Equestrian sports are very sophisticated and classy. There is a feeling of tradition and heritage surrounding these old world sporting events. Such tradition and heritage are perfectly suited to mechanical watches. When Longines invited Adam and me to attend the International Bromont show jumping event, I was really excited. I know absolutely nothing about horses or equestrian sports, but I knew enough to expect a beautiful event with some amazing watch contacts. And my hunch about horse jumping fitting with watches was dead on.
Adam and I were fortunate enough to be sporting two superb Longines timepieces for the event. I had the Longines Master Retrograde and you can read my full review later on as I am wearing the Retrograde for the next week. This timepiece is not at all my typical style, but I was blown away by the complexity of the piece. If ANYBODY had the right timepiece for the horse jumping event, it was ME. This watch oozes watchmaking tradition and sophistication while being a massive chunk of steel on the wrist. This masterpiece was made for days like this — elegance, complication and wrist presence.
We arrived at the Longines VIP tent and were greeted by our friends from Longines. There were display cases with Longines watches to be admired. We enjoyed some drinks and, right away, we were talking watches. I apologize, but if you invite TimeCaptain somewhere with watch aficionados, this is bound to happen. Lunch was served and it was a delicious meal. We enjoyed some bubbles and were later taken to walk the horse jumping course.
As with any professional sport, there is more to horse jumping than meets the eye. Our guide gave us a brief initiation as we walked the course. With TV cameras and photographers everywhere, I felt like a real celebrity. I couldn’t resist taking some wrist shots with the Longines logos in the background. I am a watch blogger after all! By now, I was excited to see the show.
The competition is quite something. The rider and horse face a uniformed gentleman and sort “check in” by saluting him. Really old school. I did say there was heritage, right? The crowd goes quiet as the horse and rider begin their course. When they nail it perfectly, you get enthusiastic applause. It’s pretty cool. And we watched the whole thing from very luxurious surroundings. I even sat with Longines’ brand manager as he prepared the Longines watch to be awarded to the winner. And you know that feeling when you’re wearing the perfect watch for the occasion? Oh, that was the Master Retrograde alright! I was so perfectly equipped.
I love watches. I am obsessed with watches, in fact. If you put me in an environment where I am surrounded by watch guys, I am going to have a blast. And I did have a blast with the Longines team and their guests. We talked watches and one Longines guest (a trained watchmaker) even gave me lots of professional insight into the Retrograde movement. I live for this kind of stuff. The whole day was a mix of culture, tradition, glamour, food, drink and watches. That’s the stuff, people. The horse jumping event just blended so well with the Longines world.
The fun didn’t end there for me. I am now wearing the Retrograde for a full test. It’s a fascinating experience because it is so unlike my usual taste yet it is very impressive and satisfying. This watch boasts an awful lot of complication- I have not even learned to adjust everything yet! Stay tuned for a full review on WatchPaper.