Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Oldest Valid Trademark in the International Registary at WIPO celebrates 120th Anniversary

Beneath the 12 'o'clock position of this fine watch crafted by Longines, a winged hourglass logo is visible. Longines logo holds as much profundity as the company itself. The Longines winged hourglass logo is the oldest valid trademark in the International Registary at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization). An organization created by the United Nations in 1967 "to encourage creative activity, to promote the protection of intellectual property throughout the world" as stated at a convention to establish its existence.

The WIPO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, an horological hotbed.

The iconic winged hourglass was originally registered in 1889 in Switzerland followed by a filing under the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks in 1893. In 1893, the Madrid Agreement included only six member States: Switzerland, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Longines was the 14th application filed in the Registery, but it is the only mark still in use today as opposed to the 13 other marks which have lapsed in years past.

In 1867, in Les Longines, Mr. Ernest Francillon consolidated his families watch making skills under one roof. He renamed his company, Longines, a name now associated with the finest in Aviatiors Watches. The most iconic of which was designed by the legendary Charles Lindbergh immediately after his transatlantic flight.

On May 20, 1927 at 7:52 a.m., Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field on Long Island for Paris. 33 1/2 hours later, (10:22 p.m. French time) Lindbergh set the Spirit of St. Louis down at Le Bourget Field near Paris. He had flown 3,600 miles and became the first to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic. He became an instant celebrity, and to this day he is an icon in aviation. It seems that while he was on his long voyage, he gave much thought to a watch that would be ideal for a pilot. He returned to the US and immediately began to draw up plans for a special pilot’s watch. Linbergh turned to Longines to create a perfect and practical pilot's instrumental watch. Longines watchmakers immediately went to work . A few months later the first prototype was presented to Lindbergh. He was extremely satisfied with the result.

Longines winged hourglass is engraved on all its pieces, the original version on the case back and the updated version on the dial. Longines is a company geared to innovation with over 160 patents for new watch movements and technical innovations in Switzerland.

Longines can boast a long list of firsts; Longines was the first to drop the winding key and invent the integrated crown mechanism for winding and setting the time. This new invention was presented at the 1867 Universal Exhibition in Paris where it received a bronze medal for invention.

In 1905, Longines was the first to produce a wristwatch mechanically. In 1979 the Longines "Feuille d'Or" model became the world's thinnest watch, at 1.98 mm powered by a quartz movement wholly integrated within the slim case. In 1984, Longines made a breakthrough by unveiling a timepiece with a VHP or Very High Precision Movement - a system of thermo compensation which proved to be five to ten times more accurate than quartz.

Longines also made waves in its new and innovative watch designs. In the Art Deco period of the 1920's and 30's, Longines crafted its watches utilizing organic form and structural geometry.

In commemoration of the 120th anniversary of the original registration Longines has unveiled a themed exhibition at the Cité du Temps in Geneva and published a study about the logo, as well as creating two limited series of numbered watches, each of 120 pieces.

1 comment:

  1. My husband, who works at Bernard Watch, linked me to this article. It made me love my Longines watch so much more!