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The Dieudonné Costes Lindbergh Hour Angle


Longines – The Dieudonné Costes Lindbergh Hour Angle
10 May The Geneva Watch Auction: ONE

No one lesser than Col. Charles A. Lindbergh advised Longines for the development of the Hour Angle wristwatch for pilots. Following his return to St. Louis after his successful fight across the Atlantic, Lindbergh started drawing a wristwatch meeting the requirements of pilots during long distance fights.

Lindbergh, a trained mechanic, sent these drawings in late 1930 to John Heinmüller who was not only president of the International Aviation Federation, but also director of Longines-Wittnauer in the US. After only 5 months a first prototype was ready and later the same year the watch was in production.

The present example is not only in extraordinary original condition but also rich in history. Made in the first year of production, it must have travelled across continents and oceans and could probably tell many fascinating stories.

Dieudonné Costes (14 November 1892 – 18 May 1973) was a French aviator who set multiple fight distance records and was considered one of the most prominent European aviators of his time. He was a contemporary and friend of the legendary American aviator, Charles Lindbergh.

In 1929, along with Maurice Bellonte, Costes set the world distance record when they few from Paris to Qiqihar, China. In 1930, they few from Paris to New York in 37 hours and 18 minutes, being the first aviators to complete a trans-Atlantic fight from East to West, reproducing, in the opposite direction, the famous achievement of Lindbergh who few from New York to Paris in 33 hours 30 minutes flying the "Spirit of St-Louis" three years earlier in 1927.

According to family tradition and to the included documents, the present watch was a gift from Lindbergh to Costes.