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Longines dial fonts and US market

  1. ulackfocus

    ulackfocus Jan 13, 2016

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    It certainly is a redial. The "17 JEWELS" and the horrible spacing give it away.
     
  2. Syrte

    Syrte Aug 31, 2016

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    An update to this thread, I have queried Longines and Italian collectors on O&P about this question.
    Someone on the Italian forum is saying dials were manufactured in the US back in the days Wittnauer was casing movements in the US.
    Does anyone have any knowledge of that? (the person saying that is not one of OP's long time members or resident experts on Longines).

    As for Longines, there's an on going conversation and I'll report a bit later-- but it seems it's not strictly dials made for the American market.
     
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  3. Syrte

    Syrte Sep 4, 2016

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    Greetings, so I heard back from Longines on this discussion. A fellow Longines enthusiast had put me in touch with their chief historian, Stéphanie Lachat, and I had asked her if there had been a sans-serif font used on dials for the American market.

    We had a couple backs and forths about it, and the short answer confirms what Tony C. was essentially saying: the sans serif font comes from the 1940 Longines logo as it was registered with "WIPO" (World Intellectual Property Organization) - "OMPI" in French (Organisation Mondiale de la Propriété Intellectuelle).

    What's interesting is that Ms. Lachat said the logo was then used on "ALL Longines watches" - without a specific distinction for the US market.
    I then asked her whether one must assume their apparently high number on the US market simply means that new watches during those war years were predominantly marketed on the US market. I also asked her, how come one finds so many dials with serifs on so many watches throughout the 1940s. Her answer is in her latest email below.
    I'm including both - French original with my translation.
    However I'm not sure how to do a screen grab of the page - so the formatting got lost in the shuffle.
    I've edited out a couple of sentences on an off point subject -- and the emphasis added is mine.

    TRANSLATION /The sans serif font you are evoking is that of the Longines logo as it is registered with the World International Property Organization in 1940. It is then used on all Longines watches, without a specificity for the American market.
    I am sending via separate message a history of our logo.

    Best regards, xxx

    TRANSLATION/
    Dear Madam, indeed, as you suggest, the adoption of the 1940 "sans serif" logo was not immediately carried over on all watches.
    One can reasonably think that existing dial stocks with the older logo were put to use even after the adoption of the new logo.
    You have observed that the 1940 "sans serif" logo can be found in the United States on watches produced for export.
    At this time, we have not been able to find in our archives any indication relating to the sans serif logo being used in a way restricted to the US market. However, it is true that the US market constitutes the dominant market of the brand starting at the end of the 1930s and throughout the 1940s we are more specifically considering here.

    Best regards,
    XXX

    Ms. Lachat sent me a logo history consistent with the one @Tony C. posted (not sure how to post a "tif" file).
    What's interesting is that it suggests the 1940 logo registration with WIPO is still active.
    This is consistent with the fact it can be found on more recent watches.

    For example in Goldberger there's a gold-filled chronograph with 1940 logo which was produced in 1952.
    (it looks exactly like the one @DirtyDozen12 posted above).
    I'm assuming some of those later watches again may have been made from previous dial stocks.

    Edit / add - I did not query her to explain the differences @DirtyDozen12 has observed between the dial font and the 1940 company logo. I guess there may just be slight differences between the registered logo and its execution on dials -- and that what's dispositive for dials, obviously, is the logo's appearance on correct dials.
     
    Edited Sep 4, 2016
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  4. Darlinboy

    Darlinboy Pratts! Will I B******S!!! Sep 4, 2016

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    Excellent information @Syrte and thank you for first digging it up, and then for sharing it here. :thumbsup:

    Longines seems much more accessable and amenable to engage regarding the brand's history, at least to you. :p
     
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  5. Tony C.

    Tony C. Ωf Jury member Sep 4, 2016

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    Thanks for the interesting update, @Syrte.

    Longines (historical/vintage) customer support is by far the best in the industry, and I hope that the company does receive some tangible benefit from the good will that it generates as a result.
     
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  6. dodo44

    dodo44 Sep 4, 2016

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    Thanks Syrte for looking into this; this is a very valuable piece of information! It makes sense for Longines to have a strong historical department to build their heritage line and dig up undiscovered vintage models that they can take inspiration from (they have a VERY deep vintage catalog).

    There has been a lot of heritage hype from other Swiss brands over the past several years but often without much substance. No brand is truer to its words than Longines. They are genuinely interested in their heritage. Kudos to them! As things shake up in Switzerland with the retraction of various markets, some brands should take inspiration from Longines for growing a brand on strong foundations and making watches that people want at an accessible price point.
     
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  7. Ante2

    Ante2 May 24, 2020

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    The quality of text, in my opinion, seems of low quality - the strokes not even (look at "N" and "G", and the "O" seems big compared to the "L") and the contrast of the black seems higher than the second marks. I have seen others with similar text - was it made like this in the factory, or is the text "restored"? Would love to know.

    1581112167_20200207_214556.jpg
     
  8. pIoNeErOfThEnILe

    pIoNeErOfThEnILe May 24, 2020

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    ..

    usually the more you magnify a dial the more it discloses. but with this dial, the more you zoom in on the longines text the better the font looks imo. however, it does look like it slopes upwards toward the one indice.

    i'm no expert on longines dials, but in it's present magnification it does look like it could trick your brain..the outline in the 2 looks a little off as well as does the outline around the emblem under longines. making the matter harder is that these older dials never seemed to perfect when they were new as well
     
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  9. SportChief

    SportChief May 24, 2020

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    That's a definitely redial, but probably an older redial.
     
    Edited May 24, 2020
  10. Kbjohn

    Kbjohn May 25, 2020

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    Added pictures of mine which I’m certain is original. Unsure how clear they are, but taken with heavy magnification.

    Perhaps there was a batch that were sent back for factory redialling in the 50’s, a few years after being made as I’ve now seen 6/7 identical examples . The dial tests with a Geiger as though it’s radium, so I think service dial is unlikely, given the time period I would have thought a replacement dial and hands would be tritium. The one posted above also has the same invoice date and location as mine.
     
    D3B1A886-48A6-47E8-AB32-3D73B18A831D.jpeg FB89302B-3599-474E-BD38-CE26A6DF510D.jpeg 850DCB8E-0FB0-41BD-84F1-68AD0BBB58A8.jpeg 77E08071-C505-4854-B8AC-2252BD36C9F4.jpeg DB3D5F17-3205-45D8-B138-B4FA4E46A432.jpeg
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  11. _awatchsnob_

    _awatchsnob_ May 25, 2020

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    Thank you for sharing your correspondence!
     
  12. SportChief

    SportChief May 25, 2020

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    Well, I guess that proves me wrong haha. My only hypothesis would be these dials were made in the USA rather than is Switzerland, which might explain the difference in font type. Was your watch invoiced to Wittnauer?
     
  13. Deafboy

    Deafboy His Holiness Puer Surdus May 25, 2020

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    I'm not sure if this adds something of interest to the conversation but my 1953 Longines-Wittnauer has an uncommon font. Some people thought it was a redial but I found I an identical dial on eBay with the same font.

    First my watch. 865F2D9A-D3A3-4034-AA5C-2C47F2859DF9.JPEG

    Caseback
    s-l1600-6.jpg


    Detail of the font. Mine is the upper, the other specimen is the lower.

    23Z comparaison small.jpg
     
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  14. Kbjohn

    Kbjohn May 26, 2020

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    Both were invoiced to Terasse, Sweden, in 1955.

    I think it’s perhaps important not to jump the gun and call out redial without seeing several photos and having absolute proof, especially in cases where it isn’t immediately obvious. Doubly important when it’s someone’s personal collection and not a watch offered for sale. Lighting and angles can make such a huge difference. It can quickly cause damage someone’s image and reputation, with something that might seem like a simple throw away comment.
     
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  15. SportChief

    SportChief May 26, 2020

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    I disagree. The member asked for opinions and I gave my opinion. He even wrote, "The quality of text, in my opinion, seems of low quality," which I agreed, as I was not familiar with that type of Longines font. If members are asking for opinions regarding redials they need to be prepared for multiple differing opinions or comments. I'm glad the watch turned out to be authentic.
     
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  16. Kbjohn

    Kbjohn May 26, 2020

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    That’s exactly my point. These forums get read by 100’s of people. Claiming with confidence and certainty that something is a redial, because you haven’t seen it before, or aren’t familiar with it, isn’t exactly fair on the person or business who own the watch/watches. They are two different watches in case it wasn’t clear.
     
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  17. Syrte

    Syrte May 29, 2020

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    Are you sure you read the thread?
    The explanation that Longines themselves provided is that the sans serif font comes from the logo Longines registered in 1940. As far as I know the dials on the Longines watches sold in the US come from Switzerland, and Longines’ chief watchmaker with whom I inquired about that told me that Longines at the time was using many different dial suppliers, based on need.
    For example I have a Longines dial (on a US market watch) that was made by Lemrich, (Swiss).
    I have another that is unmarked and it’s impossible to say who made it.

    edit / add- and here’s another of those watches, even has the same strap as the one posted above.
     
    83E39767-51FA-49A3-A9E3-4CB091ABC00E.png
    Edited May 29, 2020
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  18. SportChief

    SportChief May 29, 2020

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    I never stated that I read the entire thread. Although you should probably read my posts after that. I already provided my answer as to what I thought about the dial and concluded that I was incorrect in regarding it as a redial.