Why Are Longines Watches So Expensive? [Deep Analysis]


Longines watches are known for their classic, beautiful design and excellent reputation. As a result, they can be a little more expensive than others. But then, why are Longines watches so expensive?

In this article, let’s explore in further detail Longines’ pricing, reliability, and if they are more expensive than Rolex. We will also look at if they are worth their money and why you should consider Longines over other luxury watch brands. 

ALSO READ: Is Longines a Luxury Watch Brand?

Why Are Longines Watches So Expensive

Why Are Longines Watches So Expensive?

Longines watches are expensive because they are manufactured in Switzerland. Longines also uses Swiss movements and premium materials not commonly seen in affordable brands, such as diamonds and gold alloys. Lastly, Longines has a brand image of being a luxury watch. Therefore a high price is needed.

Materials

Longines watches are expensive because they use premium materials not commonly seen in affordable watch brands for their watch parts

A quick review on their official online store shows that Longines have models using alloy gold, diamonds, alligator leather, and mother of pearl. All Longines models also come with sapphire crystals with an anti-reflective coating. 

These high-quality materials translate into a higher cost of production per watch. Coupled with the amount of money needed for their brand-building exercise, the watch price eventually becomes more expensive than your common affordable watch brands. 

Swiss Made

All Longines watches are also Swiss Made. This alone would have contributed significantly to the watch pricing. 

Not all watches can be Swiss Made, even if they come from a Swiss Brand. This is because, by Swiss Law, a watch can only be considered as Swiss Made if:

  • 60% of its production value is from Switzerland (design, manufacturing, parts, etc.)
  • The watch uses a Swiss movement. 
  • The watch is encased and inspected in Switzerland. 

This means all Longines watches are made in Switzerland and have the high quality and performance associated with Swiss watches. 

This is important as some brands play up their Swiss heritage, but their watches are actually made in Asia. They also do not use Swiss movements – for example, Invicta and Festina

ALSO READ: Invicta Watches Review

Longines watches may be expensive, but you get the full assurance that the watch is made with the strictest Swiss standards and precision in mind. 

Robust and Reliable In-house Swiss Movements

Longines is also expensive as it uses only Swiss movements in its watches, and these movements are all produced in-house. 

Longines movements are mostly modified from the automatic and quartz movements manufactured by ETA. ETA is a renowned watch movement company based in Switzerland. It also has its movements in watches such as Omega, IWC, and Panerai. 

ETA is also part of Swatch Group, the umbrella entity Longines is also a part of. This means Longines can be considered as using an in-house movement. 

Affordable watch companies tend to not use Swiss movements as they are expensive. In many cases, they prefer to adopt watch movements from Japan to lower production costs, with Chinese movements considered when cost control is of utmost consideration. 

ETA has a long history of producing great movements, such as the ETA2824, which is popular with many automatic watches. ETA’s Valjoux 7750 series movements are practically the ‘gold standard’ for many automatic chronographs from Switzerland. 

Are Longines Watches Reliable?

Longines watches are very reliable, as they run primarily on ETA-based movements, which are known to have been robust. ETA movements are used in many Swiss watches such as Omega, IWC, Panerai, and Breitling. Longines watches have also been tested in extreme use, such as in ice skating and aviation, proving their robustness and reliability.

Longines watches are also made with excellent premium materials that do not disappoint their owners when they are called. All Longines watches come with a sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating. There are no fears of scratching. Telling time will also be accessible as you will not have to deal with reflecting lights making the dial unreadable. 

Longines cases and straps are also made with solid and robust materials such as titanium or alligator leather. Titanium is a lot harder than steel, meaning it will withstand scratches and nicks better. Alligator leather straps in Longines watches could be considered full or top grain leather, meaning better quality, reliability, and longevity.

Brand Image

Longines has built a brand image of luxury by associating itself with people, events, and media of similar nature. 

Longines sponsors celebrities such as Kate Winslet, Aishwarya Rai, Andre Agassi, etc. Longines also regularly places ads in Wall Street Journal or The Economist. 

Longines is also deep into equestrian, sponsoring many equestrian championships and many show jumpers. Equestrian is a sport seen as elite, rich and luxurious, perfect for Longines to build its brand on.

Within the brand portfolio of the Swatch Group, Longines is placed as one of the ‘Entry-Level Luxury’ watch brands, together with Union Glashütte and Rado. 

Why Are Longines Watches So Expensive

As a result, Longines has a brand image of luxury but is still within reach of many people. Their watches are also not cheap to the point that it gives out a ‘mass market’ feel. 

On their website, almost all of their watches are above $1,000, with the most expensive model at $7,000.

The price is needed to justify their brand-building exercise and ensure the production of high-quality watches. 

Are Longines Watches More Expensive Than Rolex?

Longines watches are more affordable than Rolex. Rolex is a proper luxury brand, while Longines is an entry-level luxury brand. If you compare prices between watches of similar design and material, Longines will definitely be cheaper by a significant margin. 

For example, let’s compare the brand new Rolex Submariner with the Longines HydroConquest, two signature dive watches from both brands. 

The most basic Submariner Ref.124060 retails at $9,000, while the most basic Longines HydroConquest retails at around $1,800. These watches have almost similar specs – dive watch, automatic movement, and steel case and bracelet. 

Comparing casual dress watches between the two, we can look at the Rolex Oyster Perpetual and the Longines Flagship Watch.

The 36mm Oyster Perpetual retails at $5,800, while the Longines Flagship is sold at only $1,500. Again the specifications are similar – automatic movements, steel case, and bracelet.

In fact, the Longines Flagship is slightly larger at 38.5mm and has a date window. Prices are correct at the time of writing. 

Why Are Longines Watches So Expensive

What Makes Longines Special?

Longines is unique in that it is one of the most recognizable Swiss watch brands in the market. It is also a luxury brand that is not too expensive to own. The watches are Swiss Made, use premium materials, and have a great, beautiful design that is timeless and classic. 

Longines was founded in 1832, earlier than many luxury watch brands such as Rolex (1905), Omega (1848), or Audemars Piguet (1875). It was founded even earlier than the ‘ultimate’ watch brand – Patek Philippe (1839). 

Longines also owns the world’s oldest trademark, registered in 1893 and still in use today. The trademark is an hourglass, with wings to its left and right. 

Longines also has a great history of contributing to the development of watches for aviation in the 20s and 30s. As planes get faster, more precise timekeeping devices are needed to support pilots, and Longines were at the forefront. 

But the most crucial thing about Longines is that it carries a luxurious image, yet at the same time, not too expensive to own to the point that it becomes unreachable to many. Many could still save up to own a watch between $1,000 – $5,000, and Longines are in that perfect range in pricing.

Is It Worth Buying A Longines Watch?

Longines is worth buying for many reasons. The watch is Swiss Made with very high quality and reliability. It carries a luxurious image but is still very affordable at the same time. Some Longines models have shown the ability to attract collectors, fetching a higher price in the used and vintage market.

If you care less about resale value and just want a nice watch at a reasonable price, just look at the design and quality you get and the price tag. 

Longines are Swiss Made. It runs ETA-based movements that many other more expensive brands like Breitling and Chopard also use. The materials are premium, with sapphire crystal and anti-reflective coating default on all models.

You get all that at a price between $1,000 and $7,000. Compared to Rolex, the most affordable Rolex models for men start at over $5,000.

If you are evaluating Longines from an investment standpoint, do know that Longines as an entry-level luxury brand might not be able to hold value as well as popular, proper luxury brands such as Rolex or Audemars Piguet. 

But Longines models do show an ability to attract collectors, and their vintage models are generating interest in the market. Longines also cultivates appreciation for their vintage models by actually restoring their old watches and reselling them right on their website.

Compare that to most watch brands. Most will not restore vintage models, not produce parts for vintage models. Instead, they will re-issue similar vintage models, which may sometimes drive down prices for the vintage model itself.

Nigel Ignatius

Nigel is the principal creator of WatchPursuits.com, a website dedicated to watches. Inspired by the dedication and effort of watchmakers now and old, Nigel has a passion for watches and looks forward to share his passion with the world.

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