Lonville – a hidden gem for watch enthusiasts
June 26, 2018
After 50 years of silence, a swiss company decided to restore an all time classic, using only the finest material, highly skilled craftsman who ensured the highest level of quality to enhance even the smallest details, bringing in the beginning of a new era.
During the mid 1800s the Kottman family from Solothurn (nearby the Swiss village of Langendorf) established various industrial activities. A family of doctors, academics and entrepreneurs, the Kottmans were also unusually socially responsible and they brought growth and a variety of facilities to the Solothurn and Langendorf area. It was Johann Kottman who in 1873 established an ebauche-watch movement company with some 80 workers in the village of Langendorf.
Following a near-collapse in 1880 Johann Kottman recruited watch specialists from the western part of Switzerland and started a program to provide housing, schooling and other facilities for their workers and the town – the business flourished and the foundation for future growth was laid.
During the 1950-60s the Langendorf Watch Company started to focus most of its attention on its other brands, most notably Lanco. During the early 1950s the Lonville brand was sadly abandoned and was never used again. The Lanco brand was continued into the seventies and was ultimately Langendorf’s greatest success. The post-war Swiss watch industry decline, the 1960/70s introduction of quarts movements and fierce overseas competition saw the Langendorf Watch company decline, being sold and subsequently being closed for good in the early 1970s.
After ‘discovering’ Lonville in 2007, Joost Vreeswijk and a small group of watch enthusiasts decided to breathe new life into this historic brand, staying true to the concepts of great watch making, small series and understated elegance. Eight years of passion, patience and persistence saw the realization of a dream and helped create Lonville’s first watch after more than 50 years of silence: Virage.
An exceptional movement and zero compromise in quality and finish has resulted in a truly remarkable watch. Each watch is made specifically for its future owner, with each owner’s name and watch number engraved inside the watch during the final assembly stages. Unique and personal – and very Lonville.
The deliberate absence of a retail network ensures that Lonville will remain a rare sight, and its owners can enjoy an understated exclusivity and personal attention that has been largely lost in today’s mass production society.