M.T. STefanovic Longines academy watch, the “Serbian” Longines.

These watches have been called “Serbian”, but in fact were produced for the Yugoslavian Army Academy in the 1930s. Both versions of these watches were given to graduate officers of the military academy (vojna akademija) as gifts on behalf of the Serbian king. They were probably a special order to Longines by the retailer Milan T Stefanovich (the most important retailer in Belgrade in the early 20th century).

The first series of watches, with white dials and a large caseback engraving, were given to the 62nd class of the military academy and were all invoiced in September 1937, and my watch is part of this.

The second batch, all of which had black dials and a smaller engraving, were given to the 64th class and were all invoiced in September 1939. Both watches have snap-on backs and three-part cases.

On the dial, the coat of arms, the Saint Lazarus emblem and retailer signature “Milan T. Stefanovich Beograd” are placed directly under the Longines font in Cyrillic, hence the nickname “The Serbian” or “Serbo”. Both the black and white dials were made by dial maker Flückiger & Fils for Longines. Both were located in Saint-Imier, and Flückiger & Fils was one ofin St. Imier

The calibre 15.26 is a 15½ ligne movement with a “hunter lever winding mechanism”, an ebauche similar to calibres 15.25, 14.25, 17.26 and 21.25. My watch has been serviced about 12 years ago, and rarely used since.

I have exchanged emails with the Curator of the Serbian Military Museum and received extract from Longines (see images).

Apart from its history a really great watch to wear, with its 37mm case sits very well on the wrist.