Longines and the Equestrian Set

Longines News & Releases

The world of luxury watches often sits alongside a passion for sports and adventurous pastimes; from aviation to space exploration, motor racing to diving. For Longines, one of their most prominent passions is for equestrian sports.

Longines have a history that stretches back to 1832; their famous winged hourglass logo was established in 1867 and formally registered in 1889, making it the oldest unchanged brand name registered. As early as 1881, they were known for their connection to equestrian racing, with the oldest known advertisements for the brand related to the sport. Featuring a single push-piece to allow easy timing, the first Longines chronographs were popular with everyone involved in the sport; from spectators and bettors to riders seeking to improve their performance and buyers looking for the next champion. By 1886, Longines was already supplying most of the sports officials in New York.

One of their notable achievements was the development of the Photogines in 1952; this device was the first to visualise the finish line as it measured times – creating the now-familiar photo finish which has solved so many betting arguments.

Timing is, of course, of paramount importance in many equestrian events. According to expert horse trainer and friend of the Longines brand, Christiane “Criquette” Head-Maarek, “A thoroughbred can run at 50 km/h for more than one kilometer, with a burst of speed at 70 km/h. At this speed, one hundredth of a second equates to 20 cm; that’s enough distance to win by a neck’s length!”

Longines have been officially involved in equestrian timekeeping since 1926, when they officiated at the Concours Hippique International in Geneva, going on to provide timekeeping services for more than a hundred national and international show-jumping competitions in both North America and Europe, as well as timing competitions at European, World and Arab League competitions and Olympic Games.

In 2011 Longines became sponsors of the prestigious Prix de Diane flat race at Chantilly, adding to the extensive portfolio of equestrian events officially connected to the Longines brand and joining such well-known events as Royal Ascot, the Kentucky Oaks and many more.

Just this last weekend, the Longines Global Champions Tour brought the very cream of show-jumping talent to London for the 11th leg of this top international circuit, where British rider Laura Renwick shone in the final class and claimed the CSI5* Massimo Dutti Trophy in front of a home crowd. The tour next turns to Valkenswaard in the Netherlands, its spiritual home.

Whatever your interest in equestrianism, whether as rider or spectator, the extensive range of Longines watches is a perfect way to complement your passion for the horses with exquisite craftsmanship on your wrist. At Banks Lyon, we offer a great selection to suit any tastes – for more information, visit our Lancaster store or call us on 01524 384858 to speak to our team.