500 Years of Circum-Navigation



Longines celebrates the 500th anniversary of Earth’s first circumnavigation with a numbered edition watch limited to 100 pieces, exclusively for Portugal.

The Portuguese Fernão de Magalhães went down in history as the first navigator to circumnavigate the Earth and prove that it was round. This successful voyage (1519 – 1522) was not only a maritime feat, but also a means of bringing people and cultures together.

Today, 500 years after the first circumnavigation, Longines pays homage to this feat with a numbered and limited watch, exclusive to the Portuguese market. Equipped with an automatic L688 movement, the Longines Master Collection – 500 Years of Circum-Navigation stands out for the decoration on the caseback – which displays the Victoria Ship – and for the inclusion of the design of a compass on the dial.

Fernão de Magalhães and circumnavigation

Fernão de Magalhães (1480-1521) was a Portuguese navigator, born in Trás-os-Montes, on February 3, 1480. At the age of 25, he enlisted as a volunteer to participate in the trip to the East Indies, a region that it covered China, Japan, India, Arabia and Persia, accompanying the first Portuguese viceroy of the East. At the service of the Portuguese crown, the navigator also took part in expeditions to Quilo, Sumatra and Malacca and, between 1513 and 1514, was part of the struggle against Azamor, during the conquest of Morocco.

Accused of negotiating with the Moors, Fernão de Magalhães lost his prestige with King D. Manuel and was prevented from continuing to work in Portugal. The Portuguese navigator then offered to serve King Charles V of Spain. Fernão de Magalhães managed to expose his plans to reach the East Indies, traveling through the West and, with the help of the Portuguese astronomer, also in exile, Rui Faleiro, prepared the project for the trip.

On March 22, 1518, Magalhães and Faleiro signed a commitment with D. Carlos V, by which they would proclaim Spanish all the lands they encountered during navigation through the West. The fleet was made up of five vessels, “Vitória”, “Santiago”, “Conceição”, “Santo António” and the ship “Trindad”, with crew, provisions, and weapons for two years.

Fernão de Magalhães and his squadron left Sanlúcar on 20 September 1519. On 29 November they arrived close to Cabo de Santo Agostinho, in Pernambuco. On the 13th of December they enter the bay of Rio de Janeiro, to search for supplies and repair the boats and on the 10th of January 1520 they arrive at a river called Rio da Prata.

At the end of May, the ship “Santiago” sank, some sailors managed to save themselves and, on August 24, the fleet resumed their voyage. On the 21st of October they encounter the “Cape of the Eleven Thousand Virgins”, a passage that would take them to the other side of the ocean. The crossing of this strait (called Todos os Santos and today the Strait of Magellan) begins on November 1 and ends 27 days later, when they reach the ocean, they called Pacific, due to the calm waters.

On March 16, 1521, Magellan’s fleet arrives in the Philippines and, on April 27, when they landed in Mactán, Fernão de Magalhães is hit by an arrow and dies on the beach. What remains of the armada continued its journey under the command of Juan Sebastián Elcano. Finally, on December 21st, the remaining two ships, “Trinidad” and “Vitória”, arrive at their destination: the Moluccan islands. On the return trip, they skirt the Cape of Good Hope and arrive at the port of Sanlúcar on 7 September 1522.

Although Fernão de Magalhães did not personally reach the Moluccan islands, it was thanks to his plan to reach the East Indies, traveling through the West, that the first circumnavigation of the Earth took place and it was shown that this was, in fact, round.


Caseback with special decoration

Movement: Automatic, L688 caliber, chronograph with column wheel, 28,800 vph, 54 hour power reserve
Case: Steel, 42 mm, decorated caseback with Fernão de Magalhães ship
Dial: Beige, compass design, red and black details, hour, minute, small seconds, chronograph and date indication
Bracelet: Brown leather
Limited Edition: 100 parts
Price: 2.990€

A Turbilhão é uma revista semestral, especializada na área da Alta Relojoaria e do Luxo.