Longines official timekeeper of the FEI
The first Longines chronograph left Ernest Francillon’s factory in 1878. This Lépine pocket watch housed a Longines 20H calibre developed by Henry-Alfred Lugrin two years earlier. Lugrin, a brilliant watchmaker, created a timing device that could be fitted to the 20L calibre, produced by the same factory, the products of which were known by their winged hourglass trademark from 1876 onwards. The resulting combined movement was an ingenious system which was activated by a single push-piece integrated into the winding button. Despite the fact that this timepiece, which could measure intervals of time to the nearest second, lacked a minute totaliser, from the end of the 19th century it still enabled Longines to play a privileged role at American racecourses.
The production of this watch eventually led to one of the first series of models fitted with the 20H calibre. This series in fact featured an engraving of a jockey standing by his horse.
The precision and reliability of this first chronograph no doubt partly explain the image of excellence that the brand was already enjoying in the 19th century, but in particular the origin of its rich history in relation to sports timing.
In effect, on the strength of this brilliant start in the élite group of factories that were in a position to develop and produce extremely reliable chronograph calibres and automatic instruments, Longines continually improved the technology it used in its timing equipment, extending the boundaries of accuracy, and as a result it was appointed official timekeeper at innumerable events.
In 1912, Longines inaugurated the first system of electromechanical sports timing – using wires which when broken respectively started or stopped the chronograph –at the Federal Gymnastics Festival in Basel. Timekeeping had entered in a new technological field. The broken-wire system was then used in innumerable competitions of many sports disciplines (show jumping, flat racing, skiing, etc.).
In 1926, Longines received its first mandate as official timekeeper for a showjumping event. This augured a long and close relationship between showjumping and the Swiss watch manufacturer.
Today, Longines is involved in equestrian sports, alpine skiing, tennis, gymnastics and archery – five areas that all display elegance, one of the brand’s key characteristics.
Longines is now very proud to provide all its experience to the FEI as its Official Timekeeper and Official Watch. A key element of the partnership is a significant investment by Longines in the development – together with the FEI – of timekeeping and datahandling services, including the related technology, specifically for equestrian sport. The development of these services will be for multimedia applications use, giant screens, scoreboards, and for broadcasters as part of the presentation of FEI events around the world.
Longines and the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™
Through its implication in flat racing, endurance competitions and showjumping events, Longines continues to maintain close ties with the world of equestrian sports. From the beginning of the 20th century until 2012, over 550 competitions in this field were timed by Longines. For many years now, the brand known by its winged hourglass logo has been part of some of the most prestigious competitions in the world.
Longines is now very proud to provide all its experience to the FEI as its Official Timekeeper and Official Watch.
The partnership involves a number of major rights packages, including official timekeeper of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ from 2013. The 2013 season sees the introduction of a new formula for the FEI Nations Cup™, now known as the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™. Under the new rules, the world has been divided into six regions for the purpose of qualifying teams for a World Final. The six regions are Europe (Divisions 1 and 2), North America, South America, Middle East, Asia and Africa.