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Brand Profiles

Longines timing Chrome’s run for the Crown

By Michelle Graff

June 05, 2014


California Chrome won the Preakness Stakes, held May 17 in Baltimore, by 1 1/2 lengths. With a victory Saturday, the 3-year-old colt will become the first Triple Crown winner in nearly four decades.

Baltimore--Longines will have another round of Conquest Classic chronographs ready to go Saturday when California Chrome attempts to become the first horse in 36 years to win the Triple Crown.

The California-bred colt won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, and will take the Crown if he wins the Belmont Stakes, held at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The last horse to win the Triple Crown, considered the top accomplishment in thoroughbred horse racing, was Affirmed in 1978.

The Swatch Group-owned watch brand gave California Chrome’s jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Art Sherman and owners Perry Martin and Steve Coburn its Conquest Classic watches when California Chrome handily won the Derby in Louisville, Ky. and then the Preakness in Baltimore.

Conquest Classic is a line of self-winding mechanical watches Longines created as tribute to the chronographs it began producing for race-goers and jockeys in New York in the late 1800s. The same watch went to each man for both the Derby and the Preakness: a 41 mm model with a black dial.

If California Chrome takes home the Triple Crown Saturday at the Belmont Stakes, the group will receive yet another round of 41 mm Conquest Classic chronographs, this time with a white dial. They also will get Conquest Heritage three-hand models because their horse won the Triple Crown. 

Longines, which has been associated with horse racing since the late 1800s, became the official timekeeper of the three races that comprise the Triple Crown--the Derby, Belmont and Preakness--in 2013.

In addition to the watches the brand will award to the winner of the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, Longines will give watches to the winning owner, trainer and jockey of the “Longines Just a Game” race, which will take place prior to the Belmont Stakes.

This year, the brand also is hosting the first Longines Most Elegant Woman at Belmont fashion contest, which those attending the race can enter on site for the chance to win a women’s stainless steel, rose gold and diamond watch from the Conquest Classic collection.