Galloping With Longines At White Turf St. Moritz
Since 1907, noble thoroughbreds and renowned jockeys have thrilled an international audience at the White Turf races in St. Moritz, Switzerland, now sponsored by Longines. For three Sundays in February, the town’s magnificent frozen lake becomes the place-to-be to enjoy the skijöring, trotting and galloping races, sip champagne, and bask in the winter sun—with requisite fur coats. And, of course, fine timepieces.
To set the scene: One can feel the thunder of the hooves on the frozen lake as the horses rush by. The glamorous crowd, excited and thrilled from the starting signal, freeze in silence as the cavalcade swoops in front of them. Suddenly, as the jockeys and steeds approach the finish line, there is a wave of eager anticipation as the spectators cheer on their favorites and cross their fingers for the winning bet.
The White Turf Legend
Along with more classical horse races, White Turf highlights the unique discipline of skijoring, which was invented in St. Moritz in 1906. Skiers are pulled at speeds of up to 50 kilometers an hour (over 30 mph) by unmounted thoroughbreds over the ice for 2,700 meters (about 1.7 miles).
The many activities over the races attract tens of thousands visitors from all over the world. Longines is once again the Official Partner, Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of the prestigious three-week festival. The graceful victory of Sibylle Vogt in the Longines Grand Prix was a particular highlight over the weekend.
Longines Goes to the Races
The relationship between Longines and St.Moritz dates back over a century when, in 1894, Longines sent two chronographs to the legendary Engadine resort to be used as timekeeping devices.
This year, Longines CEO Matthias Breschan welcomed our select group of spectators in the Longines VIP tent and spoke about the brand’s strategy for 2022, and his goal to make this year a record-breaking year. According to Breschan, Longines will be diving deeper and more consistently into the brand’s estimable heritage, exposing those stories to Longines aficionados while attracting new, younger clients.
“We will use a lot of our heritage and history, which is very rich, probably the richest one in the watch industry. We developed a roadmap that includes production of in-house movements exclusive for Longines that will help us to record the milestones of the history of the brand,” he commented.
Moreover, Longines’ sport watch offerings will be revisited in 2022. The brand intends to shed more light on its extensive participation in a variety of sporting disciplines to enhance a certain air of legitimacy spinning around the theme of unmatched chronometry. Longines will draw not only from equestrian and ski competitions, but also automotive rallies (Rallye Monte-Carlo), other auto racing participations (Formula 1, 24 Hours of Le Mans), bicycle races (Le Tour de France), bobsled competitions (also held in St.Moritz), and even more.
The New Longines Legend Diver Watch
The White Turf event presented the opportunity to view some novelties that immediately caught attention: the timeless Legend Diver Watch now sports some new dial colors in two steel case sizes. A smokey gradient beige dial, in the 42mm case execution, and a similar smokey burgundy dial in the 36mm case execution, are both complemented by color-matched NATO fabric straps.
The new timepieces feature a box-shaped sapphire crystal as well as two screw-in crowns and a screw-down case back. The subtle, colorful dials sport luminous hands, hour markers interspersed with luminescent squares and Arab numerals enhanced with Super-LumiNova rectangles for optimum visibility.
The expected rotating diving bezel is a sharp reminder of the watch’s heritage, which draws from Longines’ 1959 Super-Compressor dive watch. Ditto on the embossed spear-diver on the case back. An up-to-date self-winding mechanical movement (Calibre L888.5 for the 42mm and Calibre L592 for the 36mm versions) features a silicon balance-spring.
While both are rated for 300 meters of water resistance, these new burgundy and sand beige iterations present an easy option to integrate integrate into your colorful life, even when you are not on the waves (or on a frozen lake bed).
Pricing & Availability
These Longines novelties are priced at $2,400 USD for the 36mm burgundy version (Ref. L3.318.104.22.168) and for the sand-beige 42mm execution (Ref. L3.774.430.2).
Visit the Longines website for more information.
(Photography by Watchonista, other sources mentioned)