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Longines. A rare and unusual oversized stainless steel pilot's wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and Weems Second Setting System
On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT wil… Read more LONGINESThe Property of an Important Private European Collector
Longines. A rare and unusual oversized stainless steel pilot's wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and Weems Second Setting System

SIGNED LONGINES WITTNAUER, WEEMS MODEL, REF. 4356, MOVEMENT NO. 7’298’483, CASE NO. 23’431, CIRCA 1948

Details
Longines. A rare and unusual oversized stainless steel pilot's wristwatch with sweep centre seconds and Weems Second Setting System
Signed Longines Wittnauer, Weems model, ref. 4356, movement no. 7’298’483, case no. 23’431, circa 1948
Movement: mechanical, cal. 37.9, 17 jewels
Dial: white enamel, central revolving silvered disc graduated for 60 units
Case: hinged back and cuvette, oversized crown, second crown operating the revolving disc
Signed: case, dial and movement
Dimensions: 47 mm. diam.
With: Longines Extract from the Archives confirming production of this watch in stainless steel with Weems mechanism and cal. 37.9 movement and its subsequent sale on 24 May 1948 to Longines-Wittnauer, their agent in North America at the time.
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On lots marked with an + in the catalogue, VAT will be charged at 8% on both the premium as well as the hammer price.

Condition Report

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Lot Essay

Consigned by a private collector the present watch is preserved in very good, original verall condition.

Precise timekeeping has always been vital to navigation, but at the beginning of the past century navigational watchmaking evolved to suit the needs of a completely new category of navigators: airplane pilots. Captain Philip Van Horn Weems, U.S. Navy, who also trained the famous aviator Charles A. Lindbergh, is among the pioneers of this new kind of watchmaking.

One of Weems' best known inventions is the Second Setting System, designed to help aviators plot their courses more accurately. At sea, celestial sights had to be taken with the help of a hack watch, which was set to the ship's chronometer. It was difficult, however, to set the watch exactly, meaning that it differed slightly from the chronometer, which in turn differed from Greenwich Mean Time. Weems deducted that the difficulty in setting the watch came from the fact that, at the time, it was almost impossible to set the second hand exactly. However, as the second hand could not be set to match the dial perfectly, the solution was to make the dial movable, so that the dial and the second hand could be synchronized at the right time. This ingenious system was subsequently patented by Longines in 1935. Another characteristic of the "Weems" watch is its large ball-sized winding crown, allowing a pilot to rewind the movement while wearing gloves.

The model is illustrated in Longines Watches by John Goldberger, pp. 78 & 79, and an example is on permanent exhibition in the Longines Museum.

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