Longines Cal.23ZS 14ct 1955 Guilloche Dial
Longines is one of the oldest Swiss watch manufacturers with an unparalleled history of invention, innovation, patents and awards. They are also responsible for some of the most beautiful watches ever made. For a long time, something of a Cinderella among the watch collecting fraternity, Longines is now rightfully returning to the elevated status they once held in the pre and post-war years. It is only relatively recently that Longines vintage watches have returned to the admiration and popularity they deserve, with values rising on average by 15% per year. Certain models, however, such as the now legendary Longines Calibre 13ZN chronograph have sky-rocketed.
Here we have a classic example of Longines style and elegance from the mid 1950s when technically, Longines competed head to head and on level terms with almost all of the top tier Swiss watch manufacturers. This is a superb example of a 1950s vintage Longines 14ct gentleman’s dress watch in immaculate condition. Notable features of this watch include its beautiful Guilloche dial and its superb Longines Calibre 23ZS hand-wound movement, plus its overall amazing, fully restored condition.
A really pretty dial in the classic Longines 1950s style – simple, clean and classy. The outer sector of the dial is raised and carries some guilloche effect and applied ‘wedge’ style hour indices. These are matched with the original restored ‘dauphine’ style hands. All so effortless and yet so beautiful. We particularly love the minutes and seconds sector, each of which is denoted by a v around the inner dial.
Longines always seems to aim and achieve higher with its dials, which we feel are that bit closer to perfection. It does this so often and so effortlessly. Even the Longines brand looks more ‘in place’, which incidentally is the oldest registered, of any watch manufacturer. The company certainly made a fine art of this during the 1950s and ’60s. Perhaps the evolution of a certain style became part of the company’s DNA, but Longines dials always seem in a class of their own. This sense of style has certainly won Longines a great many loyal customers, who only later came to appreciate the accuracy and reliability of its movements also.
The dial is simply signed ‘Longines’ with the Longines brand with ‘Swiss Made’ at the bottom.
This is the original dial which has been restored to the highest standards by the best dial restorers in the UK.
The original Longines Calibre 23ZS, 17 Jewel hand-wound movement is a real treasure, with gold chatons and screwed balance, Swiss lever escapement, Sweep-seconds and Super-shock-resist. This is much admired in watchmaking circles, particularly the large, screw weighted balance wheel which allows for greater accuracy and finer adjustment. Everything else being equal, the larger the balance wheel, the more accurate the watch.
The Calibre 23ZS was derived from the hugely successful Calibre 23M introduced in 1939, which in turn was derived from the calibre 10.68Z movement that made its debut in 1932.
If ever one needed to show a great example of a top quality classic hand-wound watch movement, this could easily be chosen. The quality of finishing and build is exceptional and better finished than anything offered by Rolex of the same period. Note, for example, each jewel is held in its own threaded gold sleeve, which is then in turn screwed into the plates. This is a much more sophisticated method than those which simply fitted their jewels into drilled holes in the bridges, as was the practice of Rolex and Omega of the same period.
As can be seen, the movement is in tip-top condition having just completed an overhaul and service by our watchmaker. This means it has been completely disassembled, cleaned, inspected and rebuilt using only original Longines parts where required. When tested and calibrated, this watch was running to within +7 seconds per day, which is outstanding for a vintage watch of this age. This movement also has a power reserve of 44hrs. The movement is correctly signed ‘Longines Watch Co Swiss’ and ‘17 Jewels’, with the Calibre number 23ZS and the movement serial number 9447895 which dates the watch to 1955.
These movements are robust, reliable and accurate making this watch perfectly suited for regular everyday use. This particular movement is in top condition and with regular servicing, every 2 to 3 years we would fully expect this watch to provide faithful service for many more decades to come! We are therefore pleased and confident to offer a 12-month warranty on this watch movement* and all servicing in the future.
*Please note – our 12 months’ warranty is only included if the list price is paid.
The two-piece design watch case and integral bezel is of very high quality. It was made in New York by DiVincenzo and Arienti who were case-makers for Longines Wittnauer, the American arm of Longines, St. Imier, Switzerland.
The bezel and case-back are in superb original condition, in fact from any viewpoint, there are no scratches, dings or other marks on this case, visible to the naked eye. Due to the superb condition, we have simply given the case a very gentle hand-polish.
The case measures 33.5mm in diameter, excluding the correct Longines unsigned crown as Longines watches in 1955 did not have signed crowns. If the size perhaps seems a little small, please bear in mind the watch measures 42mm lug to lug, making it appear larger on the wrist and adding a great deal of presence to the watch.
The case-back is of full thickness and has never been engraved. The inside of the case-back is stamped ‘Longines-Wittnauer Watch Co Inc’ and ‘New York, Geneva, Montreal’, together with the initials D&A for DiVincenzo and Arienti and ‘14K Gold’ Also inscribed is the case serial number 07295 as well as the case reference number 727-S-724-140.
The case-back presses back with a reassuring ‘pop’ indicating it is a nice tight fit.
As ever, our standard advice applies: Vintage watches should be kept clean and dry at all times.
The Strap and Buckle
The strap fitted is a new brown Alligator strap with a Longines gold-plated buckle. However, if a different colour or style of strap is preferred, please let us know and we will do our best to oblige free of charge. We carry tan, conker, dark brown and black in stock and in plain padded leather, or crocodile skin or lizard skin.
The Box and Papers
Although there are no original papers with this watch, the numbers and markings on the watch are all correct, dating the watch to 1955.
Detailed particulars will be included with our purchase receipt for your interest and security. A separate insurance valuation for the replacement value of this watch will be provided at the time of sale along with our unique ‘Lifetime Authenticity Guarantee’ which states: “If this watch proves to be anything less than 100% genuine, authentic and original, a full refund will be given at any time”.
The Longines presentation case shown in the photographs is included with this watch.
This is a beautiful vintage 14ct gold gentleman’s dress watch from one of the most collectable and ‘time-honoured’ brands and this watch will make an excellent financial investment as well as be something to treasure and enjoy! It is in really excellent original condition throughout and completely practical for use as an everyday watch. Provided it is treated carefully and serviced every 2-3 years, it will last another lifetime. It carries a great deal more style, individuality and style than a modern watch and to buy the same quality today would cost many more times the price you see here.
However, you may wish to view the watch, as each year goes by and the world market for fine vintage gold watches grows even larger, the limited supply and high demand means prices will inevitably climb even higher!
A word on our prices – We always try our hardest to acquire the very highest quality watches we can find, before then restoring them to the highest possible standards. We then offer these at the fairest prices we can, taking into account our pre and post-sales care and service. This approach means we will never be the cheapest, but nor will we be the most expensive. Indeed there are some well known stores in West London which are highly successful charging between two to three times the price you see here. We therefore consider our prices to be good value and very fair, given the quality of watches we have to offer.
We are happy to accept PayPal as this is the quickest method of payment. However, if you would like to pay by UK bank transfer we will be pleased to assist you with this and pass on a 3% transaction saving to you. Similarly, if you wish to pay by International SWIFT or Bank Wire Transfer, we will provide you with our BIC / Swift number and our IBAN number.
Please check the import duties and any taxes your government may apply, these are different for each country and unfortunately out of our control.
We understand there may be some ‘loopholes’ that may help you avoid these charges, however attempting to use these could impact our ongoing ability to serve our growing international customer base.
For those that happen to visit the UK on occasion we are of course more than happy to store your watch until we can meet you in our offices in Kensington, London, and your watch directly to you there.
Please note, we also welcome part exchanges, along with outright purchases of similar watches to restore, service and list.
We can also offer Watch Service, Watch Repair & Watch Restoration, please see here.
If you have any questions please call 0207 727 7095 or if calling from overseas: +44 207 727 7095.
We are here, ready, available and await your call.
Finally, please enjoy some time spent viewing our other fine vintage gold watches.
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- Store Name: Vintage Gold Watches London Ltd
- Vendor: Vintage Gold Watches London Ltd
96 Kensington High Street
United Kingdom (UK)
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