Longines and sports: a story in history
Using the expertise it gradually acquired, Longines established a network of advantageous links with the world of sport which enabled it to offer its skilled services to various prestigious disciplines during the 20th century.
Longines’ passion for equestrian sport dates back to 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and his mount. In 1926, the brand was involved for the first time in the Concours Hippique International Officiel de Genève as timekeeper. Today, Longines’ involvement in equestrian sports includes flat racing, show-jumping and endurance competitions. The company has set up numerous partnerships as the official timekeeper and partner for prestigious events such as the H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Endurance Cup and most of the CSIO and CHIO Nations Cup events, as well as the CSIO Barcelona, the Dubai Show Jumping Championship, and the President’s Cup presented by Longines and the Emirates Longines Show Jumping League. 2000 saw the launch of the Longines Press Award for Elegance, which is given each year to the season’s most elegant and most successful male and female riders in show-jumping events.
The brand can also boast its involvement in some of the most famous flat-racing events in the world, such as the Prix de Diane Longines, the Dubai World Cup, the Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, Royal Ascot, the H.H. The Emir’s Trophy presented by Longines, the Longines Singapore Gold Cup, the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Gran Premio Longines, the Longines Handicap de las Américas, the Grand Prix Longines Lydia Tesio, the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden and the famous Kentucky Derby.
Longines’ commitment to gymnastics started in 1912, when the company first used its electromechanical or “broken wire” timing system at the Swiss Federal Gymnastics meeting. For over twenty years, Longines has been the official partner and timekeeper for artistic and rhythmic gymnastics events organised by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG). Established in 1997, the Longines Prize for Elegance is awarded to the gymnast or team of gymnasts judged to be the most elegant in gymnastic competitions. The Swiss watchmaker is proud to be able to count gymnast Evgenia Kanaeva and the Chinese men’s artistic gymnastics team among its Ambassadors of Elegance.
It was in 1933, in Chamonix, that Longines’s long involvement in Alpine skiing began. Since then, these winter competitions have been an opportunity for Longines to demonstrate a number of technical innovations. As the official timekeeper for the Alpine Ski World Cup and the World Skiing Championships organised by the International Ski Federation (FIS), Longines sees this mandate as a long-term commitment. The Norwegian skier Aksel Lund Svindal represents the brand as one of its Ambassadors of Elegance.
Since 2007, Longines has also been the official partner for the prestigious French Open tennis tournament, which is held each year at Roland-Garros. The company uses this occasion to discover the tennis champions of tomorrow by organising the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament which is held at Roland-Garros during the two weeks of the French Open. The brand’s Ambassadors of Elegance also include two tennis legends, namely Andre Agassi and Steffie Graf. Thanks to their incredible careers and their tireless commitment to helping disadvantaged children through the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education and Children for Tomorrow, these stars of sport and elegance embody Longines’ own philosophy: “Elegance is an attitude”. And finally, Longines is also the official partner for the World Cup and World Championships in archery, organised by the International Archery Federation (FITA). In this discipline, which requires concentration, balance, precision and skill, the Longines Prize for Precision is awarded to the top archers at the end of the season.