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Search for the Oldest Longines - 183. The historically important transitional Comptoir AA4 made 1867

  1. OmegaSeeker Jul 23, 2021

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    looks as though the buyer didn’t pay and he/she has relisted it. Seems to be a lot of that on eBay these days. Gives me a second chance anyway!
     
  2. Seiji Aug 1, 2021

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    Anyone here get it?

    A5010E18-C906-401B-991A-160F66899793.jpeg
     
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  3. divetime Aug 1, 2021

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    did you get it?
     
  4. OmegaSeeker Jul 2, 2022

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    Sorry - have not been online for a while. No I didn’t. Resuming my hunt for one though :)
    While I’m an Omega man, there’s something about the historical record keeping of Longines that is very special
     
  5. Pocket Man Nov 4, 2022

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    Hi, I just listed a similar AA4 if interested. Serial #2913
     
    6F4EE261-F94F-4F0D-A7E8-DD061274BFEA.jpeg 3A7B980E-A816-471D-94AE-E4801B4C0C03.jpeg
  6. Mark020 not the sharpest pencil in the ΩF drawer Nov 14, 2022

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    Interesting. Welcome. Perhaps inform yourself about listing requirements
     
  7. Seiji Nov 14, 2022

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    I suppose some day, a number lower than 183 will get discovered. I wondered how long it will take to surface.
     
  8. Bernhard J Dec 19, 2022

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    Very interesting, many thanks for the information.

    Definition of "The Oldest Longines" depends on what starting point is chosen. In the 90s I participated in a similar Longines contest looking for the earliest "Longines" and this was apparently open to watches even older than when Agassiz entered the stage. The watches had to be sent to Longines via a concessionair for inspection. It took a few months until they were returned with a report letter.

    My watch received a prize as the second or third oldest (I would have to look it up again) "Longines", accompanied by a nice Longines book as a present. It is the watch below. You might wonder what the conext to Longine might be, but a close look at the base plate reveals a "secret" signature saying "H. Raiguel Jne". If you search internet today for "H. Raiguel" various professions are stated, watchmaker, watch dealer, attorney, but I would think that indeed watchmaker might be most appropriate, because the application of such a tiny makers signature would otherwise not make sense. And the number "221" does not really suggest a high throughput. I would date this watch around 1820-1830.

    Here are photos of this watch (which I still have), the "secret" signature not too clear, sorry. The "main" signature (dial and movement) is irrelevant, just a retailer signature by order, as usual in those times.

    2.jpg

    6.jpg

    7a.jpg
     
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  9. Seiji Dec 19, 2022

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    Thanks for sharing your story, I admire your AA1!
    If I ever have a chance, I would love to own one myself. The one in the Heritage Museum is stunning too.

    I have not won an "Oldest Longines" contest as they haven't had such a contest for North America. You are one of the rarest watch owners
     
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  10. DirtyDozen12 Thanks, mystery donor! Dec 19, 2022

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    @Bernhard J That is a fantastic watch! Thank you for sharing both the photos and information.
     
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  11. Seiji Dec 19, 2022

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    @Bernhard J
    If you would be willing to share the letter from Longines. I think the forum would be very interested in any comments or details Longines provided to you about the watch you have. I think there is almost no public information about AA1.

    Thank you
    S
     
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  12. Bernhard J Dec 19, 2022

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    Hello Seiji,

    I will take the letter to the office tomorrow and scan it for posting here. I am anyway "digitalizing" my watch stuff and this still needs to be added anyway. By the way, it was second (not third) oldest according to the Longines letter.

    The movement is similar to the AA1, but not identical.

    I known of an identical movement, including the "H. RAIGUEL JNE" microsignature (but for another retailer). That movement is without dial, hands and is not working (various parts missing), though. Here is a link to photos. I hope that posting a link is OK, I do not want to post the photos, since I do not have allowance and do not want to create a copyright issue for the forum. If such links are not allowed, mods please remove the link. The author of this post misread the "JNE" as "CNE". "JNE" stands for "jeune", meaning "the young one"

    https://mb.nawcc.org/threads/raigue...ch-looking-for-connection.130665/post-1008094

    Cheers, Bernhard
     
    Edited Dec 19, 2022
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  13. Seiji Dec 19, 2022

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    Hello Bernard,
    Yes, I remember that Thrommel watch well. It was on eBay for many months. Maybe even a whole year. It was too bad he wanted a lot for the movement parts and of course it being incomplete, it would take a master to make the watch functional again so I passed on it. Your watch on the other hand being complete is a wonderful treasure :)

    Do you have information also on the first place and third place watches?

    Regards

    S
     
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  14. Seiji Dec 19, 2022

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    And Bernard, hats off for having an older watch than 183 :)
     
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  15. Bernhard J Dec 20, 2022

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    Hello Seiji,

    Thank you for making me dig out the old stuff for review. In summary, most of what I posted with respect to the Longines contest in 1994 turned out to be rubbish ::facepalm1::. . Sorry for any confusion created.

    Right is: I had entered a watch into the 1994 Longines contest.
    Right is: My watch won a prize for one of the oldest Longines.

    That is about all what was right relating to the contest in my previous post :rolleyes:.

    Wrong was: That I had entered the Raiguel verge. Correct is that I had entered a Longines cal. 19A watch (SN 323709). I still have this one as well.
    Wrong was: Second or third place. Correct is that it was fourth place of all watches in Germany. So, nothing that special, considering that watches from 65 countries had participated.

    The Longines letter (see below) was accompanied by the mentioned Longines book and a press release (for the first page see below). This press release apparently directed my attention to the potential relevance of the small makers signature "H. RAIGUEL JNE" on the verge.

    Yes, the Raiguel verge is in a really brilliant condition, mint dial and absolutely no chip around the winding hole. The watch ticks away happily, runs down the full chain and keeps time within about 10 minutes per day, which is OK for such an old verge. Verges of excellent make and in excellent condition manage just a few minutes per day, but I leave it just as it is.

    Cheers, Bernhard

    Longines letter 1994.jpg

    Longines Press Release 1994.jpg
     
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  16. Bernhard J Dec 20, 2022

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    So, I have now contacted Longines asking whether they have any information about watches made by the Comptoir Raiguel Jeune and provided photos of my watch, including the microsignature on the base plate. I will report about the response.

    Cheers, Bernhard
     
    Edited Dec 20, 2022
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  17. Seiji Dec 20, 2022

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    Hello Bernhard, thank you for taking the time to find the documents and sharing them. A reflection of my poor American education, I will use Google Translate to read the German writing. I am sure it will be interesting.
     
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  18. Bernhard J Dec 20, 2022

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    Hello Seiji,

    Forget google translate, I suggest to use deepl.com . They are brilliant in particular in texts with technical terms. I use it professionally. Google translation on eBay (automatically displayed on German eBay, without the option of reading the original texts) are at least with respect to watches a joke and good for laughs only.

    The letter has no really interesting content aside gratulations to the 4 place in Germany and that more than 10,000 entries from 65 countries were evaluated. The press release states that in 1832 Herny Raiguel, Florian Morel, and Auguste Agassiz joined with 1/3 shares each and founded the "Comptoir Raiguel Jeune". In case of Agassiz apparently as a credit by his bank Fournachon.

    Cheers, Bernhard
     
    Edited Dec 20, 2022
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  19. Bernhard J Jan 11, 2023

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    I now received an answer from Longines (thank you again to Longines for this free of charge service). Unfortunately they have no Information about watch numbers of the pre-Longines trademark era, including watches made by H. Raiguel.

    Raiguel Auskunft.jpg
     
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  20. Fallout Boy Jan 11, 2023

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    Even in German: Ich verstehe die Aussage des Textes nicht, Bernhard.(I don t understand the basic information / I am German ) Can you post the original text (in French?)
     
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