Equestrian universe

Scroll
to explore
Painting the races
Le défilé
Edgar Degas (1834-1917)
1866-68, Oil painting, 46 x 61 cm
Musée d’Orsay
© RMN-Grand Palais (musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
From 16 June to 14 October the historic Domaine of Chantilly hosted the world’s first art exhibition dedicated to “Painting the Races”, an exhibition that was supported by the Swiss watchmaker Longines. From George Stubbs and Théodore Géricault to Edgar Degas, visitors admired some 80 pieces of art, including paintings, drawings, illustrations, sculptures, photographs and films.
Watches and art are intrinsically linked in their ambition to please the eye whilst surreptitiously showcasing the technical know-how of the creator. As early as 1878, when Longines created its first chronograph, the casing was engraved with the delicate depiction of a jockey and his horse, uniting the two worlds. It also set the tone of another passion that over a century later would guide the Swiss watchmaker to Chantilly in France, where it would lend its support to the world’s first exhibition of “Painting the Races”.

Chantilly is renowned all over the world as the home of the racehorse. More than 2500 Thoroughbreds galop each morning on one of its many wide sweeping tracks that weave in and out of the Chantilly Forest, while in June the Chantilly racecourse hosts the world’s most elegant flat race meeting, the Prix de Diane Longines.

The spiritual presence of the Thoroughbred can be felt all around the commune, which lies only about 40 km north of Paris, but nowhere more so than in the “Ecuries du Prince de Condé”, the Great Stables, a veritable palace for horses that according to legend was built for Louis Henri, the Prince of Condé, who believed he would be reincarnated as a horse after his death. Today the Great Stables house the Living Museum of the horse, while the Château of Chantilly boasts one of the greatest collections of 15th and 16th century paintings.

Mindful of the strong historical connection with the equine world, in 2018, Henri Loyrette, honorary President and Director of the Musée du Louvre, together with writer Christophe Donner, created the first art exhibition dedicated exclusively to horse racing.

“Races became a symbolic theme of modern painting from the late 18th century onwards,” explains Herni Loyrette. “Yet, while the connection between Edgar Degas and racing had already been explored in an exhibition in the United States, there had not yet been anything specifically on the theme of racing. This topic, which might have seemed ordinary, proved to be completely original and unexplored. So I began thinking about programming an exhibition on the theme as part of the exhibitions in the Salle de Jeu de Paume. I had a starting point – 19th century painting – in particular the world of Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas.”

Since the birth of the sport in 18th-century Britain, artists around the world have been captivated by the fluid movements of the Thoroughbred, its majestic presence and anatomical composition, as well as the unique relationship and special bond it shares with its jockey. In France too, horse racing quickly became a favourite pastime of the high society and soon artists flocked to the different racecourses to capture the sheer power of these elegant animals. Edgar Degas (1834 – 1917) was particularly fascinated by the horse in motion and made it the central object in his drawings, paintings and also sculptures.



“Longines and Degas are contemporaries,” says Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing. “Barely two years before the artist was born in 1834 in Paris, the watchmaking manufacturer at the origin of the brand had started its production in Saint-Imier, Switzerland. When Degas painted his famous Champ de Courses between the 1870s and 1880s, Longines produced its first chronographs that were rapidly adopted by equestrian sports enthusiasts. Visitors of the Longines Museum at the brand’s headquarter will be able to admire many pieces dedicated to the equestrian sports and the love for horses, among which, a pocket watch equipped with the very first Longines chronograph movement, adorned on the back with an engraved jockey and his mount dating back to 1878. In painting as in watchmaking, heritage remains the foundation of innovation. Ever since its origins, Longines has continuously relied on its three fundamental values: Tradition, Elegance and Performance. These values are intimately shared by the brand, the world of racing and the Domaine de Chantilly. The exhibition “Painting of races” presents exceptional artworks and offers an original approach to horses.”

If Edgar Degas favours the illustration of the horse’s movement, the exhibition opened with British artist George Stubbs (1724 – 1806), who is also known as the father of the “sporting art”. Stubbs had studied anatomy and his work includes pictures of horses that are among some of the most accurate ever painted. His impression of the horse, illustrated in a series of anatomical drawings comprising 24 views of horses, was innovative and at the time unique.

The exhibition also brought to light the influence George Stubbs had on French artists, like Théodore Géricault, who had always been fascinated by the horse and who painted the 1821 Epsom Derby during his travels to England for English horse dealer Adam Elmore. The Louvre museum acquired the painting in 1866 and it was kindly loaned to this exhibition at the Domaine of Chantilly. Interestingly, Géricault paints horses galloping with their front and hind legs extended outwards, which is actually physically impossible. This interesting fact though only came to light once Eadweard Muybridge published his photographic studies of horses in motion.

“The way in which horses are depicted in motion is one of the main themes of the exhibition, which culminates with the studies of Marey and Muybridge,” continues Henri Loyrette. “All of the featured artists focused much attention on this aspect. This exhibition leaves room for numerous developments and future explorations. The racing theme brings together a great many aspects. One of the first is Anglomania, as the passion for racing was an English one that really spread by contagion to France. It started to take off in France in the late 18th century, then developed more widely from the Restoration period, with Chantilly playing a fundamental role. Artists began to take an interest in it; Géricault copied Stubbs, whom he discovered properly during his time in England. Degas, in turn, studied the horse racing works of Géricault closely and Toulouse-Lautrec, with whom this exhibition concludes was inspired by Degas. A real kinship therefore developed between these artists.”
Les courses
Edouard Manet (1832-1883)
1884, Lithographic print, 38,8 x 51 cm
Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Département des Estampes et de la Photographie
© BNF
Course de chevaux dit traditionnellement « Le Derby de 1821 à Epsom »
Théodore Géricault (1791-1824)
1821, Oil painting, 116 x 148 cm
Paris, Musée du Louvre, Département des Peintures
© RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Philippe Fuzeau
“The way in which horses are depicted in motion is one of the main themes of the exhibition, which culminates with the studies of Marey and Muybridge.”
Henri Loyrette, honorary President and Director of the Musée du Louvre
Henri Loyrette, honorary President and Director of the Musée du Louvre
Animal locomotion : horses. Pl. n° 621 : « Annie G » cantering, saddled
Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904)
1887, La Cinémathèque française
© Patrice Schmidt - La Cinémathèque française
Gimcrack with John Pratt up on Newmarket Heath
George Stubbs (1724-1806)
1795, Oil painting, 100 x 124 cm
The syndics of the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
© The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge
Juan-Carlos Capelli, Princess Zahra Aga Khan, His Highness the Aga Khan, and Walter von Känel.
And he adds: “The last section of the exhibition demonstrates how painters reacted when they discovered the works of Marey and Muybridge. It is striking to see how long painters took to incorporate in their works the horse’s true manner of moving once it had been proven through photography. Degas, whose drawings, pastels and sculptures for a short while included the exact movements observed by Muybridge, eventually renounced this precise approach and returned to portraying them in the conventionally accepted way of the old masters. ‘Scientific realism’ was only to last a short time.”

This rare exhibition at the Domaine of Chantilly, which brings the elegance of the Thoroughbred to the forefront with the artful strokes of the old masters, reminds visitors of the unique role horses have played in all aspects of life, then and now.

“People are genetically attached to horses,” concludes Christophe Donner. “So many advances were achieved with and thanks to horses. Economically, the fact that horses still exist is in part due to horse race betting, which finances stud farms that are supposed to preserve and even improve different breeds. The races, the bettors, the artists that continue to paint horses today, and the exhibition curators who are still interested in equine painting all contribute to preserving a memory.” (Liz Price)



Chantilly is renowned all over the world as
the
home of the racehorse. More than
2500
Thoroughbreds galop each morning on one of its many wide sweeping tracks that weave in and out of the Chantilly Forest, while
in
June the Chantilly racecourse
hosts
the world’s most elegant flat race meeting, the Prix de Diane Longines.

Conquest V.H.P.
extreme precision
Conquest V.H.P.
Quartz Movement / L288.2 (ETA E56.111)
Functions:

– hours
– minutes
– seconds
– date aperture at 3 o'clock
– perpetual calendar

Dials:

black, silvered, blue or carbon fibre with 2 applied Arabic numerals and 10 applied bar indexes with Super-LumiNova®; V.H.P. inscription in red; black “new noir” hands


Cases:

round, stainless steel or black PVD,
ø 41 mm or 43 mm ;
sapphire crystal with multi-layered anti-reflective coating


Other features:

bracelet stainless steel with triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism; water-resistant 5 bar (50 meters)


DISCOVER
Longines’ history with quartz has been one full of technical innovation and feats. In 1954, the brand developed a first quartz clock, which would quickly set a long series of precision records at the Neuchâtel Observatory. It was housed in the mythical Chronocinégines, an instrument that became a pioneer in the history of timekeeping, as it provided judges with a film strip composed of a series of prints at 1/100th of a second, allowing them to follow the movement of the athletes at the moment they crossed the finish line. In 1969, technological mastery led Longines to reveal the Ultra-Quartz, the first quartz movement designed for wristwatches. A huge stride was made in 1984 with the quartz calibre fitted in the Conquest V.H.P., setting a precision record for that time.

As an extension of these historic milestones, the winged hourglass brand has presented the Conquest V.H.P., equipped with a cutting-edge movement. This movement is renowned for its high degree of precision for an analogue watch (± 5 seconds/year) and its ability to reset its hands after an impact or exposure to a magnetic field, using the GPD (Gear Position Detection) system. These attractive features are likely responsible for its exceptional movement status, to which a very long battery life and a perpetual calendar must be added. In the true essence of Conquest, the ultimate sports line, this exceptional timepiece brings together high technicality and dynamic aesthetic. The Conquest V.H.P. has thus positioned itself as the standard-bearer of extreme precision.

These steel or black PVD watches are available in the 3 hands/calendar (ø 41 and ø 43 mm cases) and chronograph (ø 42 and ø 44 mm cases) versions. The chronograph displays hours, minutes and seconds, a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock, a 12-hour counter at 9 o’clock and a 60-second counter in the centre. On each model, changes are made using the intelligent crown, while the E.O.L. indicator can preventatively signal the end of battery life. The Conquest V.H.P. collection models display blue, carbon fiber, silvered or black dials. A steel or black PVD bracelet or a blue or black rubber watch strap completes these exceptional timepieces.
Conquest V.H.P
Conquest V.H.P
GMT Flash Setting
GMT Flash Setting
The watch made for frequent travelers
Longines presents a real technological innovation based on quartz: the Conquest V.H.P. GMT Flash Setting. Sporty and elegant, this watch is a must for travel lovers. It allows you to easily change time zones either manually, following watchmaking tradition, or by using the smart ‘Flash Setting’ system that sets the watch using flash pulses from a smartphone. This timepiece revolutionises both watchmaking precision and the user experience. With its second time zone and its ‘Flash Setting’ function, this watch expands Longines’ Conquest V.H.P. “Very High Precision” family, following the three-handed and chronograph versions.

Today, the Conquest V.H.P. “Very High Precision” line has expanded to include new GMT models. Like other variations available in this collection, the Conquest V.H.P. GMT Flash Setting houses an exclusive, cutting-edge movement that boasts a remarkable ability to simplify every aspect of the user experience: ultraprecision (±5 s/yr), Gear Position Detection (GPD) system that resets the hands after an impact or magnetic field exposure, smart crown, very long battery life and perpetual calendar that extends to 2399.

However, the new Conquest V.H.P. GMT Flash Setting continues to push the V.H.P. technology further, providing globetrotters with even greater comfort. It is equipped with a second time zone and a light-driven management system, known as Flash Setting.
A must for all travellers, this timepiece can be easily set manually using the crown, or through its innovative Flash Setting function. Flash Setting is what makes fast and direct time setting possible without using the crown, while providing rigorous precision in displayed time. The system relies on the user’s smartphone and dedicated application but requires no external connection, such as WiFi or Bluetooth. The information recorded in the application is transmitted via light sequences emitted by the smartphone’s flash to a tiny opening on the watch dial, concealed in the number 12. The Swap function offers another remarkable benefit, allowing the user to interchange home time and travel time on the display simply by applying pressure to the crown, for even greater reading comfort anywhere in the world.

These steel or black PVD watches come in two sizes (41 and 43-mm diameter) and, in addition to a second time zone marked by a thin imperial arrow hand, display the hours, the minutes, the seconds and the date (perpetual calendar). The handling of each model is made simple with the smart crown and Flash Setting system, while two distinct indicators (E.O.L. and E.O.E.) preventively signal the end of battery life. Conquest V.H.P. GMT Flash Setting models come with a blue, carbon fibre, silvered or black dial. All are stamped with “Home Time” and “Travel Time” symbols at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock respectively. A steel or black PVD bracelet or a blue or black rubber watch strap completes these exceptional timepieces.

Longines Ambassador of Elegance Eddie Peng
Conquest V.H.P. GMT Flash Setting
Quartz movement / L287.2 (ETA E56.411)
Functions:

– hours
– minutes
– seconds
– date aperture at 3 o'clock
– perpetual calendar
– second time zone


Dials:

black, silvered, blue or carbon fibre with 2 applied Arabic numerals and 10 applied bar indexes with Super-LumiNova®; V.H.P. inscription in red; “Home Time” and “Travel Time” symbols at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock in red; Flash Setting photo-detector concealed in the number 1 at 12 o’clock;black “new noir” hands


Cases:

round, stainless steel or black PVD,
ø 41 mm or 43 mm ; sapphire crystal with multi-layered anti-reflective coating



Other features:

bracelet stainless steel with triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism; water-resistant to 5 bar (50 meters)


DISCOVER
Elegant and reliable, the Conquest V.H.P. GMT Flash Setting is poised to become the new benchmark for travel enthusiasts, and the cutting-edge of V.H.P. technology.

A weekend in Rome
Rome’s historic heart contains iconic monuments and artistic masterpieces from the magnificent Colosseum and the Pantheon to the Sistine Chapel and the ruins of the Roman Forum. Longines made a stop-over during a week-end dedicated to travel lovers with the unveiling of the new Conquest V.H.P. GMT Flash Setting. This timepiece revolutionises both watchmaking precision and the user experience. It allows to easily change time zones either manually, following watchmaking tradition, or by using the smart “Flash Setting” system that sets the watch using flash pulses from a smartphone.
The lantern of Fuksas and its glace dome emerging among ancient buildings in the center of Rome offers a breathtaking view of the dome of the Basilica of Sant’ Ambrogio.
Walter von Känel, President of Longines, during the international unveiling of the Conquest V.H.P. GMT Flash Setting.
A light-driven management system, known as Flash Setting makes fast and direct time setting possible without using the crown, while providing rigorous precision in displayed time. The system relies on the user’s smartphone and dedicated application but requires no external connection, such as WiFi or Bluetooth.
The Swap function of the smart crown offers another remarkable benefit, allowing the user to interchange home time and travel time on the display simply by applying pressure to the crown, for even greater reading comfort anywhere in the world.
Hats off to a great competition
A millinery project: setting the tone
for Royal Ascot
Friend of the brand Linnéa Aarflot
Johanna Wästle, winner of the competition
The Royal Ascot race meeting, which takes place in June, is the undisputed highlight of the British social calendar. Across the globe, it is as much known for its top-class racing, as it is for its fancy fashion and fabulous hats. As the Official Partner, Official Timekeeper and Official Watch of Ascot and Royal Ascot, Longines plays a pivotal role in recording race records, but this year it also became actively involved in the fashion side of the event by creating a hat competition to find the perfect hat for Linnéa Aarflot, a holistic dressage rider and friend of the brand.
With the guidance of esteemed British milliner Rachel Trevor-Morgan, milliner to the Queen and go-to milliner for Royal Ascot, students at the renowned Kensington and Chelsea College were given the task to create a bespoke hat that would not only suit Linnéa’s own personal style, but be in line with the dress code of the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, and even more importantly, reflect Longines’ trademark traditional craftsmanship and its slogan “Elegance is an Attitude”.

Wearing a hat to the races is a tradition as old as racing itself. Formerly worn to offer protection from the sun and as a sign of respect to the Kings, Queens and Statesmen that made the racecourses come alive with their entourage, today women wear hats as a fashion statement. In Linnéa’s case, she was looking for an elegant hat, defined with clear lines that would complement her holistic approach to life. “I was very excited by the project,” says the Swedish professional dressage rider and trainer Linnéa Aarflot. “I met the students in late April and gave them an idea of what I wanted. Going to Royal Ascot I wanted a big hat, but not so big that it would be overpowering. I also wanted clear, soft lines, as I consider myself a soft person. Not as in weak, as I train a lot and am always trying to better myself, but as in a soft approach to life.”

When Linnéa met the students, they had already researched her and collected many photos from previous photo shoots, events and magazine covers. “They had really made a great effort before I even met them,” recalls Linnéa Aarflot. “While looking at all the photos and images we noticed that amongst all the different outfits I had worn over the years, one colour was missing and that was purple. And yet I love the colour purple. So we decided there and then that they would make a hat based on neutrals and purple.”
The Students and Linnéa were all very enthusiastic about the project and Rachel Trevor-Morgan, who learnt her trade with Graham Smith in London, a milliner who counted Broadway legends Elizabeth Taylor and Barbra Streisand amongst his clients, confirmed: “What made the competition so interesting and perfect was the fact that the students actually got to meet Linnéa. To have a real client in front of them for whom they were working made such a difference. The brief was not just about coming up with a flamboyant hat design for Linnéa, but she was actually going to choose the hat she wanted and the best design that suited her. They had the opportunity to chat with her and discover her style and crucially, they got to see her proportions. That is very important.”

Following that initial meeting, students got to work on their ideas, each trying to meet Linnéa’s requests while preserving their individuality as designers. Four weeks later, Rachel and Linnéa returned to the college where the students presented them with their prototypes, ready for a first fitting. “Linnéa tried on each design and spoke to the student outlining which aspects she liked or any which she wanted to change,” explains Rachel Trevor-Morgan. “I would watch the process and if the student needed some guidance on how for example to soften the shape or get a better fit of the crown, I would get involved. Sometimes little adjustments can make a big difference. It was fabulous for the students to work so closely with Linnéa, because that is what they are going to do when they work with clients. Also, at that point Linnéa didn’t have a dress yet to go with the hat, which actually allowed the students to focus completely on the concept and design of the hat.”
The competition was a resounding success, a unique opportunity for the up and coming milliners and a fabulous occasion for Longines to introduce the next generation of fashionistas and racing fans to “Elegance is an attitude”.
Linnéa had a very firm idea of the hat she wanted for Royal Ascot, but students were given a free hand in their choice of materials. “When you are at college you are encouraged to do something different,” continues Trevor-Morgan. “However, Linnéa wanted something incredibly classic and traditional, but with an edge. It is much more difficult to create something clean lined and put your own stamp on it, than something outrageous and more out there. The hat Linnéa picked was the perfect choice for her. It was very simple in its design, a beautiful hand blocked pale straw hat with a dyed lilac Abaca drape around the crown. This created a beautiful simple line.”

The hat Linnéa chose was made by Johanna Wästle, a trained hairdresser originally from Sweden, who had turned her hand to millinery. “I was very honoured that Linnéa picked my hat, which I had created based on her ideas of elegance, as well as clean lines,” said Johanna Wästle. Her creation was a hat that felt fluid and effortless, masking the fact that many hours had gone into this bespoke piece. “It was such a difficult decision,” explains Aarflot. “All the hats were great and had something going for them, but in the end, I loved the quality of Johanna’s design, the material that she used, but much more importantly, she had taken my feedback on board to create something that was a perfect interpretation of Elegance is an Attitude. It really was the only hat that made me feel like myself.”

On Friday of Royal Ascot, Linnéa Aarflot, accompanied by Johanna Wästle and Rachel Trevor-Morgan, unveiled her full look to the world press, while the hats of runners-up Lily Thomson and Emily Brewell, on display in the Longines Suite, were also much admired. “I had never been to Royal Ascot before,” Wästle smiles at the memory. “I was actually quite nervous when I got up that morning as for the first time in my life my work was going to be on display outside the walls of the college. But it was all very relaxed, and I had the opportunity to meet so many interesting people in the Longines box. I was obviously very excited to meet the Queen’s milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan and I can only thank Longines for giving us this great opportunity to work with real people for such a great event like Royal Ascot.” (Liz Price)











Record collection
When elegance meets excellence
In the purest watchmaking tradition of Longines, the watches in the Record collection combine classic elegance with excellence, aspiring to become the spearheads of the brand. These exceptional timepieces, whose movement includes a silicon balance spring featuring unique properties.

Through its Record collection, Longines expresses its very essence, combining timeless elegance with uncompromising excellence, a guaranteed recipe for success, representing a bridge between tradition and innovation.

In order to enhance the accuracy and longevity of its timepieces, Longines integrates silicon balance springs into its movements. This lightweight material is resistant to corrosion, and is unaffected by normal temperature variations, magnetic fields and atmospheric pressure.
Thanks to their extreme accuracy, the watches in the Record collection have been awarded “chronometer” certification by the COSC (Contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres – Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute). Equipped with automatic movements, all of the timepieces were tested separately by this neutral and independent organization, and are authorized to have the designation “CHRONOMETER” stamped on the dial. Bestowed with a high degree of added value, these certified “chronometers” now join the ranks of truly exceptional timepieces.

The watches of the Record collection are available in four sizes (26, 30, 38.50 and 40 mm) and a variety of dials, and are intended for men or women.



Friend of the brand Lydia Elise Millen
Friend of the brand Ali Gordon
Record – ladies’ model
Mechanical self-winding movement / L592.4 (ETA A20.L11)
Functions:

– hours
– minutes
– seconds
– date at 3 o'clock


Dials:

– 26 mm model : white mother-of-pearl, 12 diamonds indexes
– 30 mm model : white mother-of-pearl, 13 diamonds indexes



Cases:

round, diamond-set stainless
steel, ø 26 mm or 30 mm ; sapphire crystal with multi-layered anti-reflective coating ; transparent case back



Other features:

blued steel or rhodium-plated hands ; stainless steel bracelet with triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism ; water resistant to 3 bar (30 m) ; power reserve of 40 hours ; silicon balance-spring ; « chronometer » certified by the Contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres (COSC)


Diamonds:

– 26 mm model : 52 diamonds, 0.405 carat Top Wesselton IF/VVS
– 30 mm model : 60 diamonds, 0.504 carat Top Wesselton IF/VVS


DISCOVER
Record – men’s model
Mechanical self-winding movement / L888.4 (ETA A31.L11)
Functions:

– hours
– minutes
– seconds
– date at 3 o'clock


Dial:

white matt, 12 painted roman numerals



Cases:

round, diamond-set stainless
steel, ø 38,50 mm or 40 mm ; sapphire crystal with multi-layered anti-reflective coating ; transparent case back


Other features:

blued steel or rhodium-plated hands ; stainless steel bracelet with triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism ; water resistant to 3 bar (30 m) ; power reserve of 64 hours ; silicon balance-spring ; « chronometer » certified by the Contrôle officiel suisse des chronomètres (COSC)


DISCOVER
Summary
Magazines