From a Family Business to a Global Brand
Auguste Agassiz (1809-1877) teamed up with fellow watchmakers in 1832 to create a watchmaking workshop in the Swiss village of Saint-Imier. At that time, components were produced in the homes of watchmakers, before being assembled at the workshop.
In 1852, his nephew, Ernest Francillon took over the operations of the workshop. A man of vision, he decided to build-up a factory. Not only did he bring all the talented artisans together under one roof, he also established a mechanized production system to ensure the highest quality and precision.
The Longines Factory
Built on a field known locally as ""Es Longines"", Francillon decided to keep this name for the company and created the Longines brand.
The Longines factory was inaugurated in 1867 and has continued its operations at the same place ever since.
The Oldest Trademark In Watchmaking
Francillon proved to be a pioneer in protecting his products against counterfeits. He ensured that all timepieces leaving the factory were engraved with a serial number, the trade name Longines and its winged hourglass symbol.
As soon as a Swiss law protecting trademarks was introduced in 1880, Francillon registered his. In 1889, he took the opportunity to present the Longines name and winged hourglass at the newly formed Federal Office of Intellectual Property (OFPI). When the new United International Bureaux, forerunner of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) was established, he extended his trademark to cover international markets.