Accompanied by copy of Longines letter signed Frédéric Donzé confirming that the present watch is part of a small series of 100 examples made in 1955 and invoiced to Swissair on 24 September 1956. Furthermore delivered with the copy of Longines technical sheet for this model, reference 6630.
According to Mr. Donzé, these watches were given by the management of Swissair to their flying staff and were not destined for the public.
An other example of this rare and unusual model is on permanent exhibit at the renowned Clock & Watch Museum Beyer in Zurich.
For a description and detailed illustration of the identical model with the preceding number "Swissair 48" see Longines Watches by John Goldberger, Damiani Editore, pp. 88 & 89.
Swissair, short for "Swiss Air Transport Company Limited," was Switzerland's national airline for 71 years (1931-2002), established when the airlines Balair and Ad Astra Aero ("To the Stars") merged. Regarded as a national symbol, its financial stability made it renowned as a "flying bank".
Like other airlines, Swissair's operations and profitability were disrupted following the September 11 terror attacks resulting in the company's bankruptcy in 2002. Relaunched as Swiss International Air Lines Group it is now part of the Star Alliance Group following its merger with Lufthansa in 2005.
Since its creation in 1832 in Saint-Imier, Switzerland, Longines has played a pioneering role in numerous technological breakthroughs, notably in the history of aviation and navigation.
The company timed, for instance, Lindbergh's first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean and subsequently developed the Hour Angle watch according to a design drawn by Lindbergh.
We are indebted to Mr. Frédéric Donzé of Longines SA and Mr. Alfredo Paramico for their valuable help in researching the present watch.