Longines Big Indian 6111-2 Wristwatch c.1951
The Longines Big Indian is considered to be a grail piece to most serious watch collectors and especially vintage Longines enthusiasts.
These very special watches were issued to pilots of the Indian Air Force (formerly the Royal Indian Air Force), hence them being affectionately referred to as the “Big Indian”.
They were produced in 1951 and it is widely believed only around 100 or so were ever manufactured. It is powered by the 14.68N non-hacking movement, which Longines is thought to have produced specifically for these watches.
According to the ledger from Longines, it would appear the example for sale was shipped by them to “The Officer Commanding Avadi” on 21st May 1952, which was most likely Avadi Air Force base in Avadi, near Madras (today Chennai) in India.
A copy of the ledger can be found on page 666 in Konrad Knirim’s book on British military watches.
Until recently, the watch for sale had been held in a private collection for a number of years and a letter of provenance accompanies the watch.
Examples of these remarkable watches are extremely rare and almost impossible to find. The watch for sale, therefore, represents an excellent opportunity to purchase a truly exceptional and historically important timepiece.