Longines 13ZN Sector Dial
The 13ZN is one of collectors’ favorite calibers from Longines or anyone full stop. The 13ZN movement, circa 1936, was truly innovative and beautiful. It featured a fully ‘in house’ (before it was cool) architecture, one of the first ever flyback chronographs in a wristwatch (argued, intentionally left vague), 17 jewels, a 18000 VPH beat, and Breguet hairspring. They were produced in mass quantities from 1936 until well after the second world war.
The flyback mechanism was pioneered here by Longines in order to allow aviators to reset while the chronograph was running. It was often necessary for navigation in that mechanical era to time changes in direction, firing lengths, and navigate without visuals. The flyback on wrist was nonexistent from other manufacturers of the time until the Breguet XX took over. This was because Longines held the patent, throughout the second World War.
Many variations on materials, crowns, chronograph pushers, and dials exist in the 13ZN. That’s a part of what makes them so fun to hunt. Cases even range from 34 to 40mm. The case on this example is 37mm yellow gold. Its dial is a multi-scale with Arabic 12 and 6, with a tiny sectored scale in copper tone. Prices for original pieces have been on a slightly parabolic increase since the early 2000s, to no surprise.
This example has a full case with light and even wear. One would expect much worse for something of this era and use case. The dial is remarkably clear for a 1940s production as it is. There is is little corrosion from age and nearly all printing is still very visible. I imagine the original owner never wore or carefully looked after this. It comes from a well-regarded retailer out of Singapore.
Find this 13ZN here from 2Tone Vintage for 25000 USD.
Leave a Comment