Dr Crott, May 6 2017
Sold for €11,800
When you have a back catalogue of delectable-looking watches which is as extensive as that of Longines, there seems little point in creating new designs – and the brand’s Heritage range has produced some real stunners that, in many cases, are dead ringers for the originals but for having up-sized cases to suit 21st century tastes.
One especially appealing piece was the Istituto Idrografico R. Marina chronograph that was launched in 2008 to mark the 70th anniversary of Longines supplying the Italian maritime survey unit (which it actually partnered with in 1937). Featuring a 40mm steel case with a Hesalite crystal and a hinged ‘hunter’ back, the watch was only available for a year and was sold only in Europe – making it something of a rarity in itself.
Even rarer, however, are original 1930s examples, such as this one that turned up at Dr Crott. Not only was the watch in lovely, apparently original condition, it was also one of the highly appealing white dial variants (many had black dials, as did the 2008 Heritage models). As well as looking fabulous, the watch was equipped with the legendary Calibre 13ZN chronograph movement.
Sold on August 21, 1937, the Dr Crott watch was offered complete with an extract from the Longines archives confirming that it was sold through the Italian retailer Ostersetzer and supplied new to the navy’s Hydrographic Institute which carries out surveys and mapping, with the organisation’s name printed on the dial.