05

Alpine Universe

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thunder of hoofs: white turf
The thunderous roar is almost deafening, shaking the nearly meter-thick ice of the St. Moritzersee. Freshly-fallen snow clings to the larches stretching up to the sky on the flanks of Piz Mezdi, framing an iconic winter scene in the Engadine Valley below one of the world’s most prestigious resorts. It’s February in St. Moritz. Time for White Turf.
synonymous with st. moritz
Skiing and St. Moritz are synonymous. So are the horses. Elegantly-dressed spectators from every corner of the globe come to St. Moritz each February for a unique spectacle of sport. Since 1907, White Turf has been one of the highlights of the Engadine winter calendar. The 112th running will take place February 3, 10 and 17, 2019.

Longines is proud to be the Main Partner, the Official Timekeeper and the Official Watch of White Turf St. Moritz. As part of its partnership with the St. Moritz Racing Association, the Swiss watch brand is also the Title Partner of the featured horse races: the Grand Prix Longines, which is a preparatory race for the Longines 80. Grosser Preis von St. Moritz. In keeping with its tradition of excellence, Longines will also honor the best jockey of the competition with the “Longines Jockey Silver Trophy.”
sporting event on a frozen mountain lake
The preparation of the race course is every bit as detailed as that of the World Cup downhill high above the valley on Piz Corvatsch. The pristine mountain water of the St. Moritzersee begins freezing in December with temperatures dipping to minus 10°C. The ice grows quickly, building to 65 centimetres or more – enough to support the racing infrastructure plus the weight of 10,000 visitors. Officials manage the snow surface to make it optimum for the horses and continually monitor the depth of the ice.

Before the start of White Turf, a unique event of skikjöring debuted as horses pulled skiers to a nearby village and back. The horses with no riders pull skiers at a pace of 50 km/h across the snow and ice. Skikjöring made its way to the lake in 1907, with flat racing beginning four years later. Today, all of the traditions remain and each is an integral part of the Sunday schedule throughout February in St. Moritz – including the King of the Engadine challenge to see who can be the best skikjöring competitor over the three Sundays in February.
partners in excellence
The Swiss watch brand and prestigious resort of St. Moritz have enjoyed a partnership going back well over a century. In the late 19th century, two Longines timepieces fitted with a proprietary hand-wound movement were sent to La Stalia to serve as timekeeping devices. It was the start of an era for Longines as one of the world’s


most respect sporting timekeepers, on the cutting edge with alpine skiing and equestrian events.

“Since Longines first came to St. Moritz in 1894 we have become even more committed to timekeeping sports competitions,” said Juan-Carlos Capelli, Vice President of Longines and Head of International Marketing. “We attach great importance to tradition, one of the key values of our brand, and we are particularly delighted with our involvement in White Turf.”

In 1878, Longines designed a chronograph that featured a jockey and his mount. The Swiss brand quickly became a favorite of jockeys and horse-lovers. Today, Longines showcases its values of tradition, elegance and performance with its engagement in horse racing, show jumping, eventing, dressage, driving and endurance competitions.

As skiers carve turns down the pistes from Corvatsch to Corviglia and Diavallezza, eyes peer down to the valley floor to get a bird’s eye view of the innovative pop-up equestrian landscape on the ice of the St. Moritzersee, White Turf.
february in st. moritz is all about white turf
White Turf: a unique, exclusive, top-class event with exciting horse-racing, gourmet catering, lively music and inspiring art exhibitions, all taking place in winter sunshine on the frozen lake among the stunningly beautiful, snow-capped mountains of St. Moritz. Retrospective images of a stunning 2018 edition.
Nimrod won the Longines 79th Grand Prix of St. Moritz.
Maxim Pecheur, winner of the Longines 79. Grosser Preis von St. Moritz.
The ice must reach 65cm thick to support the racing infrastructure and the weight of 10'000 spectators.
White Turf is an annual event where race-horse owners, trainers, jockeys from all over the world meet up and cheer on horses in spectacular winter surroundings.
The horses, at full speed, engage in a fierce battle all the way to the finish line.
Longines honored Maxim Pecheur, the best jockey of the competition, with the “Longines Jockey Silver Trophy”.
Skikjöring: competitors on skis are pulled behind the horses.
a precision partner with
alpine ski racing
On any given weekend during the six-month FIS Alpine Ski World Cup tour, you can find a team of Longines technicians on the hill at popular resorts like St. Moritz, Wengen, Beaver Creek and more. Longines is also recognized by the International Ski Federation as its Official Partner and Timekeeper, providing the backbone of results management at all World Cup and World Championship events.
Alpine ski racing requires extreme athletic precision. So it’s no surprise that the brand most synonymous with the sport would be the Swiss watchmaker Longines.

Longines’ heritage in sports timekeeping dates back to 1878 with the innovation of its first chronograph. With the advent of international alpine ski racing in the early 20th century, Longines was called upon to engage with the sport at a military race in Saint-Imier in 1924. In 1948, Longines began timekeeping at the prestigious Hahnenkamm in Kitzbühel.

Winter has long been a favorite domain of Longines, mixing skiing with equestrian in the elegant Swiss resort of St. Moritz. Each February, jockeys and horses thunder through the snow and ice of the St. Moritzersee in White Turf. Longines serves as the Main Partner, the Official Timekeeper and the Official Watch of White Turf St. Moritz.

For almost a century, the world’s greatest ski racing athletes have had confidence in Longines as a sport timekeeper. Longines takes great pride in the role it has played in ski racing, with countless examples where precision in timekeeping helped determine the champion.

On any given weekend during the six-month FIS Alpine Ski World Cup tour, you can find a team of Longines technicians on the hill at popular resorts like St. Moritz, Wengen, Beaver Creek and more. Longines is also recognized by the International Ski Federation as its Official Partner and Timekeeper, providing the backbone of results management at all World Cup and World Championship events.

Along the way, Longines has used the knowledge it has gained from alpine ski racing to innovate new timepieces. The Chronoson Longines in 1948, the first quartz sport timing device in 1954 and today’s Conquest 1/100th Alpine Skiing chronograph have all emanated from the sport.

The winged hourglass brand has long been associated with sports stars like Ambassadors of Elegance Mikaela Shiffrin and Aksel Lund Svindal. But it has been equally focused on the future with its support of the Longines Rising Ski Stars Award and the Longines Future Ski Champions event.

Longines’ heritage and forward-looking support has made the brand an integral part of the culture of alpine ski racing.
As the Official Timekeeper of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Longines utilizes precision in technology for start to finish timing as well as innovative technology to track metrics on the race course to enhance the spectator’s viewing experience in the venue and on global TV broadcasts.
A technician prepares skis minutes before the race start.
the ski
As alpine skiing evolved in the 20th century, wooden skis matured with camber, sidecut and metal edges. In the 1960s and ‘70s, finely handcrafted wooden skis gave way to modern technology, with fiberglass, metal and space-age composites transforming the construction of the skis and what finely-conditioned athletes could do with them. Today’s recreational skis are the product of decades of revolutionary evolution.
130km/h on a narrow piece of wood
Human beings have used skis as a means of transport for around five millennia. Today, the wooden staves of old have been replaced by high tech composites, rocketing World Cup ski racers down perilous courses at speeds over 130km/h.

As Mikaela Shiffrin slides in the start house high atop an alpine peak, her Atomic Skis serviceman Johann Strobl gets on his knees in the snow to make one final adjustment to her bindings. With the beep… beep… beep… beep of the start clock, she charges out onto the race course. Strobl breathes a sigh of relief. His job is done… for the moment.
5,000 years of skiing
History records what we now call skiing dating back nearly 5,000 years. Rock drawings at Rødøy in Norway show a man on skis holding a pole. Bogs in Sweden preserved actual skis of pine dating back to a similar period. The Kalvträskskidan (Kalvträsk ski) was found outside the village of Kalvträsk close to Skellefteå, north of the site of this year’s FIS Alpine World Championships in Åre. Newly-discovered cave paintings in the remote Altay mountains of Xinjiang in China depict skiers dating back to the stone age.

As alpine skiing evolved in the 20th century, wooden skis matured with camber, sidecut and metal edges. In the 1960s and ‘70s, finely handcrafted wooden skis gave way to modern technology, with fiberglass, metal and space-age composites transforming the construction of the skis and what finely-conditioned athletes could do with them.

Today’s recreational skis are the product of decades of revolutionary evolution. The innovation in the sidecut of the skis – essentially the difference in width at the center compared to the tip and tail – has allowed skiers to learn to turn skis more easily. That sidecut, combined with technological precision in ski construction, has also given ski racers the ability to carve racing turns with greater precision and to actually generate energy on their skis as they arc from gate to gate.
mystery of racing skis
Atomic race manager Christian Höflehner unlocks the door to the heavily secured race ski room at the factory in Altenmarkt. Inside are hundreds of pairs of hand-selected skis, held under security with each one carefully logged. Small numbers on the skis correspond with a database. Each ski is cataloged with its unique characteristics and which racer has used which ski. Some of them are truly coveted.

Ski construction has come a long way since wooden skis. Höflehner grabs a pair of racing skis. “But with all this technology, still the most important thing inside the ski is the wood core,” he said. “Wood is the heart of the ski. That has never changed. Even at the top level we use wood core. But the technology around that wood core has changed dramatically.”

Much like the highest level of motor sports, ski racing is a proving ground for companies looking at the impact of materials and technology on their product. Ski companies look at carbon, metals, fiberglass. They investigate the properties of materials to help carve a racing turn at high speed and materials to dampen the vibrations caused by the uneven snow surface.

“The master minds in the factory – their job is to think about any possible new technology and how we can transfer this to our skis,” said Höflehner. “The race course is actually our best laboratory to test the new technology for the consumers. We need feedback from athletes like Mikaela. As soon as we have our green light from the theoretical side we start to build skis with new technologies.”

Now the racing skis manager for some of the top athletes in the world, Höflehner brings a diversity of experience to his craft. A racer at the Europa Cup level, he migrated into coaching, leading up to a role leading the Austrian World Cup team. He’s uniquely suited to taking feedback from racers on a World Cup race weekend and turning that knowledge into a pair of new racing skis four days later.
the serviceman: heart and soul of racing ski preparation
One of the most vital partnerships in ski racing is the symbiotic relationship between an athlete and their ski technician. Johann Strobl grew up in Bad Hofgastein, not far from Salzburg. Like most Austrian mountain boys, he grew up ski racing. Five years ago he came to Atomic, an untested new ski tuner looking to make his mark in the sport he loved.

It was a passion for him. Atomic saw that and he landed a role as co-serviceman for Austria’s top international star. “He’s good at tuning skis and he has a good eye,” said Höflehner. “The second step is to know what’s wrong. Johann is really good at both.”

At a ski testing camp in El Colorado, Chile in August, Strobl rode the ski lift with his new athlete, Mikaela Shiffrin. The two have gotten to know each other well through camps in Mammoth Mountain, Beaver Creek, Squaw Valley and in Argentina. In true Mikaela fashion, they joke around a bit. It is an opportunity for her to polish her German language skills. But they also get down to business. Mikaela knows her skis.

“Mikaela from a technique perspective is a really good skier,” said Strobl. “The feedback from her is really good. She has a good feeling on the skis. I hope I do my best to bring the right skis on the hill for her. We are talking every day about the skis, then we decide for the next day which skis she takes.”
race day
During the season, Mikaela and Johann will be inseparable on the tour. The day before a race, the two talk about the conditions, the likely course conditions and how the skis will respond. On a big multi-event weekend, Strobl may have 40-50 pairs of skis for Mikaela. For any given race, he will likely prepare four or five for that discipline the day before.

On race day, he’s out on the hill early – before the racers’ course inspection – to check the snow. Is it icy? Is it warm? The two confer before heading up the lift for course inspection. Then he heads back to the ski room, usually a tiny room or cabin filled with skis and tuning tables, to make the final touch up to her race skis.
camaraderie of ski technicians
World Cup servicemen are a very special breed. It is a role that’s not out front. In fact, much of the work Johann does for Mikaela’s skis is a closely held secret. There’s no podium for serviceman.

“All of us servicemen, we talk a lot with each other but not so much about the skis,” said Strobl. “For me, I like the travel - it’s really nice. It is tougher when we have to fly to Argentina or Chile. But it is a lot easier in Europe to go by car from my home.”

There’s little time for relationships. Strobl remains close to his mother and father in Austria, but has no girlfriend. If he has a day off, he looks for a gym or takes a short hike in the mountains. But he always stops by his ski room. That is his home.

While he may not step up on the podium with his athlete, he still takes away a very special pride.

“For me the feeling is one of being very happy,” he said. “It is awesome for a service guy if you win a race. If you can give a little bit to the racer from your knowledge and service, it makes you feel good.”

That’s the gold medal for Johann Strobl.
The choice of the most suitable ski for the race conditions and a constant dialogue with the ski technician are decisive elements in the World Cup races.
The Longines Master Collection
is inviting colour onto its dials
Timeless elegance…
As a traditional watchmaking company, Longines has been producing exceptional timepieces since the very beginning. The Longines Master Collection is the perfect contemporary illustration of this concept, as demonstrated by the success of this collection since its launch in 2005. The Longines Master Collection blends classic elegance and excellence, for the greatest pleasure of watchmaking enthusiasts.
… in a new hue
In 2005, Longines launched the line that would become its best-selling product: The Longines Master Collection. Right from the start, this range has enjoyed a level of success that has never waned, making it an emblem of the brand's watchmaking know-how. Over the years, new sizes and sophistications have been added, while the timeless classicism which is the brand's essential characteristic and

which has played a major role in its success worldwide has always been maintained.

Longines is now proposing coloured editions in blue. These fashionable chromatic variations are perfectly in line with the classic and understated spirit of this collection. The sunray blue dial shows the hours, minutes and seconds thanks to rhodium-plated hands that stand out subtly.
The Longines Master Collection
Mechanical self-winding movement / L592.2
(ETA A20.L01)
Functions:

– hours
– minutes
– seconds
– date aperture at 3 o’clock
Calibre:

8¾ lines, 22 jewels,
28'800 vibrations per hour

Power reserve : 40 hours
Case:

round, stainless steel transparent case back, ø 29 mm
Sapphire crystal
Dial:

sunray blue,
12 diamonds

Other features:

rhodium-plated hands;
blue alligator strap with triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism

Water-resistant up to 3 bar
(30 meters)
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