Kolkata: A watch designed by renowned American aviator Charles Lindbergh and crafted by Swiss watchmaker Longines has come to India for the first time as part of an exhibition unveiled here.
The early 20th century iconic Hour Angle Lindbergh watch, along with 15 other heritage time-pieces engineered by Longines has been flown in from the Longines museum in Saint Imier, Switzerland, to mark 135 years of the company`s presence in India.
Longines has been in existence since 1832 and the chosen watches have been displayed for the first time in the country at the Longines Boutique, Mani Square Mall here for the next six days, beginning Tuesday.
"Out of the 16 pieces, there are pocket watches, steel sport counter, aerial navigation instrument (Siderograph), lady`s wrist watches and gold and guilt wrist watches with leather straps," Pramod Kandoi, general manager, Exclusive Lines, Longine retailer in Kolkata, told a news agency.
"The standout piece is the Lindbergh watch of 1958. Longines was the official time-keeper for his double record breaking flight in 1927. And after he crossed the Atlantic ocean, Lindbergh asked us to built a watch designed by him for his personal use as an aviator," explained Kandoi.
Charles A. Lindbergh had made the world`s first solo and longest transatlantic flight (non-stop) from New York to Paris in 33 hours and 30 minutes in 1927.
The watch was designed to calculate longitudes in long-distance flights aided with a sextant and a nautical almanac.
Spanning almost a century - from 1872 to 1979 - the showcased time-pieces mirror the evolution of the Swiss watchmaking industry, known for its precision, skilled workmanship and for incorporating advanced techniques.
"The watches from the 19th century were manually wound and later the automatic system came into being. The exhibited pieces also reflect the changing era...certain designs became popular after the First World War," said Kandoi.
A 1929 watch called `lighter`, due to its resemblance to a cigarette lighter, and a 1951 18-carat gold wrist watch that resembles a quaint bracelet, accompanied with a brooch to mask the dial, are unique items of the exposition.