Exclusive Timepieces
7 December 2019 | Monaco | Lot 158

Longines Extremely Rare and Sought-After Oversize 13ZN Central Minute Counter Chronograph in Yellow Gold, Reference 5161, With Original Box

Estimate € 40,000 – 80,000

Model: Chronograph
Material: Yellow Gold
Reference N°: 5161
Year: 1948
Case N°: 118
Caliber: 13ZN
Movement type: Manual
Movement N°: 7085466
Bracelet: Leather Strap
Dimensions: 39 mm
Signed: Dial, case and movement
Accessories: box and certificate
Literature: This specific watch is published in the LONGINES LEGENDARY WATCHES book on pages 366–367

Being innovative means seeing what everyone has seen but thinking about what no one has ever thought of before. During the history of watchmaking we have witnessed numerous examples of innovation for design (Nautilus, Royal Oak or Pasha), decoration of dials (the use of enamels or alternative materials), functionality (Oyster case) or for mechanisms (Introduction of the Perpetual with Rolex). Innovation does not mean inventing from zero, but starting from something that already exists and using it in a different way. Longines from this point of view can absolutely be considered an innovative brand and one examples is provided by the here offered Minute Counter. At a first glance it might seem like a simple chronograph but its peculiarity lies in the highly unusual arrangement of the chronographic hands: instead of having the minutes register at 3 o’ clock, there is a supplementary red central hand for the minutes while the subsidiary counter are used for 12 hours registration and constant seconds. The caliber used is the 13ZN and is stored into a three bodies 18k yellow gold case of 39 mm diameter with snap on back excellently preserved by the past owner. The champagne dial is wondrous for its daintiness: the monochrome yellow on yellow is broken by the two hands for minutes and seconds registration of the chronograph, the first one in a shimmering red and the second in an electric blue. To further decorate the quadrant have been applied baton, dot and arabic numerals. Nowadays, the central red hands can be found on a number of modern watches but the present example can be considered as one of the fathers of this always appreciated innovation.

With the Longines Extract from the Archives confirming case, movement, production and subsequent sale on 25 August 1948 to the company Akar, which was at that time the Longines agent for Lebanon.