Interview with long-term partner Longines
Longines has enjoyed a strong connection with Alpine Skiing which dates back to 1924. Since then, Longines has worked hand-in-hand with FIS to continue to develop and enhance its data and timing.
Read what Juan-Carlos Capelli, Longines Vice President and Head of International Marketing has to say about Longines’ involvement in Alpine Skiing.
How important is the partnership with FIS for Longines?
We are really proud to be the Official Partner of the FIS since a very long time. We like to underline that we are not only a sponsor but a real partner as we provide the timekeeping and data handling for all the FIS Alpine World Cup and World Championships competitions.
How do you measure the success of your partnership?
It’s been more than 10 years and we are still developing new exciting projects together, like our “Longines Future Ski Champions” race and the Longines Live Alpine data that we presented this year together.
With the ski-boot data chip, you have launched a major advance in Alpine Skiing timekeeping technology and data handling last winter. What was the initial feedback from athletes and spectators?
It has been well received and we hope that this new system will contribute to develop the public interest in a sport dear to us. We aim to develop it further, expanding it to other disciplines.
At every season opening, Longines announces new developments in timekeeping or watchmaking. What innovations do you plan this season?
We have a very special Longines timepiece to present. As you know, Longines’ history is closely linked to our timekeeping activities. Indeed, in 1954, the brand developed a first quartz clock. It was housed in the mythical Chronocinégines, an instrument that became a pioneer in the history of timekeeping, and was used for the first time during the World Cup stage in St. Moritz in 1956. Since then, Longines has never ceased to bring its quartz expertise to the next level. We launched earlier this year the new Conquest V.H.P., which stands for Very High Precision. This model is renowned for its high degree of precision for an analog watch (± 5 s/yr) and its ability to reset its hands after impact or exposure to a magnetic field. In the true essence of Conquest, the ultimate sports line, this exceptional timepiece brings together high technicality and dynamic aesthetic. There could not be a better choice than this model as the Official Watch of the 2017/2018 alpine skiing season.
As part of your commitment to support young sports talent, you have staged the “Longines Future Ski Champions” race for the fourth time last season and are awarding the “Longines Rising Ski Stars prize” at the end of each winter. How successful are these programmes?
The Longines Future Ski Champions race is a fantastic opportunity for these young talents to compete in the exact same conditions as the professionals. It’s a pleasure to see the commitment of these young athletes. As for the Longines Rising Ski Stars, Mikaela Shiffrin has won the first three editions and we had the opportunity to form strong ties with her as she is now our Ambassador. We are convinced that the future of sports lies in the young talents.
Are there any other developments foreseen to support young sports talent?
Longines is proud to offer its support to the most promising sports talents in all the disciplines the brand is involved with. Apart from its commitment to young skiers, the Swiss watch brand also organises a tennis tournament during the French Open at Roland Garros, the Longines Future Tennis Aces, as well as a race for young jockeys – the Prix Longines Future Racing Stars – held alongside the Prix de Diane Longines at the well-known Chantilly Racecourse.
About the partnership
Longines has enjoyed a strong connection with Alpine Skiing which dates back to 1924, when the brand was responsible for timing a military race in St-Imier, the brand’s hometown. Since then, Longines has worked hand-in-hand with FIS to continue to develop and enhance its data and timing.
Longines is also active in the development of the future generation of ski racers through its Longines Future Ski Champions race, which will be held in Åre (SWE) as part of the Audi FIS World Cup Finals in March 2018. The brand will invite male skiers under the age of sixteen, to compete in a giant slalom, organised in conditions identical to those of official races. The winner receives a Longines watch and a trophy in addition to its National Ski Association receiving a cheque for funding projects for youth.
In the same vein, Longines will also present the Longines Rising Ski Stars Award, which recognises the best skier under 21 and the best skier under 23 participating in the Alpine Skiing World Cup. Also at the Finals in Åre, the two winners will receive a Longines watch, a trophy and a cheque.