It’s the kind of story you could easily gloss over, or embellish, as the president of a large watch company. A collector contacts you with a rare piece. You confirm that it’s original, share the images around the business, get feedback from the heritage team that it might be a good piece to reissue, then conveniently forget — when the accolades roll in — where the story started.
That’s not Walter von Känel’s way. He admits in this interview that the Longines’ GPHG Winner of the ‘Revival Watch Prize’ the Avigation BigEye is, indeed, collector, rather than museum-contributed.
“What is interesting is that it has been brought to us by a collector,” Mr von Känel explains. “We didn’t have it in the museum. We checked if it was original and then our heritage team convinced me to re-do it, and it was a good decision. I like it.”