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Les Elégantes de Longines 2009 A new tribute to the charm of the 1920s
Audacious, carefree, liberating, the 1920s left behind them a unique artistic heritage. As worthy examples of the Art Deco movement, the Les Elégantes de Longines collection is an eighth tribute to this explosion of creativity in the form of three exquisite white gold jewellery watches produced in a limited series of 20 pieces each.
May 21, 2009 12:00 by Aarti Nagraj
The 1920s were marked by an aesthetic revolution as well as a revolution for women, who were breaking down the barriers of convention and taking control of their own destiny. Tight corsets were thrown out and waists were allowed to be natural: women were claiming their freedom – physically and figuratively. Fashion took on a more creative sense of freedom, elegance and fun.
The early years of the 20th century also saw an important development in the more discreet world of watchmaking. The advent of the wrist-watch and the development of ever smaller and more reliable movements enabled the watchmakers of the period to use their creative talents to the full. Having until then been hidden away in a pocket, the watch now adorned the man’s wrist. It was not long, however, before Longines’ craftsmen were concentrating their watchmaking know-how on models for the finer wrists of women, bringing a new horological aspect to Art Deco that exuded elegance and charm. With their shaped cases in white gold and decorative settings of precious stones, the jewellery watches created by Longines in the early decades of the 20th century were a true adventure into the exuberant aesthetics of the period and were immediately popular among female customers.
In 2002 Longines decided to give a new lease of life to the forgotten beauty of the 1920s. Creations dating from that period were re-examined and modernised versions were designed. The Les Elégantes de Longines collection was born, to the delight of collectors and lovers of exceptional objects. Since then each spring has seen the addition of new models that embody the delicacy and fineness of the Art Deco spirit to this collection of timeless designs.
This year sees oval, rectangular and almond-shaped, stylised silhouettes of the Three Graces. The 18 carat white gold cases whose entire sides have been hand-decorated with Art Deco motifs, are set with between 42 and 72 Top Wesselton WS diamonds. Delicate Roman numerals grace the silvered dial with blued hands and a railway-track minute ring completes the elegant aesthetic.
True to its tradition, Longines has equipped this precious collection with an authentic hand-made and hand-wound movement dating from the 1970s. The Longines L805 calibre has 17 jewels and beats at 21,600 vibrations per minute. As is customary, production has been limited to only 20 examples of each of these three exquisite models.
Based in St. Imier in Switzerland since 1832, the watchmaker Longines can look back on more than 175 years of non-stop craftsmanship, as well as a solid heritage as timekeeper for world championships in various sports and collaborator with different international sports federations. Known for the elegance of its timepieces, Longines is a member of the Swatch Group Ltd, the World’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With the winged hourglass as its emblem, the brand has outlets in over 130 countries.