On-The-Wrist Review: Longio SG3824A Flying Tourbillon

Tom MulraneyWatch Reviews1 Comment

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Longio Watch
© The Watch Lounge

Recently there’s been a fair bit of discussion about the real value of a tourbillon complication here on The Watch Lounge and it was very positive to see reader’s voicing their opinions and getting involved in the discussion. What you may not realise was that the original catalyst for that article was a new timepiece we were lucky enough to get our hands on from Hong Kong based manufacturer Longio Watch Company. What makes this piece special is that not only is it fitted with a Chinese-made Seagull movement with flying tourbillon complication, but the actual case, dial, and so forth have all been made in-house. And to be honest, they haven’t done too bad a job.

On-The-Wrist
It’s no secret that China has been making watches, especially copies of high-end brands, for quite some time now. However, what is starting to happen is that these companies which traditionally manufactured components for European brands are starting to enter the luxury watch market themselves, with their own original branded products.

Longio Watch
© The Watch Lounge

Longio is one such company, offering timepieces with a high-end complications such as tourbillons at far more affordable prices than any European brand has ever been able (or willing) to offer. The piece we received for review is identified simply as Ref SG3824A and features a manual-wind movement with Flying Tourbillon complication with Moonphase and Date.

Overall, on first impressions we have to say this is a pretty nice looking timepiece. The case is very well made and has a nice, solid feel to it and similarly the rubber strap is of good quality and very comfortable (an area many cheaper brands often cut corners.) The watch sits well on the wrist and the crown feels firm and secure when winding the piece. A sapphire exhibition case back gives a rather disappointing view of the movement which hasn’t really been decorated at all and is mostly hidden.

Longio Watch
© The Watch Lounge

Unfortunately the dial, however, is no where near as impressive as the case it is housed in. Described by the brand as a “black cut-out dial with black indices” it looks exactly that, a few pieces of plastic which have been cut into shape and then layered over the top of each other.

This is a major sticking point in my book as you spend most of your time looking at the dial and the poor finish really cheapens the overall feel of the watch, which isn’t necessarily a fair representation of the quality. Similarly, both the hour and minute hands and moon-phase complication lack the polished-finish you would get in a European made watch which again is quite disappointing. Add to that the completely ineffective pushers located at 2 and 4 o’clock for the date and moonphase respectively, which despite several futile attempts, I could not get to function in any noticeable way and you soon see there are a few areas for improvement on this particular piece.

Longio Watch
© The Watch Lounge

Obviously though the key selling point of this piece is the flying tourbillon complication, and it is undeniably eye-catching (if not lacking somewhat in accuracy, rated at +30/-30 per day.) As it rotates through its 60-second arc you eye can’t help but be drawn to its graceful trajectory, time and time again, and in my opinion this really saves the piece. The tourbillon itself is well-made and well-finished and it is possible to observe it in action from both the front and rear of the case.

Certainly this is a brand that is capable of making a good quality timepiece, there just not quite there yet.

Regardless, brands like Longio still have a veritable up-hill battle on their hands when it comes to overcoming all the damage done to China’s reputation as a result of years of producing cheap, unreliable goods and the country’s supposed inability to be creative. Harder still will be the job of convincing their own countrymen, who are presently enamoured with European luxury brands, that their product is worthy of patronage.

Longio Watch
© The Watch Lounge

The Final Word
Undeniably Chinese manufacturers have continued to improve and certainly produced some top quality “homage” pieces over the last few years, however, these were priced at a much lower point in the market. A point, which some would argue, consumers felt comfortable paying. This new breed of luxury brands though is looking to raise the bar again. The timepiece we have here for review today for example will run you closer to $3k – $4k as opposed to the few hundred you would’ve have paid for the homage pieces.

Still, there will be those out there who simply appreciate and admire the tourbillon complication even though they (like most of us) could never hope to own one from one of the high-end Swiss watch manufactures and so these new pieces from Chinese brands like Longio could really provide a realistic alternative. They are fairly well-priced for what they are although you will get zero brand recognition, which may be a good thing if you’re not too proud about wearing a Chinese made timepiece.

Tom MulraneyOn-The-Wrist Review: Longio SG3824A Flying Tourbillon

One Comment on ““On-The-Wrist Review: Longio SG3824A Flying Tourbillon”

  1. Thomas

    price wise makes this very attractive for me, although the brand and accuracy do not.
    i would be 50/50 deciding

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