Auguste Agassiz & Ernest Francillon

Auguste Agassiz along with his nephew, Ernest Francillon, were the pioneers of Longines. These founding fathers had a profound impact on the company, region and the whole of Swiss watchmaking.
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Stepping into the unknown. Discovering areas previously ignored. Are they always geographical? Should you always be able to pinpoint them on a map? In their own way, Agassiz and Francillon were visionaries and trailblazers in their trade: the explorers of industrial watchmaking.

As they manufactured watches in a remote valley in the Swiss Jura from 1832, without electricity, running water and no means of communication other than diligence, Agassiz and his watchmakers had certainly embarked on a difficult task. All the more so as, in this period, needing to know what time it was exactly was not a necessity. But that didn’t matter: what did was being ahead of their time.
Recognising the need for help from a person who shared his vision, he brought his nephew on-board to join him in his ambitious project. The young Ernest Francillon had no doubts nor fears when it came to the new age of industrialisation: it was the one and only way to go.

Inspired by this conviction, he transformed his uncle’s watchmaking workshop into a new factory. From 1867, the watchmakers worked together under the same roof, aided by machines. The factory was built on the “longs prés” of Saint-Imier: the place that would give Longines its name.

From the very start, Longines watches name were adorned with a logo, a winged hourglass, as well as a serial number. It was never too early to combat counterfeits, the price of success the founders of the brand had not once doubted.