Race horses, art museum parties, tiny bites of international food, gambling, shmoozing with socialites, luxury watches, and a 250lb whole tuna – what’s not to love about attending the 2018 Breeders Cup? Watchmaker Longines hosted me – and a number of other journalists and industry experts – at the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. We were treated to the race, parties, special events, and lots of Longines brand history and discussion. Let’s check it out.
Longines served as Official Partner, Timekeeper, and Watch of the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships in Louisville, Kentucky, on Friday and Saturday November 2-3. The winged hourglass brand was proud to time Accelerate’s exciting victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic that took place on Saturday at the prestigious Churchill Downs racetrack. Affirming its longstanding connection with the equestrian world, Longines was the Title Partner of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff race, as well as of the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf race, both run on Saturday. The spectators present at this world-class racing show had the opportunity to discover the Official Watch of the event: an elegant blue dial Conquest V.H.P. model.
Taste of the World
Our first event of the weekend was the Taste of the World at the Speed Art Museum. So many small bites of food and tasty drinks.
A celebration of the global reach of Breeders’ Cup, the invite-only Taste of the World event will welcome eighteen esteemed chefs and more than 1300 guests from around the world, including breeders, owners and trainers, all of whom are in town to participate in the prestigious World Championships. The featured chefs will each prepare a different recipe inspired by a competing horse’s country of origin. The impressive roster of culinary talent includes Hugh Acheson of Five & Ten, Gerald Addison and Chris Morgan of Maydān, Victoria Blamey, Ed Cooney and Maurice Keller of Good Food Ireland, Sylvain Delpique of ‘21’ Club, Anthony Lamas of Seviche, Angie Mar of The Beatrice Inn, Ouita Michel of Holly Hill Inn, Newman Miller of Star Hill Provisions, Jackson Rouse of Baüer Farm Kitchen, Jose Salazar of Salazar & Mita’s, Pierre Thiam of Teranga, Justin Wangler and Tracey Shepos Cenami of Jackson Family Wines, Emily Yuen of Bessou, and international television personality and cookbook author Grace Ramirez. Several of the participating chefs will also be preparing their signature cuisine for fans on-site at Churchill Downs on November 2 and 3.
Breeders Cup 2018
The main event was fantastic. We were seated in box seats in “The Mansion” high up 6 stories above the track, and treated to guides, odds makers, chefs, and special appearances all day. Additionally, we had at our disposal all sorts of Longines promo material, product demos, and most importantly, brand experts including Longines head historian Stephanie Lachat. Stephanie was great, and knew everything about the long history of this iconic brand.
Considered by many to be one of the premiere thoroughbred horseracing events of the year, the Breeders’ Cup attracts the best horses, breeders, trainers, and owners from across the globe. The winning owner, breeder, trainer, and jockey of the Breeders’ Cup Classic, the Breeders’ Cup Distaff race, and the Breeders’ Cup Turf race, each received stunning Longines watches, personally presented by Longines representatives.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto, the original Iron Chef, treated us to a special demonstration as he butchered before our eyes a 250lb tuna. And then we ate it! Overall, Chef Morimoto was a super nice guy, and chatted and took pictures with everybody.
Chef Masaharu Morimoto has created a bridge between the culinary traditions of his native Japan and the American palate, bringing intense excitement, exquisite technique, and perfectly balanced flavors to thousands of diners throughout the world. He has garnered critical and popular acclaim for his seamless integration of Western and Japanese ingredients and has effectively created a signature style that positions him as one of today’s foremost chefs.
Prize for Elegance
The Prize for Elegance was another fun event, judged by Longines Brand President Pascal Savoy. Everybody’s outfits were great all weekend, but this was a cool opportunity to check out some of the best.
The brand also hosted the Longines Prize for Elegance competition over the weekend at the Churchill Downs racetrack. In keeping with the brand’s motto ‘Elegance is an Attitude,’ the fashion contest celebrated individual expressions of elegance, rewarding those Breeder’s Cup attendees who exude style, sophistication and confidence with an elegant Longines timepiece.
Longines Conquest V.H.P.
During the event, Longines provided me with the new Conquest VHP to wear. Overall, the piece is great – a modern and high quality timepiece, and in an arena where most luxury watches are automatics, this high precision quartz was a proud wear. The case and dial are bold and modern, without being flashy – a design that could be easily worn with a suit all weekend, but could also be worn with jeans on the weekend. Although it’s a quartz.. it’s arguable the highest quality, best feeling, most precision quartz I’ve worn. It feels every bit as luxury as its $1000 pricetag and then some, and I’d be proud to wear it as my every day watch.
The VHP also comes in a very cool GMT version, which uses a partner smartphone app to set the time, change timezones, etc. Of note, the sync between the VHP GMT and the phone app doesn’t happen via bluetooth or wifi. Instead, it uses the flash on your smartphone, and a small photosensor hidden behind the “1” numeral on the watchface. A cool, and hopefully long lasting data transfer technique. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to really wear the GMT version or the app myself, but the short demo I saw in person was indeed cool.
The new Conquest V.H.P. “Very High Precision”watch by Longines represents the ultimate step in quartz precision wristwatches, featuring timekeeping technology pioneered by the Swiss brand. This watch is equipped with a movement developed by the ETA manufacturing company exclusively for Longines. The movement of the Conquest V.H.P. is renowned for its high degree of precision for an analog watch (± 5 s/yr), and its ability to reset its hands after an impact or exposure to a magnetic field using the GPD (gear position detection) system. This Longines watch’s attractive features are further complemented by its superior battery life and a perpetual calendar.
- Brand & Model: Longines Conquest V.H.P.
- Price: USD $1000
- Who we think it might be for: The higher end collector looking for a classy every day wear, with the precision of a high end quartz, in an implementation that’s actually worth showing off a quartz for.
- If I could make one design suggestion, it would be: For the standard VHP (the non-GMT), get rid of the pressable crown – it doesn’t do anything on this model. (But the “smart crown” is still cool)
- What spoke to me the most about this watch: Love the super high precision quartz in a package that’s actually worth showing off a quartz watch for.
References numbers L3.716.4.56/66/76/96.6
- Case BackScrew-down case back
- Dimension41 mm
- Lug Distance20 mm
- GlassSapphire with several layers of anti-reflective coating
- MaterialStainless Steel
- Water Resistance50 meters (164 feet)
- Bracelet BuckleDeployment buckle
- Bracelet MaterialStainless Steel
DIAL AND HANDS
- Hour MarkersApplied indexes with Super-LumiNova®
- HandsSilver hands
- Main FunctionsHours, minutes seconds in the middle. Date window. Perpetual Calendar. EOL indicator, shock detector, magnetic field, smart crown, GPD system
- E.O.L. IndicatorYes