Last updated on April 23, 2014 at 17:24 EDT

Longines Celebrates Its Second Year As Official Watch And Timekeeper Of The Kentucky Derby

May 7, 2012

LOUISVILLE, Ky., May 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Longines, the Swiss watchmaker, was the Official Watch and Timekeeper of the 138th annual Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. As the Official Timekeeper of the Derby, Longines had a strong presence at Churchill Downs and other Derby affiliated events.

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Chronograph watches from the new Longines Saint-Imier Collection, named after the company’s birthplace, were ceremoniously awarded to I’ll Have Another’s winning owner J. Paul Reddam, trainer Doug O’Neill, and jockey Mario Gutierrez by Jennifer Judkins, U.S. Brand President for Longines, and Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President and Head of International Marketing for Longines at the exclusive Winner’s Party on Saturday, May 5th to celebrate the “timely” victory of 2:01:83 by the triumphant thoroughbred.

Commemorating its 180th anniversary, Longines, and the 138-year-old Kentucky Derby joined forces to celebrate their iconic history and rich tradition. Longines was represented by longtime brand ambassadors and tennis legends Andre Agassi and Stefanie Graf throughout the course of the multi-day event. Luxury clocks and timepieces were placed throughout the Churchill Downs facility both on the racetrack and surrounding areas, including the new digital chronometer placed next to the finish line that displayed the race timing. As a way to count down the seconds to the “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports,” a digital “Longines Kentucky Derby Countdown Clock” was also displayed on Churchill Downs’ official event website (www.KentuckyDerby.com), along with one greeting the crowds at the Churchill Downs Store in Louisville International Airport.

“Equestrian sports are Longines’ passion, so we are delighted to be, for the second year, the Official Timekeeper of America’s greatest and most traditional horse race,” said Longines President Walter Von Kanel. “This partnership truly represents a perfect match with the brand’s image and philosophy stated in its slogan: Elegance is an attitude.”

In keeping with their elegant attitude Longines asked local fashionistas to walk the pink carpet as the brand presented the Longines Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest during Kentucky Oaks Day on Friday, May 4th. Women in attendance at Churchill Downs entered the contest for the chance to win a newly launched Longines Saint-Imier watch in stainless steel and rose gold with diamonds, along with an all-expense-paid VIP trip to New York City for Fall Fashion Week. Valerie Sexton, of Buffalo, NY took home the grand prize with her winning ensemble.

Judging the festivities on the watch-inspired runway was a group of stylish celebrities including tennis legend Stefanie Graf, celebrity fashion stylist Jeannie Mai and “E! News” correspondent Catt Sadler. The judges chose the winner based on which contestant best incorporated the Kentucky Derby’s elegant style into their fashion-forward attire. With Kentucky Oaks Day being rooted in philanthropy, Churchill Downs donated $1 to the breast cancer charity Stand Up To Cancer for every person in attendance. To further celebrate the cause, women were encouraged to proudly incorporate the color pink into their Kentucky Oaks ensembles.

Longines watches were also displayed at the delectable Taste of Derby event on Thursday, May 3rd. The Taste of Derby featured famous chefs from around the country offering tastings of their best dishes from their esteemed restaurants. Hosted by Iron Chef Cat Cora and judged by fellow chefs Kent Rathbun and Brian Malarkey, Longines timed the countdown for the best burger. Partial proceeds from this event benefited hunger relief organizations across the country.

To join the festivities for the weekend, Longines and Andre Agassi hosted two lucky Kentucky Derby trip winners, from his Grand Slam charity event held in Las Vegas last fall.

About the Awarded Watches

The Longines Saint-Imier Collection is inspired by the watch-making heritage of the brand’s home territory. The collection includes a series of timepieces in stainless steel and rose gold, and rose gold with black alligator strap to celebrate its rich history and roots within the village of Saint-Imier. The chronograph watches within the collection are fitted with the column-wheel movement specially developed and produced by ETA exclusively for Longines.

Emanating the core values and aesthetic of the brand – tradition, elegance and sport – the Longines Saint-Imier Collection is rooted in the unique shape of the case, inspired by a 1945 Longines watch model. The watches display sleek lines and distinctive lugs, giving them a classic yet contemporary appeal. The collection includes watches that showcase the hours, minutes, seconds and date, and chronographs, plus a prestige model featuring four retrograde functions as well as a day/night display and phases of the moon. All the models in this collection are fitted with mechanical movements whose intricate workings can be admired through the transparent sapphire back cover.


Longines has been based at Saint-Imier, Switzerland, since 1832. It is celebrating 180 years of non-stop craftsmanship in 2012 and its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with the equestrian sports. Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world’s leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.

SOURCE Longines

Source: PR Newswire