MADE CIRCA: 1890
MATERIAL: 18ct Yellow Gold
MOVEMENT: Manual Mechanical
CASE DIAMETER: 26mm
The story of Agassiz begins with the company ‘Comptoir Horloger Raiguel Jeune’, based in the sleepy village of St Imier, Switzerland. The company used the cottage-Industry method of employing people to make or process watch parts in their home. A jobber would then come to each house, collect the parts and assemble them.
Auguste Agassiz, an employee of the company took over the business in 1832 and thus Agassiz was born.
By 1852, Agassiz’s nephew Ernest Francillon took charge of the now flourishing business. Francillon shifted production to the factory method of creating watches, advanced their market research and as demand grew from wholesalers and, pressured to innovate and bring something new to the market, the company began developing smaller, thinner watches.
Not only did the matchmaking skill of Agassiz go on to achieve the Gold Medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1889, but were granted the honour at the behest of the City of Geneva to express their thanks to the Allies at the end of the Second World War. Agassiz came to produce four world time dress-watches presented to Winston Churchill, President Harry S. Truman, Joseph Stalin and General De Gaulle.
In 1866, Francillon purchased two adjoining plots of land at a place locally known as Les Longines (meaning "the long meadows" in the local dialect) on the right bank of the River Suze in the Saint-Imier valley. Agassiz was subsequently developed into a world maker of Swiss timepieces, known today as Longines.
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is published.
- Vincent Van Gogh passes away at the Auberge Ravoux in the village of Auvers-sur-Oise, northern France.
- Stan Laurel, English-born actor most famous for his role in the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy, is born.