Longines Watch Company was started in 1832 by Auguste Agassiz. Agassiz opened a workshop in St Imier, Switzerland. He operated what today would be called a "Home Business". Workers would work on watches out of thier own homes, whigh Agassiz would later sell.
Sometime between the years of 1854 and 1866 Agassiz handed down over the operation of the watchmaking business to his nephew Ernest Francillon. Realizing the lack of consistant quality coming from the manufacture of watches in so many locations, Francillon soon built a factory in Les Longines near St. Imier and consolidated all of the areas watchmaking under one roof. The Longines name was born.
The company began producing chronographs in 1879. They later produced aviator watches and cockpit instruments.
The company registered its "Winged Hourglass" trademark in May of 1890.
In 1912 the company produced the first automatic timekeeping device. From that day Longines has long been associated with time-keeping at major sporting events.
In the 1950's Longines purchased the Wittnauer watch company and marketed a number of very similar lines of watches in the US under both brand names.
In this authors opinion, Longines Wittnauer is one of the finest watches a collector can find. The classic designs are fantastic. The accuracy and reliability is amazing, and the parts are readily available. One of my favorites.