St. Imier (Switzerland), Paris (France) – 5 April 2011. The well known Swiss watchmaker Longines and France Galop, the organiser of national flat and jump racing in France, are delighted to announce their long-term partnership. Involved in the world of sport since 1878, Longines has a vast experience of timing equestrian events that it will now be pleased to put to use as official timekeeper at the Chantilly, Deauville and Longchamp racecourses. The Prix de Diane Longines, run in June at Chantilly, will be the highlight of this partnership, which celebrates one of Longines’ key values: elegance. To mark this new association that will enhance the traditions of both sides, the Swiss watch manufacturer has launched its Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph, a modern timepiece based on the timing instruments created by Longines in the second half of the 19th century.
This long-term partnership between the Swiss watchmaker and France Galop enables Longines to employ its vast experience in sports timing at the racecourses at Chantilly, Deauville and Longchamp. Founded in 1832 in St. Imier, Switzerland, Longines can boast a long tradition of sports timing which dates back to 1878 with the production of a simple column-wheel chronograph. Incidentally, one of the first pocket chronographs, which is now in the Longines Museum, features an elegant jockey on his horse hand-engraved on the back cover. Since those early days, Longines has been responsible for timing at numerous international events and has produced many technological innovations that have influenced the development of timing and competitive sport.
With a keen interest in equestrian sport for nigh on ninety years, Longines is already the official partner and timekeeper for many equestrian events, including most of the CSIO Nations Cup competitions and various Arab Equestrian League meetings. Moreover, apart from its traditional involvement in the Melbourne Cup Carnival, which includes the Longines MacKinnon Stakes, Longines is the official timekeeper for other prestigious race meetings such as the Longines Singapore Gold Cup at the Singapore Turf Club and the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Longines also has the singular honour of being a partner of Royal Ascot.
The famous Swiss watchmaker involves itself in sports that perpetuate the values of tradition and elegance, which Longines itself has upheld for over 175 years, as can be seen for example in its partnership with the French Open Tennis Tournament in Roland Garros. The highlight of Longines’ association with France Galop will be in June with the Prix de Diane Longines, one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the French racing calendar and one of the most elegant sports meetings in the world. The very special atmosphere that pervades the Chantilly Racecourse over this weekend in June recalls Longines’ slogan “Elegance is an attitude”. Later in the season, on 14 July to be precise, the Prix Longines will be one of the races that make up the Grand Prix de Paris, while the brand will also be the official timekeeper for the prestigious Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe at Longchamp.
This partnership, with its stamp of tradition on both sides, has led Longines to launch an exclusive chronograph watch under the name the Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph. This timepiece is fitted with a cutting-edge mechanical column-wheel movement based on the timing instruments produced by the firm from 1878 onwards.