Longines, the famous Swiss watchmaker whose slogan is “Elegance is an attitude“, is celebrating its tenth year as the Official Timekeeper at the Royal Ascot races, Britain’s most renowned racing event. Ascot Racecourse, founded in 1711, is the premier racing venue in the United Kingdom and home to Europe’s premier flat race meeting, Royal Ascot. The Royal Meeting, run in mid-June, is attended by around 300,000 people over the week and annually showcases the best horses in the world and brings champions together from every continent.2016 marks the 10th Royal Ascot since the beginning of the Longines-Ascot partnership. Every year, this week of exceptional races, 18 in total, is highly anticipated by a large number of spectators who attend to witness the achievements of some of the world’s fastest horses. Each day begins with the Royal Procession, an iconic moment which makes this equestrian event one of Britain’s most renowned.
Throughout the world, Royal Ascot is held to be one of the most prestigious sporting events, combining tradition and performance for the last 300 years. In order to offer horse-racing enthusiasts and elegant ladies in their fancy hats the most agreeable surroundings possible, the racecourse was closed in 2004 for total refurbishment. Today, it is now the most modern racecourse in Europe. The main work involved the construction of a new grandstand with a spectacular sun-roof. The grandstand is flooded with light and spectators who walk along the impressive gallery get the impression that they are outside.
Last weekend (Saturday 15 October 2016), Official Timekeeper and Watch of Ascot racecourse, Longines had the honor to time the races of Britain’s richest race day: the QIPCO British Champions Day. The 2016 QIPCO Champion Stakes is the end-of-season championship race for Ten-furlong horses. Following this glamorous event, I will take you on a trip down memory lane to highlight the most memorable moments of the partnership between Longines and Royal Ascot.Prize-giving ceremony for The King’s Land Stakes won by Profitable: (from left to right) Sir Francis Brooke (Ascot Trustee), Clive Cox (trainer), HRH The Princess Royal, Amy Dickens (lad) and Adam Kirby (jockey) 14 Jun 2016 – Pic Steven Cargill / Racingfotos.comAustralian actor Simon Baker (The Mentalist), who has been an Ambassador of Elegance since 2012 and perfectly embodies Longines’ slogan “Elegance is an Attitude”, enhanced a race day with his presence last year in 2015.Not only famous actors were present at Royal Ascot, also tennis champion Stefanie Graf joined Longines for a quintessential English day at the races in 2014. Winner of 22 Grand Slam singles titles, Stefanie remains the only player to win those tournaments at least four times. Stefanie now dedicates much of her time to helping suffering children through her charity Children for Tomorrow which provides psychological help for children affected by the traumas of war and violence. Through her courage, commitment and generosity, this tennis champion is the perfect embodiment of the Swiss watch brand’s values and slogan: “Elegance is an attitude”. Considered by many as one of the world’s most beautiful women, the Indian beauty and Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai, Longines Ambassador of Elegance, has embodied Longines’ slogan “Elegance is an attitude” for more than ten years and brought glamour and sophistication to a day at Ascot races in 2013. Last Friday in Longines’ London boutique, the Swiss watch brand and Ascot celebrated their successful partnership. To mark this celebration, a Longines Equestrian Pocket Watch Racing Horses 1911 in rose gold was presented to Ascot’s Chairman Johnny Weatherby as a gift for this special anniversary.The original pocket watch, along with other exceptional historical pieces from the Longines Museum in St. Imier, Switzerland, will be displayed in a temporary exhibition in the boutique. Ascot presented to Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing, a miniature of Yeats – the only horse to have won the Ascot Gold Cup four times – by the equine sculptor Charlie Langton.
Longines has almost a century of experience in equestrian sport, gained in every corner of the world. As equestrians we can be more than happy to have a brand sponsor as Longines which allows us to take our sport to a professional level.
Photography courtesy of Ascot Racecourse and Matt Keeble
Blogpost in collaboration with Longines