In every category, there are watches that are considered holy grails. We told you about the original luxury sports watch, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak A Series, which is coming up for sale in November. Now we’ve got another best of category for you to consider. It’s the Longines Calibre 13ZN.
Back in the 1930’s chronographs were becoming more important. Longines was a leader in the field with their own factory and R&D department. Lots of companies were investing time and energy into the complication. For example, Breitling upgraded the monopusher configuration to an independent pusher in 1934 followed by a two-button function in 1937. These advancements are all fine and good but when you’re talking about timing of more than one event or intervals, going through the process of start-stop-reset just doesn’t cut it. During the time it takes to get back to zero, you’ve lost precious seconds and, as a result, accuracy.
It was the development of the flyback function that solved the problem of fumbling around to reset the chronograph, and it was especially relevant for pilots. With just the press of one button, all the indicators fly back to zero instantaneously, ready to time the next event. And it was Longines that came up with this advancement. In 1936, they filed the first patent for the flyback chronograph with Calibre 13 ZN. To this day, Calibre 13 ZN is considered one of the most beautiful stopwatches ever made.
Manufactured in 1943, this particular example of Calibre 13 ZN is in superb condition. It has the rare combination of a screwback waterproof case with a black dial. The gilt Arabic numerals just pop off the rich lacquer background. In the last decade, case sizes have crept up, making vintage pieces sometimes look a big puny in comparison. Not so with the Calibre 13 ZN. At 37.5mm this watch fits right in with its younger and more pumped up brothers. You can wear it with confidence.
Here you have the opportunity to put a piece of real history in your collection while at the same have a watch that sizes up in the modern world.