of the hour indices and the outer ring. The logo also looks off-center and at slight slant in comparison to the arabic numeral "12" above it
     
    Edited Mar 8, 2016
  5. DirtyDozen12

    DirtyDozen12 Mar 8, 2016

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    Good call about the slant.

    sjdjsdfklds.JPG
     
  6. Syrte

    Syrte Mar 8, 2016

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    Dunno.... you guys are much better trained than i am at spotting those Longines redials but this dial looks fine to me....
    first, there's nothing "1950s" in the style, it's a pure 1930s-1940s art deco design so it shouldn't have 1950s serifs or logos - or "swiss" at 6.
    Re the font of the numerals and the markers on the subdial, why should we think there's only one set way ?
    there could be variants, just need to see more of them.
    This dial design doesn't shock me....Finally, the slant: to me, it looks like the watch is slightly slanted on the picture and it's not a straight on front shot, so that would explain it being at an angle....

    Better be safe than sorry of course, but I actually find it nice.
     
  7. JimInOz

    JimInOz "Helpful Hints from Heloise" of bracelet cleaning. Mar 8, 2016

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    'Longines' is definitely listing to Starboard by a degree or two (a line across dial markers shows that).

    However, many vintage watches were redialled in times gone past and it wasn't seen as a crime then ;).

    I agree with @Syrte, it's a nice dial on a nice watch, but if your preference is for total originality, then walk you must.

    Cheers

    Jim
     
  8. DirtyDozen12

    DirtyDozen12 Mar 8, 2016

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    I merely referred to the dial/watch as being "1950s" because the seller listed it as 1950s and did not provide a serial number initially. I agree that the style is very much 1940s and I have subsequently confirmed this based on its serial number.
    Now that we have established that it is 1940s (7084xxx), it should indeed have 1940s style serifs. I have addressed the question of "Swiss" at 6 above.
    Of course, many correct numeral and subdial variations exist. But is it likely that two dials from the same era, with the same overall design, would differ in so many areas? It is also convenient that the differences are simpler and easier to execute such as the uniform thickness of the subdial markers.
    Regardless of the angle/perspective of the photograph, "12" and "Longines" should be parallel.
    Here are a few more examples (both earlier and later) for comparison. Note the subdial markers.

    RPR.JPG ad3.JPG adriano.JPG adriano2.JPG antonio3t.JPG horol2.JPG ref.JPG takuya.JPG another.JPG 5.JPG
     
    Edited Mar 9, 2016
    excuseme, NT931 and Rman like this.
  9. Dre

    Dre Mar 8, 2016

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    Interesting. Very first watch that you see when you open the Hodinkee watch shop!
     
  10. DirtyDozen12

    DirtyDozen12 Mar 8, 2016

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    Indeed. And referring to it as "1950s" is not a good start.
     
  11. DirtyDozen12

    DirtyDozen12 Mar 9, 2016

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    I found a particularly interesting example for comparison. The "Longines" font and subdial markers are very similar. However, upon closer inspection, the cardinal markers of the subdial are differentiated from the rest of the primary markers as they are longer. Regarding the font, the printing appears slightly finer though photography is a limiting factor.
    1.JPG 3.JPG 2.JPG 12.JPG
     
    Edited Mar 9, 2016
  12. Syrte

    Syrte Mar 9, 2016

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    Wow. Well with those other examples in hand I have to agree. Simon, your Longines dial studies always amaze me.
     
    Deafboy likes this.
  13. DirtyDozen12

    DirtyDozen12 Mar 9, 2016

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    Any time Sylvie.

    The final example that I presented stirs things up a little but I am still not convinced. The balance of the dial compounded with the atypical subdial markings are difficult for me to reconcile.
     
    excuseme and Hummel78 like this.
  14. KevinB

    KevinB Mar 13, 2016

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    Am I right that even without the issues the asking price is a bit on the adventurous side? For something like a 38mm ok, but this is 'just' a 34 mm watch.
     
  15. DirtyDozen12

    DirtyDozen12 Mar 13, 2016

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    I would say about $5000 too much but then Hodinkee has its own gravity.
     
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  16. BartH

    BartH Follows a pattern of overpaying Mar 14, 2016

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    Looks like the Longines tekst is not centered and the subdial itself is too far to the left (how does that happen? Or are the minute markers off?).

    Naamloos1.png
     
    Edited Mar 14, 2016
  17. BartH

    BartH Follows a pattern of overpaying Mar 14, 2016

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    Comparison


    Naamloos2.png
     
  18. lethalwl

    lethalwl Mar 16, 2016

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    Hi everyone,

    Thanks for checking out the watches we offer on Hodinkee.
    Allow me to chime in, as I have been the one finding this watch, examining it with a loupe and listing it on the Shop.

    I have made mistakes with watches in the past, and will continue to do some, but I can already tell you, here the dial is fine. Of course you should not take my word for it so I will explain points by points why this dial is genuine.
    This is gonna be a bit long and geeky but I wished to address each of the points mentioned above in this thread. As a point of reference, I will use the Longines Watches book from John Goldberger, which features 15 watches from the same era from page 90 to 120.

    1. The real age of the Longines:
    Here you are absolutely correct to note that it had not been manufactured in the early 1950s as we had noted but more probably in the mid to late 1940s. This has been corrected in the description since, I have to thank Simon (DirtyDozen12) for flagging early this date inconstancy.

    2. The Longines font:
    As a result, the font of the Longines logo is period correct, it matches several contemporary examples, from page 108 of the book for instance (scan below). The watch is from 1945 with a movement number I the 6896XXX serial versus 7084XXX for ours. If you look at the very characteristic O, and N for instance you find the same shape, with those bumpy parts and elongated ends (my caligraphy terms are probably not that scientific...)

    Longines Dial.jpg

    3. The thickness of the primary markers of the subdial:
    We can use the same Longines from the book. The primary markers of the subdial are indeed all even in length and thickness.

    Longines Subsecond.jpg

    You find 7 other examples where the 15 and 45 markers are the same as the ‘regular’ markers, but on those the 30 and 60 are spelled out as numerals.

    4. The lack of Swiss made below 6 o'clock:
    This is also period correct, none of the 12 contemporary watches with sub seconds in the book feature a Swiss Made below 6 o'clock, as do the examples featured in this thread.

    5. The Longines line is very lightly tilted and the subdial is offcenter:
    To anwer both points, I straightened the picture and played around with some lines to anchor the watch. As you can see, after that process the slanting and offcenter subdial are still there, although much attenuated in comparison to the original picture, which was slightly bending to the right as noted in a previous message. This is unfortunate but this happened at a time where the stamping of the dials were not the robotic process you get nowadays.

    longines_calatrava.jpg

    We have actually shown this Longines to the writer of the Longines book and a couple of other Longines collectors who all vouched for the correctness of its dial. Are they friendly to Hodinkee? Indeed, but you can bet that there would also be the first ones to let us know if we had made a mistake.

    I apologize for the length of this message, I really appreciate the scrutiny on the watches we select and offer on the Shop, but please be careful to not flag a redial lightly as this is never a small matter, and here, in my opinion, not a relevant qualification.

    I will answer any question on this thread, and you can also reach me directly on my email louis@hodinkee.com.

    Many thanks.

    Louis
     
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  19. DirtyDozen12

    DirtyDozen12 Mar 16, 2016

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    Hi Louis,

    I appreciate your response and must concede that the dial is most likely original based on the consistency of the font and the matching condition of the movement and dial. Another red flag is often a silver or white dial foot. This example shows the correct copper color.

    The font is of note as it seems to be a less common variant. Also, there appears to be a correlation between the subdial markings and the "Longines" font in this case. It would be interesting to know who manufactured the dial.

    Regarding the age, Longines has confirmed that the watch was invoiced in 1947. For some reason the serial number is absent from the message but I can confirm that this extract is referring to the watch in question.

    certificate.JPG

    Though an implication of creating this thread was undoubtedly that the dial could be refinished, it must be emphasized that my primary intent was simply to discuss certain key details. Of course, one's reputation is heavily dependent on the accuracy of one's statements. And an accusation against one, regardless of its correctness, can significantly affect that reputation. But should one withhold his thoughts in order to protect another's reputation? In this case, I feel that my expression was merited.

    Initially, the watch was described as 1950s. Subsequently, this has been proven incorrect (as per the extract above). The age of a watch is an important detail and to state it incorrectly, is to compromise the reliability of any further claims. This includes claims about the originality of the dial.

    Though the dial is most likely original (as per the images and discussion above), the portrayal of the dial is, personally, unfavorable. Whether it is the photography or the dial itself, the je ne sais quoi, which is so often present in Longines dials, is absent here. The issue is not the design as I have shown an example above with a nearly identical dial design (albeit with better proportions i.e. the location of the subdial). More likely it is the style of the numerals, and the appearance of the printing, that contribute to a lackluster effect. Notably, my subjectivity seems to be shared by others on this forum.

    Sincerely,

    Simon
     
    Edited Mar 16, 2016
  20. jordn

    jordn Wants to be called Frank for some odd reason Mar 16, 2016

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    Perhaps it's not really possible for one to conclusively say whether it is a redial or not, but speaking for me personally, the overall quality of the dial leaves much to be desired - which is why I erred on the side of redial. Regarding the logo slant, I agree that it looks like it is within the margin of error (the macro shot magnified the problem), but a careful look at the minute markers, the hour markers, and the outer circle that connects the hour markers reveal imperfections - the general unevenness of these elements - that I believe are not up to the standards of Longines of that time. And I agree with @DirtyDozen12 in that there is a certain "je ne sais quoi" that screams redial to me. While I cannot even hold a candle to John Goldberger when comes to watch knowledge, I, as an owner of that wonderful book, have yet to find another original example with those same problems.

    I've noticed recently that people, out of feelings of general skepticism, seem more eager than ever to incorrectly declare certain dials to have been refinished. I strongly believe that with watches of this age inconsistencies or whatever we perceive as inconsistencies are not necessarily signs of a redial, and this is definitely true of Universal Geneve which is my usual orbit of existence. However, that skepticism only exists because there are many people out there who seek to take advantage of people's uncertainty and ignorance. Even today, there are "reputable" dealers and auction houses selling products, intentionally or not, that are mired in half-truths or downright falsehoods. I am in no way saying that is what happened here, but while I practice caveat emptor when it comes to myself, I do think that the greatest burden of proof should be on the dealer especially when there is so much trust involved.

    I've been a huge fan of Hodinkee since the very early days, and I actually think it is about time you guys started selling watches. I just don't think this watch meets the Hodinkee standards. If I'm wrong about the watch then my only answer would be to apologize profusely, but I didn't want anyone to think I would make any evaluations lightly.
     
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