With Longines Certificate of Origin and Authenticity confirming that watch no. 8315730 was made in their workshops and sold on 3 May 1952.
Reference 6111-2, also known as the "Big Indian", is one of Longines' rarest models ever made, the nickname derived from its large size of 44 mm. and its destination: the Indian Air Force.
According to Longines' ledgers of June 1951 illustrated in British Military Timepieces by Konrad Knirim and Mr. Knirim's description, an exceedingly small number of references 6111-2 was shipped to "The Officer Commanding, Avadi" on 21 May 1952 - most likely Avadi Air Force base in Avadi, near Madras (today Chennai) in India.
The model had certainly been adapted to the specifications requested by the Indian Ministry of Defence and given reference number 6111. The watches feature easily readable dials with luminous numerals and hands, large water and shock-resistant anti-magnetic cases and fixed bar lugs. The dials, movements and outside case backs were marked with the military broad arrow symbol, the outside case backs additionally with a three digit military issue number. The two last digits of this number are repeated to the inside case back, underneath the reference, the last two digits of the movement number are stamped underneath a lug - in case of this watch numbers 231 and 31 and 8315730 and 30 respectively.
The ledger page published in op.cit. and in this catalogue lists the watches in series of 10, starting with movement no. 8315720 followed by the first number of the second series, 8315730, actually the present watch, and so on. The fact that the highest movement number of the watches on the ledger page is 8315779 and the one published in John Goldberger's Longines Wristwatches 8315709 shows that at least 70 examples of reference 6111-2 must have left the factory.
The number of references 6111-2 having reappeared since is however exceptionally small, presumably less than 10 of these ultra-rare watches have resurfaced in public in recent years. This fact combined with the excellent, original overall condition render the present "Big Indian" an extraordinarily rare find.
For a description of reference 6111-2 and illustrations of Longines' ledger and other examples of this model see British Military Timepieces by Kondrad Knirim, pp. A detailed illustration of example no. 8315709, military issue no. 243, is illustrated in Longines Watches by John Goldberger, pp. 130 & 131.