BELMONT, N.Y. and SAINT-IMIER, Switzerland, June 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Swiss watch brand Longines partnered this past weekend with the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) to serve as the Official Watch and Preferred Partner of the 144th running of the Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the prestigious Triple Crown, on June 9, 2012 at Belmont Park.
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Longines has been the Official Watch and Timekeeper of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the first leg of the famed three races, for the last two Runs for the Roses.
During the winner's circle presentations, Longines awarded watches from the Longines Saint-Imier Collection to owner Phyllis Wyeth, trainer Michael Matz and jockey Johnny Velazquez after Union Rags raced past Paynter, to win the 144th Belmont Stakes. Watches from the Heritage Column Wheel Chronograph collection were awarded to owner Frank Jones Jr., trainer Dale Romans and jockey Ramon Dominguez after Tapitsfly won the Grade 1 Longines Just A Game Stakes earlier in the day. Additionally, Longines clocks were placed along the race track, and a new digital chronometer at the finish line displayed the race time.
This is the first time Longines, commemorating this year its 180th anniversary, is partnering with the Belmont Stakes, the oldest of the Triple Crown events. This partnership celebrates the watchmaker's rich tradition and passion for equestrian sports.
The first running of the Belmont Stakes took place in 1867. At that time, Longines was already using the winged hourglass symbol and the trade name "Longines" as a guarantee of quality in order to combat counterfeit products aimed at taking advantage of the reputation already established by the company.
Longines' passion for equestrian sports dates back to 1878, when it produced a chronograph engraved with a jockey and his mount. Longines has been timing horseracing in America since at least 1881, and subsequently its chronographs have been highly sought-after by American race enthusiasts.
Today, Longines' involvement in equestrian sports includes flat racing, show-jumping and endurance competitions. The brand can boast its involvement in some of the most famous flat-racing events in the world, such as the Dubai World Cup, the Prix de Diane Longines, the Qatar Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe, Royal Ascot, the H.H. The Emir's Trophy presented by Longines, the Longines Singapore Gold Cup, the Melbourne Cup Carnival, the Longines Handicap de las Americas, the Grand Prix Longines Lydia Tesio, the Longines Grosser Preis von Baden and the Kentucky Derby.
The Longines Saint-Imier Collection
Longines will take advantage of this opportunity to present the Longines Saint-Imier Collection. This new line has been inspired by the very sources of the winged hourglass brand's watchmaking tradition and is a tribute to the market town where the brand was created. The models in the collection are perfect examples of the watchmaking craftsmanship and elegance of a brand which will be celebrating its 180th anniversary this year.
Longines has been based at Saint-Imier, Switzerland, since 1832. It is celebrating 180 years of non-stop craftsmanship in 2012 and its watchmaking expertise reflects a strong devotion to tradition, elegance and performance. It has generations of experience as the official timekeeper at world championships and as a partner of international sports federations. Over the years, the brand has built strong and long-lasting links with the equestrian sports. Longines is a member of The Swatch Group S.A., the world's leading manufacturer of horological products. With an excellent reputation for creating refined timepieces, the brand, whose emblem is the winged hourglass, has outlets in over 130 countries.
About the Belmont Stakes
The Belmont Stakes is the third leg of thoroughbred racing's prestigious Triple Crown, also comprising the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes. The Belmont Stakes is held on an annual basis at Belmont Park in early June, with the 144th running being held this year on Saturday, June 9. Only eleven horses have swept the Triple Crown, with the most recent being Affirmed in 1978. Belmont Park is operated by The New York Racing Association, Inc., which also operates Aqueduct Racetrack in Jamaica, NY and Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga, NY. Visit www.BelmontStakes.com, the official online home of the Belmont Stakes, for more information.