Bonhams, London, 10 December 2014
Sold for £9,500
We’ve remarked before that many vintage Longines watches still seem to be undervalued – an observation that certainly seems to apply to the famous Lindbergh Hour Angle of the 1930s.
This particular example struck me as being especially appealing because it had clearly seen a bit of action and was offered in honest, original and unrestored condition – yet it was hammered down for less than the low estimate, with the addition of buyer’s premium bringing the final price to a reasonable £9,500 for what was not only a genuinely historic watch, but also a highly distinctive and entirely wearable one.
The Hour Angle was developed by Longines and pioneer trans-Atlantic aviator Charles Lindbergh as an improved version of Captain Phillip Van Horn Weems’s original “second setting” watch. It was designed to help pilots to determine longitude based on Greenwich Mean Time (otherwise known as the Hour Angle) while flying over featureless stretches of open water thanks to an ingenious combination of bezel and dial markings.
Longines re-launched the Hour Angle as part of its Heritage Collection – but who wouldn’t rather wear an original?