#TBT The 1955 Ford LeCoultre & Longines His And Hers Set
Vintage watches, alarm complications, classic cars, business success, recognition, and love… The LeCoultre & Longines watch set for the best Ford sales representatives from 1955 has so many extraordinary aspects.
Today’s story will be a bit personal and emotional. It won’t be only about the watches. Actually, it will be much more about thoughts, things, people, and our lives. Today’s story is also unique simply because it doesn’t feature a single watch but a set of two watches made by two different manufacturers. How many sets of vintage watches do you know of? There aren’t any others that spring to my mind too quickly…
My little Ford world
The picture above shows what my living room looks like in the evenings these days. There’s a colossal custom-made bookshelf from the floor to the ceiling, full of books and lit up by tiny string lights. The frame is made of thin pieces of steel in matte black, and it holds shelves and boxes made of warm, natural wood. It is all built around the two elements in the middle — my gramophone sitting at the bottom and a 1960–1970s neon Ford sign that I got years ago from the old guy who sold me his fully original 1975 Fort Cortina.
Did someone say “Ford”?!
Now you understand that I have a sweet spot for old Ford cars and an eye for old, original, and unusual Ford objects that may serve as a nice decoration in my living or working space. I am sending a hug to my loving wife, who tolerates and embraces my crazy visual ideas on how to spice up our place. Well, and since I’m a nerd for vintage watches, you must already know that if there is one with Ford branding, it hardly misses my attention…
Ford, sales, and watches
Discovering and hunting for vintage watches or stories about their owners is how I relax at night. During the day, I run a company of 40 people, improving customers’ experiences in 30 countries. Building a successful, winning sales team and motivating sales guys is one of my top priorities. And please do not forget my obsession with vintage alarm watches. Now imagine that I bump into a LeCoultre Memovox with a custom Ford emblem on the dial and an engraving on the case back that reads “For Championship Sales Management Performance, November–December 1955, Henry Ford II.”
Back to 1955
Here’s another angle for you. I like vintage watches because they help me learn about the past. How were things in a certain era, what did people look like, and what did they do? Do you realize what Ford cars looked like in 1955, the year when this LeCoultre watch was gifted to sale champs? The realization that I could wear the same watch today as the guys driving the brand new Ford “machines” depicted in these 1955 print ads overwhelms me. I am frozen over what a life and cultural change this little mechanism for the wrist witnessed. Everything changed…just not the watch.
His and hers
Probably the most intriguing thing for me is that this Memovox came accompanied by a smaller watch designed to be a gift for the sales champ’s partner. Do you feel the gentlemanship and gallantry of the mid-’50s? Becoming the best sales manager didn’t happen overnight. Were there compromises that champions had to make to become the best? Well, that hasn’t changed over the decades; success often won’t happen without the support of your partner. This token of recognition for a supporting partner was a nice touch from Ford.
Look at the full set
This Ford set contained the LeCoultre Memovox ref. 3015 and the Longines Cosmopolitan ref. 910. One of the rare listings for it also shows the original box in detail. I must say, I am blown away by the original presentation case, which clearly shows how much energy and attention to detail someone put into it. I don’t hoard original boxes, but in this case, the box is part of the story. The Ford Memovox watch certainly isn’t as common as, say, a Rolex Submariner. But just imagine how rare this duo with the Ford insignias has to be! In this listing, you can even see the original Ford leaflet that came with the set.
Watch collecting is predominantly a solo sport, isn’t it? I mean, yes, you are part of a community, and you may have watch friends, but you mostly buy individual watches that you like for yourself. This little set breaks the stereotype. Why? Because if it comes complete and you decide to use the other watch for its intended purpose, it may open new dynamics in your relationship. I wish we saw more watch sets like this one. Happy hunting!
Featured image: 1st Dibs