Longio – a brand to be

Have you gotten used to looking up Swiss watches when looking for excellence? Well here is a little something to break the routine.

The Longio Watch Company from China is relatively new in the business. They were established in 1996 but nevertheless purport to produce the finest timepieces on the Chinese market. Complex movements seem to be their specialty and they take particular pride in their tourbillion watches which they describe as “superior quality at an affordable price”. The brand as many other Asian manufacturing business’ plays to it strengths and leverages the lower manufacturing costs, a practice echoed in  Jean-Marc Jacot, CEO of the well known Parmigiani watch maker, recent comments that “If you want cheaper components, you have to go to China”.

The claim is that price doesn’t affect the quality which Longio greatly emphasizes. The specs by themselves look impressive. Claimed water resistance of these watches soars up to 1000 meters and they sport shock-resistant movements. The team of engineers at Longio guarantees that, if properly cared for, these pieces could turn into your family heirloom as they were meant to last you a life time… or several. But, on the other hand, they don’t recommend that you expose your watch to direct sunlight for too long or ever expose it to strong magnetic fields.

Heritage carries a lot of weight in Chinese culture and it’s not uncommon to  associate China with a deep devotion to tradition and respect for their rich history. This can actually be felt in all aspects of Chinese art (and the watch industry certainly counts as an ever developing branch of modern art). This timepiece was created as a tribute to the illustrious Tang Dynasty which rained from 629 to 649.

The wooden carving on the dial keeps the memory of Li Shi Min’s two faithful servants – his horse Saluzi and General QiuHanggong. Namely, the legend says that Saluzi was injured in a battle when he was hit with several arrows. General QiuHanggong first fired arrows back at the enemy cavalry and kept them at bay and then pulled the arrows from the horse. And thus, Longio decided their little masterpiece should bear the name of the audacious Saluzi.

This is a limited edition piece and was produced in only 200 pieces. The designer kept it quite plain, probably to emphasize the engraving on the dial. There are even no numerals on the dial. Sub-dials are not present and the crown is left austere. But all this doesn’t mean that this timepiece lacks in style and appeal. I think quite the opposite.

The name of Longio Watches might be unfamiliar now but with their extraordinary craftsmanship I wouldn’t be surprised if they become a player in the not too distant future.

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