For decades, Longines has been an important part of the Swiss luxury watchmaking traditions. The company was founded in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz, and they helped to bring Swiss watchmaking to an international audience. Longines precision instruments were popular among pilots, while their stylish designs encouraged people to wear watches as jewelry.
Since 1867, Longines products have proudly display the winged hourglass logo that is still used today. Though there have been slight alterations to the Longines logo over the years, it has always used the same key elements. Keep reading to discover the fascinating history behind the Longines logo.
Longines Logo Design Elements
The modern version of Longines logo has the brand name centered above their trademark winged hourglass emblem. A san serif font with wide letters and thick lines is used to display the company name in all capital letters. Longines technically has a black logo on a white background, but many versions of the logo show up as a dark blue text on a white background.
Centered below the company name is a stylized representation of a winged hourglass, drawn entirely in straight lines. The hourglass looks somewhat like a rectangle with an X inside it, and the wings have a flat, horizontal design with four feathers. A combination of clever letter spacing and hourglass placement allows the winged hourglass to fit neatly between the two N’s in the Longines name.
Changes and Evolution
Even before the winged hourglass was officially trademarked in 1867, Longines was using a logo that had an hourglass with wings on it. This logo had the old company name, “E. Francillon Longines Suisse,” wrapped around the logo. This was later simplified to a logo that had the hourglass mounted in a circle that said “EFC Longines.” These older logos had a more realistic wing and hourglass image with shading.
In the early 1900s, Longines briefly experimented with a version of their logo that just said the name without the hourglass, but this proved unpopular. Since 1942, Longines has essentially had the same logo, which used the brand name above a stylized hourglass with wings. The only changes since then have been alterations to the size of the brand name and emblem.
All variants of the Longines logo have been monochromatic. They generally appear as black text on a white background, but the company chooses to change these colors for stylistic purposes occasionally. In some variants, the logo may be blue, black, white, grey, or gold.
Longines first logos used an all capitalized, san-serif font that was easy to engrave on watches. As engraving and printing techniques improved around 1900, they switched to a curling script font. Though the script font was trendy at the time, it eventually began to look dated, so Longines returned to their more simple style. Since the 1950s, the logo font has been a Roman font with capital lettering.
Since the late 1700s, a winged hourglass has been used to represent the concept of time flying away from a person. As a watchmaking company, Longines felt that the idea of time passing by was suitable to their brand. Though they desired to maintain logo continuity, Longines has altered their logo slightly to match changing styles. The current logo uses a very clean, geometric look for the hourglass that has its roots in Art Deco trends. This hourglass style has stuck around since the 1940s because it does not look too busy or outdated to the modern eye.
- The winged hourglass emblem on the Longines logo has been around for such a long time that it is actually the oldest registered trademark for any watchmaker.
- Longines gets its name from a small suburb of the Swiss town, Saint-Imier, where the Agassiz family’s first factory was located. This region was called es Longines, which means “Long Meadows.”
- Longines worked with heroic pilot Charles Lindbergh in 1931 to make a watch that combined the functions of a sextant and nautical almanac to calculate geographic position.
- Longines is the official timekeeper for many gymnastics and horse racing events.
Just like the Longines watches, the Longines logo combines functionality and style. Its strong wordmark and elegant winged hourglass represent the company’s primary goals so well that Longines has used the same emblem for over one hundred and fifty years. The logo will continue to represent Longines’ rich history of timekeeping excellence for years to come.