TIME’S ARROW

Over a hearty Zoom exchange, Matthias Breschan, the Longines Chief Executive, explains how the 189-year-old brand has remained one of watchmaking’s most distinguished pioneers.

The Longines Chief Executive, Matthias Breschan.

Longines’ winged hourglass logo hasn’t graced just aviation pieces: as well as the Army Air Corps and the International Aeronautical Federation, the French Navy is among those to have benefited from the precision instruments of a manufacture founded by Auguste Agassiz in 1832.

It is not surprising that organisations for whom precision timekeeping is a matter of life and death have enlisted Longines’ services: the brand that invented, among other horological masterstrokes, crown-wound pocket-watches and the flyback function is as renowned for innovation as it is for the longevity of their eternally elegant, exquisitely made wares.

For Matthias Breschan, who became Chief Executive of the Saint-Imier firm last year, having been at the helm of Rado for nine years and Hamilton for seven, advancement of what is deemed possible isn’t merely admirable, it’s a prerequisite for survival. “The day you stop innovating,” he says, “is the day you start killing a brand.”

Breschan believes that being a creative visionary is an inherently disruptive enterprise (in a good way). He and his creative teams spent a vast amount of 2020 delving through the brand’s extensive archives: expect this year to be one in which Longines’ extraordinary plot, almost 200 years in the making, thickens significantly.

Published

February 2021

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