Longines, the Switzerland-based watchmaker, has joined Churchill Downs, the historic home of the Kentucky Derby, in a partnership through which Longines will become the Official Watch and Official Timekeeper of the Derby and its home track. For this year’s esteemed horse race Longines will present one of their newer Column-Wheel Chronograph watches to the winning jockey, trainer and owner.
As the official timekeeper of the race, Longines will have luxury clocks and timepieces on display throughout Churchill Downs. The Swatch Group-owned brand also has an official Longines Kentucky Derby Countdown Clock in the Churchill Downs store at Louisville International Airport and a digital version on the Kentucky Derby Web site.
Set in a steel case, the Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph is extremely classic in its execution and design. The case is 39mm wide in steel, with a brown alligator strap. The exclusive movement inside of the watch is the mechanical caliber L688.2 which provides the tricompax chrono subdial layout. The dauphine hands have thin strips of lume, and there are applied hour and minute markers. The self-winding chronograph features a blue column wheel visible through the exhibition case-back, a silvered dial with 13 indexes as well as central seconds sweep, 30-minutes and 12-hour counters.
The partnership between Churchill Downs and Longines begins with this year’s Kentucky Derby, the great race for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds that will be run at the track for the 137th consecutive year on Saturday, May 7. The Kentucky Derby, renewed without interruption since its debut in 1875, is America’s oldest continuously held sporting event.
In addition, prior to the race, Longines will be part of the Chambord Kentucky Oaks Fashion Contest, a derby tradition. The winner of the contest will receive a Longines DolceVita rose gold and stainless steel watch.
Longines Kentucky Derby Column-Wheel Chronograph is priced at $2,850.